Bar Boulud Opens in Boston

Opened just three days ago in Boston, Bar Boulud raises the bar.  We’re talking about a reasonably priced, varied menu that has one dish after another that’s appealing.  You know how you go to some restaurants and pick your way through a menu and at last find that there’s something you can eat?  This is the opposite.  You have to narrow your choices.

And everything we had was delicious, whether it was the gougères, pate of foie and pork, chopped salad of cabbages, lobster, or boudin blanc.  Wine by the glass was good.  The vibe in the room was good.  The service was good.

Let’s just hope it lasts.

There are numerous restaurants in Boston that call themselves French, a term that helps raise prices when in fact what’s being served is modern American (whatever that means), and when one of the world’s great chefs turns up, their livelihood will be threatened.

Simply put, restaurants serving dishes with between six to eight ingredients that show us that the chef knows his way around a pantry, but add nothing to the dish other than, ironically, to muddy flavors; or, restaurants serving a chef’s highly personal interpretation of a French dish, which tells us more about the chef than the food.  These places are going to be hit hard when customers encounter French food that’s presented in a room by servers all of whom and which might as well place you in a French city.

On the other hand, perhaps raising the bar, as he did in NYC, might lead current and future chefs to consider doing what Andre Soltner said needed to be done.  Chef Soltner, whose Lutece was to NYC what Daniel is to NYC today, said. when he saw cooks in his kitchen trying to change how he wanted the food prepared,  “Guys!  Roast the chicken!  There’s a right way to roast the chicken!  Do it the right way.”

Only probably not in those words.


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