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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boulud Sud: a Mediterranean Gem in the Heart of Manhattan!

Following an evening of vinous decadence at the "Sommelier All-Stars" Dinner at DANIEL recently, we were fortunate enough to fit in lunch before our flight the following day at Boulud Sud, Chef Boulud's latest Manhattan eatery. The restaurant opened earlier this year and is just blocks from Manhattan's Lincoln Center. It also happens to be adjacent to both Épicerie Boulud and Bar Boulud, making this one of my favorite blocks in New York City!

Boulud Sud is Daniel's homage to Mediterranean cuisine and showcases the delicious flavors of France's Cote d'Azur, Spain, Italy, Greece, North Africa and Turkey. As a big fan of this type of cuisine, I was really looking forward to sampling menu! With some expert guidance from Sommelier Michael Madrigale, we ordered a variety of selections that provided a nice representation of what Boulud Sud had to offer.

"Salade Tropezienne"
We started with a glass of Pierre Paillard, "Cuvee Daniel" Grand Cru Brut NV bubbly and two dishes; the "Salade Tropezienne" and Octopus a la Plancha. The "salade" was a delightful combination of artichoke hearts, fennel, celery and frisee. Light and refreshing, this dish had a fabulous crunch factor and the textures were nicely complemented by the lightly creamy, flavorful dressing. The octopus was cooked perfectly and served atop fresh hummus and arugula and garnished with Marcona almonds and Jerez Vinegar. Again, the texture of the octopus with the creamy hummus and the tang of the vinegar were well orchestrated and this dish looked so delicious when it was set in front of us - I completely forgot to take a photo!

"Chicken Tagine"
Next, we ordered two main course dishes, the Chicken Tagine and the Grilled Pork Belly. Chicken tagine is one of my all time favorite dishes. Originating in North Africa, it is a slow cooked stew, braised at a low temperature and cooked in a special signature earthenware pot. Chef Boulud's tagine did not disappoint with perfectly cooked, flavorful chicken served with turnips, spinach and preserved lemon. While I am not the biggest fan of the turnip, the dish was delicious and paired very nicely with a glass of 2010 Enodelta Fiano Di Avellino from the Campania region of Italy.

One thing I always order at Chef Boulud's restaurants is his latest incarnation of the Pork Belly. The man certainly knows his way around a cochon and this dish was no exception! The pork was positively succulent and served on a bed of white bean puree and pepperonata topped with a flourish of bitter greens. The tangy roasted peppers, creamy puree and decadent pork belly harmonized together beautifully. This dish paired deliciously with a glass of 2010 Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Rose with it's notes of red berries and food friendly acidity.

"Provencal Moelleux"
For dessert, we had the Provencal Moelleux, a selection of Provencal-inspired sweets that included almond-pistachio cake, lemon chiboust, sauteed farmer's market strawberries and calisson ice cream. We enjoyed the assortment with a glass of 2005 Domaine de Souch Jurançon, a delightfully sweet blend of 50% Petit Manseng and 50% Gros Manseng from Southwest France. While have to say I love having dessert with lunch in general, this was particularly special. We savored each bite before having to race for the airport!

Each dish we sampled at Boulud Sud demonstrated a wonderful interplay of flavor and texture. The array of offerings truly captures the essence of the Mediterranean and offers the best of this exotic locale to New York City diners, sans airfare. In addition to the creative and delicious dishes, I greatly appreciate that wine also plays such an integral role in Chef Boulud's cuisine. To this point, he was featured on the cover of Wine Spectator Magazine last month in recognition of his emphasis and dedication to the importance of wine as a part of the dining experience. 

Michael Madrigale and Me
Sommelier extraordinaire, Michael Madrigale oversees the cellar at Boulud Sud as well as neighboring Bar Boulud and Épicerie Boulud. The affable, down to earth Madrigale is known for his affinity for France's Rhône and Burgundy wine regions as well as large format bottles which he opens regularly to pour by the glass. Be sure to follow him on Twitter to get the inside scoop!

Next time you find yourself in New York with a craving for Mediterranean cuisine, swing by Boulud Sud and give one of these delicious dishes a try. Be careful, however, if you have tickets to a show or, for that matter, a flight! It is very tempting to linger over the last of dessert and a fabulous glass of wine.



  1. Great piece; really enjoyed the description of the food and the accompanying wines

  2. Super post, Stephanie! I haven't been there and will ask my daughter if she has.
    That salad looks gorgeous!


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