The Insatiable Palate Review #14: Café Boulud (Upper East Side, New York)

Once She Said “My Mink Coat is too Heavy,” We were in the Wrong Place.
Pig’s Trotter Sausage and Tales from NYC Restaurant Week: Part II

I’m a fraud. I constantly bash pretentious restaurants for serving baby portions, but I incessantly chase after fine dining.

But this time, Scumbag Jason has learned his final lesson.

This is my first time to the Upper East Side and I probably won’t be eager to come back for awhile. To be honest, I’ve never felt so uncomfortable inside a restaurant. The service was phenomenal, the food was quite pleasant. However, there was not a single person in that room who was under 40. It’s like sitting around rich 65 year cougars that all look like Lucille Bluth. Jon and I felt misplaced. We were babies.

During winter break, I was sharting my pants after scoring Restaurant Week reservations at Café Boulud.  I can’t afford Daniel with my college budget, so Boulud’s spot on 76th Street was the most reasonable solution. The excitement died down as soon as I went inside.

Amuse Bouche: Crispy Arancini, Black Truffle

On the other hand, this is the beauty of fine dining. During Restaurant Week at Café Boulud, the Maître d’ greets you with crispy bite-sized black truffle rice balls. They’re an absolute delight. Suck on these for awhile because the complementary whole-wheat bread and the butter rolls are cold, rock-hard and impossible to chew.

 Cauliflower Velouté, Smoked Steelhead roe, Green Apples, Celery

The cauliflower velouté was my favorite. The creamy concoction is garnished with seasonal notes of apples and celery. The roe, however, was potentially a similar experience to chewing on spheres of silica gel.

Tiger Prawn Ceviche

Although the prawn ceviche was delicious, the portion sizes were not as generous as we would have liked. However, the seasoning/acidity of the ceviche is definitely on point.

 Blackened Fluke, Creamy Polenta, Braised Collard Greens, Sauce Diable

My fish was firm and soft to the touch. If polenta and collard greens were cooked so wonderfully in every American household, all the spoiled little brats would be lickin’ their plates. Then I eventually figured out that the polenta and collard greens were probably doused with lots of delicious cream. Still vegetables, right?

 Cheesecake, Pomegranate Seeds, Pears, Vanilla Ice Cream

Desserts hit strong notes. Although the Strip House Cheesecake was five times the size, the batter and the vanilla ice cream are really pleasant.

 Chocolate Mousse, Pear Compote, Hazelnut Ice Cream

This was Jon’s selection. After getting a glimpse of the dark chocolate ganache, I knew he had made the better selection. I was pissed. The outer chocolate shell is remarkable.

 Amuse Bouche II: Lemon Madeleines

Café Boulud won’t send you home without mignardises. At the end of our meal, the Maître d’ came back again with a mini-basket of soft Madeleines. She tricked us into getting “complementary” cups of coffee which were actually a five dollar supplement. She never actually said it was complementary. We were just to fucking nervous to ask whether the coffee was free at this kind of institution.

Aside from the stuffy atmosphere, I have no other complaints (other than the bread). The quality of food is somewhat memorable and the service is attentive. I really, really can’t get over how uncomfortable it was to dine with so many old people though. They’re just so damn old.

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One response to “The Insatiable Palate Review #14: Café Boulud (Upper East Side, New York)

  1. hahhaha me likey this post

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