Date of Last Visit: 23 June 2010
The Background: I met Heather from Heather on Her Travels a few months back at a Lastminute.com party. I don’t know what I said or what I did, but fast-forward to June and Heather dropped me an e-mail to invite me to dinner at Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental. Paid for by the Mandarin Oriental. (Yes, yes. I know. I know.)
As a native New Yorker, I would love to say I know all about Daniel Boulud and his eponymous restaurants in New York. (And Las Vegas. And Palm Beach! And Beijing!) But I don’t. Much like I don’t know anything about Bruno Loubet. Yes, I know nothing.
I’m also not going to go on and on (and on) about the history and the background of Daniel Boulud or Bruno Loubet, along with their trials and/or tribulations. That’s what Wikipedia is for. (Here. And…um…okay, Bruno Loubet doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. Now what does that mean?)
There is the burger. The Yankee. It’s very competent. But the bun, alas, remains untoasted. (Or if it was toasted, it was only the lightest of toastings.) Why now, really? Who doesn’t like their bun toasted?
Bar Boulud, are you reading this? The blogosphere is abuzz. Apparently, you’ve removed the Chop Chop salad (with lobster for a supplement) from your menu. This is a mistake. A big mistake. (Unless you show me your Thursday lunch sales numbers and can prove you weren’t selling a one.) Bring it back! Bring it back!
The Sommelier: I must give a special shout out to our wonderful sommelier. He was clever and funny and knew what we wanted and what we didn’t know we wanted. We shared our love of Vermentino (the house white when I visited) and I fell just a little bit in love with Bar Boulud.
Celebrity Sighting: The Iron Lady. Seriously. She looked good.
The Verdict: I liked it here. OK, it was a freebie. Of course I should like it. But between the sommelier and the great potential for solo dining, I think they’re on to a winner here. (As if they didn’t know…being, as they are, in the Mandarin Oriental.)