We have long wanted to eat at Daniel, the Daniel Boulud restaurant in New York. Hasn’t happened yet. When we arrived in London, Bob did a quick check on Open Table to see if Bar Boulud had any openings here. At 5:30 PM, there was one opening for 6:30. We grabbed it! Then, grabbed a cab to the Mandarin Hotel where the restaurant was located.
We arrived early, of course (we tend to be early everywhere), but our table was ready and the hostess graciously seated us. We had a prime view of the kitchen. We only have photos of our food, because we were told that photos were discouraged in the restaurant because “very famous people” often dined there. We didn’t see any while we were there, although Bob and I had fun speculating which very famous people ate there. (Gwyneth? Adele? Colin Firth? Doctor Who?)
Loved the napkins:
After perusing (and oohing and aahing over) the menu, we decided to go with the prix fixe menu so we could try a few dishes each. It was a smart move on both our parts. The entire meal was incredibly delicious – heavenly, to say the least!
We both started off with the Soupe Forestiére – a creamy earthy mushroom soup that had the texture and color of a thin chocolate shake. We couldn’t get enough! I found the ricotta toast slightly bland, however, so I saved my calories for the rest of my dinner.
Next, I had the Volaille aux Ecrevisses:
Succulent roasted chicken breast, glazed asparagus, over rice pilaf in a crayfish sauce. That sauce was amazing (as most French sauces are)! And there were four small crayfish as well. They tasted just like lobster. Mmmmm! And yes, I ate everything on my plate!
Bob had the Daurade a la Plancha:
Sea bream in an amazing beefy black garlic jus, spinach and celeriac. Bob also cleaned his plate! Fish is relatively easy to cook, and yet we are surprised at the number of times we’ve had overcooked fish at restaurants. (In fact, his fish and chips at a chain joint for lunch were so horrific he couldn’t eat it – and ended up splitting my tuna melt with me.) This fish was perfectly done, tender and juicy with a crisp skin.
Alas, by the time dessert arrived the restaurant was packed and we didn’t want to take photos for fear of being chastised by the staff. But let me tell you, dessert was amazing! I had the Gateaux Basque – it’s a traditional French cake from the Basque region – flaky almond crust with a creamy custard-like filling with a side of brandied cherries. It was sweet but not overly so. I loved the crisp crust! Bob had two scoops of passion fruit coconut sorbet (he said the best sorbet he’s ever had) with a side of two crunchy biscuits Brittany. Perfect for Bob because they were obviously full of butter and not overly sweet.
An incredible meal – unlike anything we’ve had in a long time!
It’s only 8:20 PM as I write this, but I’m seriously exhausted. I think I’ll read some more of Sophie Kinsella’s I‘ve Got Your Number (laugh out loud funny so far) and drift off to slumberland!
-posted by Debbi