Cafe Boulud

Café Boulud’s menu pays homage to the food Daniel grew up with in France and celebrates the food he loves in America. At Café Boulud, Daniel and Executive Chef, Zach Bell, offer their favorite dishes, drawn from family recipes, regional specialties and haute cuisine. The menu is presented under the headings of Daniel’s four culinary muses. Guests are encouraged to sample courses from as many of these mini-menus as they wish. The menu’s four headings are:

La Tradition”, the classic dishes of French cooking. These are the dishes Daniel grew up with, the family meals his mother and grandmother prepared, the food of the original turn of the century Café Boulud tended by his great grandparents and the first recipes he prepared as an apprentice in Lyon. But the classics are neither historical nor immutable for Daniel. He uses ingredients different from those of the originals, and serves them to people with disparate tastes, diets and culinary affections. Daniel prepares dishes such as a pot-au-feu or bouillabaisse with American ingredients, updated to delight a new, young audience and to rekindle fond taste memories in those who knew them years ago.

La Saison”, the seasonal specialties of the market. The family farm in the Lyon countryside where Daniel grew up produced a wide variety of seasonal crops in its fields, orchards and vegetable gardens. Farm animals included cows for milk, goats for cheese, and pigs for charcuterie, while the farmyard was resplendent with geese, ducks, chickens, squabs, rabbits, guinea fowls, and turkeys. Each new crop was hailed with a festive meal. Since cooking in the United States, Daniel has established close relationships with the country’s most passionate farmers and dedicated purveyors whose wonderful products inspire his dishes. Here at Café Boulud, the menu showcases the delicacies of each season’s bounty. From foraged mushrooms, diver scallops with roe, hand-picked berries, wild grouse, line-caught halibut, to jumbo white asparagus, our clientele will savor the season’s best ingredients.

Le Potager”, a celebration of the vegetable garden. Daniel’s favorite spot on the farm was the vegetable garden where his parents grew the organic produce, herbs and flowers they sold at the Lyon farmer’s market. Preparing each vegetable, while respecting its flavor, has been Daniel’s favorite challenge as a chef. At Café Boulud, the dishes of Le Potager are completely vegetarian and, in most cases, very low in fat. Some of Daniel’s signature soups, Chilled Five Spring Pea Soup, Chilled Tomato Soup with a Basil Guacamole, Swiss Chard and Bean Soup with Ricotta Toasts and the Curried Cream of Cauliflower and Apple Soup provide for light and flavorful appetizers along with vibrant salads. Entrees include fricassées of seasonal vegetables, vegetable risottos, raviolis and pastas. Wild mushrooms and truffles are celebrated along with baby beets, jumbo sweet garlic, caramelized turnips and roasted endive.

Le Voyage”, the travels that have introduced Daniel to the exotic flavors of world cuisines. Forever curious about other cultures and traditions, Daniel constantly searches for new ingredients, flavors, and recipes to add to his repertoire. Just as he does with foods from la Tradition, Daniel passes the dishes of a region through his own culinary filters. Working with world renowned visiting chefs from other countries, as well as with his own team of cooks (a veritable global village), Daniel and Executive Zach Bell, create dishes that, while celebrating the roots, spirit and fundamental flavors of a particular place, will also sing out with their signature style. “Voyage” menus have visited the flavors of Spain, New Orleans, Viet Nam, Alsace and even the Caribbean to name just a few recent culinary destinations.

On the dessert menu, Daniel and Pastry Chef Matthew Petersen work together to create dishes in harmony with the savory menu’s four muses. Traditional selections re-visited from a contemporary point of view might include classic favorites such as a tart tatin or île flottante. Seasonal desserts focus on lighter offerings inspired by the bounty of the orchard, such as fragrant sorbets, poached fruits and fruit tarts. Finally, desserts from “Le Voyage” are accentuated with the exotic spices and ingredients that flavor the world’s sweets.