This summer, Café Boulud transformed into an oasis evoking memories of summer sojourns to the South of France for Boulud Sur Mer, a delightful prix fixe dinner paired with rosés by Château d’Esclans, a celebrated winery perched in the heart of Provence.
The partnership is a natural one for Café Boulud, whose founding chef, Daniel Boulud, hails from Provence. The restaurant’s executive chef, Dieter Samijn, shares a menu that celebrates the flavors, sights, and smells of the Cote d’Azur and highlights each delicate note of the Cháteau d’Esclans selections. As guests step through the doors of the Brazilian Court Hotel’s illustrious dining room, the delicately frosted glasses of rosé, savory aromas, and sophisticated plates are unmistakably Provençal.
Start the journey through the three-course Boulud Sur Mer menu with the impeccably crisp fleurs de courgette, filled with creamy ricotta and brightened with basil, or the soupe de melon Cavaillon, a chilled melon soup accented with goat cheese, basil, and olive oil (you may even nibble on the melon bowl it is served in). Château d’Esclans’ iconic Whispering Angel (2021) pairs beautifully here.
True to the region’s proximity to the Mediterranean, Boulud Sur Mer’s mains pay homage to the sea’s abundance. Celebrating the briny bounty, the bouillabaisse à la Marseillaise boasts a trio of mussels, shrimp, and fish in a silky broth, complemented by tender pearl potatoes, fennel, crusty toast, and a must-try aioli. A loup de mer grillé for two is a showstopper, featuring a whole grilled Mediterranean sea bass with lemon parsley, sauce verte, and ratatouille. For the more carnivorous set, chef Samijn’s take on an iconic daube niçoise with braised short rib, tomato, mushroom, and panisse is as comforting as it gets.
The French flair comes to a head for dessert, which is served with fanfare. Like the treasure it is, a macaron with vanilla cream and fresh raspberries is lifted from a chest billowing with a “mist” of dry ice. The nougat glacé flambé is placed gingerly on the table and ignited in a dazzling spectacle. Once the flame subsides, tuck into the pillowy sweet, paired with mixed berry sauce.
As summer days begin to wind down, savor the flavors of the season. Priced at $72 per person, the Boulud Sur Mer menu is available through Sunday, September 3. To reserve, head to cafeboulud.com.