299 Bowery, New York 10003
At 1st St
Phone: (212) 933-5300
I'm a huge fan of Daniel Boulud. His flagship restaurant Daniel is my favorite fine dining experience and I was always happy that the pinnacle of NYC chefs (he and Eric Ripert) - never jumped the shark. Well they both did as they're both on TV and they both have way too many restaurants - you can tell the quality control is not there. The grade I provided is for the overall meal, but if you just hung out and got the sausages and beers it would definitely be a B+.
(this was a complete onslaught of sausages, so tough to remember the fine points of each dish - but here's my best shot)
duck & pork sausage, kasha varnishkes, duck cracklins
Great pork and duck flavor prevalent. The thing that you notice about all the sausages is the skin is not crazy crispy and the meat is more loosely packed than most sausages we Americans are used to.
fresh chorizo sausage with piperade, basil oil
I love me some chorizo and although this was good, the flavors didn't wow so much - a very faint memory of the spanish chorizo that I loved so much.
veal bratwurst, beer-braised sauerkraut
Plate Of Mixed Charcuterie *
Fromage De Tete (pigs head terrine), Pate Campagnard (pork & chicken liver pate), Rillettes De Jamboneau Provencal (piggie cooked in it's own fat), Saucisson Sec lyonnaise (dried sausage)
I've had these charcuterie items many a time and these were mostly good...rillettes I thought were great though. They had some type of herb thing going on which was the first time I've had a rilletes like that.
BOUDIN BASQUE ***
spicy blood and pigs head sausage, scallion mashed potatoes
This had such a rich flavor and creamy texture - a complete wtf dish and perfect with the mashed potatoes.
pork & cheddar link, hash browns, red onion creme fraiche
Can't go wrong with cheddar and pork links :) Hash brown was actually quite fun and matched well with the dish.
lamb & mint merguez with harissa, lemon braised, spinach & chickpeas
I love me some lamb and these were definitely a stand out of all the other sausages.
pork, lemongrass and red curry links, green papaya, basil fried rice, chili sauce, quail egg
Sausage was interestingly thai (fish sauce/lemongrass thing going on) - but unfortunately what held this back was the terribly salty fried rice. A bad foreshadowing of things to come.
PIED DE COCHON PANÉ ***
crispy pigs feet, romaine heart salad, sauce dijonnaise
This brought me back to the wonders of Au Pied de Cochon, except this was done more elegantly - a complete WTF dish. So crisp on the outside, and so tender and fatty on the inside that was insanely rich and tasty.
SAUTEED SOFT SHELL CRABS ---
spiced pork belly, garlic chives, singapore chili sauce, steamed buns
I absolutely loooove soft shell clubs and I was thinking since I was at a Daniel Boulud place this would be spectacular. Fail. It was a WTF inediblely salty mess. It was so bad I wanted to send it back immediately, but we already split the dish up and people were already eating.
HOUSE-MADE PAPPARDELLE "BOURGUIGNON" ---
slow-cooked brisket, red wine, pearl onions mushrooms, smoked bacon, fines herbes
A solid beef bourguignon sauce with pasta that's cooked until it's gooey disintegrating mess - not a good thing and a big time wtf in a bad way.
6 oz beef patty with confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote , & morbier cheese on a peppered brioche bun, with cornichon, mustard & fries
Again, you would expect they would do a burger right considering Daniel started the fancy burger revolution - rightly or wrongly. This again was so salty and inedible - three friggin' WTF in a bad way entrees. First time for the blog.
Pork Chop Special ***
After the three terrible entrees, this was surprisingly a perfect combo of textures and flavors. They did a fun play on the veggies too - raw shredded beets/beet puree and barely cooked spinach with a spinach puree. It totally friggin worked and the pork was definitely the star as it was perfectly cooked with a huge porky flavor going on.
Omelette Norvegienne ***
baked alaska for two, vanilla & pistachio ice cream, raspberry sorbet, fresh meringue flambée with chartreuse
A perfect dessert and my first WTF dessert in a long time. Love the hot/cold thing going on here and the textures / flavors of the meringue, sorbet, and sponge cake was outstanding.
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way
Overall Restaurant Experience
- Food (C) – Everything before/after the entrees were B+. Everything else D-. Beers were pretty killer though.
- Service (C) – Server knew his stuff, but wasn't very friendly. Food came out pretty quick although it took a while to get drinks.
- Atmosphere (B) – When you first walk into the place, you step into this huge bar which looks like a good place to meet up before the meal. Finally getting into the restaurant you notice a combo of dark wood and slate. We got seated in a booth which really feels like a private area since you sit behind these big shelves away from the main dining area. We got there at 6pm on a Friday (with reservations) and it was a pretty full dining room. 30 minutes later it was packed and by the time we left there was a line to get in. Feel was pretty laid back and they were rocking some music there - not insanely loud, but noise level was noticeable high.
- Price (C) - $80 which is too much due to the three crappy entrees. Sausages are around $14 which yields around 4-5 bites, which is pricey but okay when you go with a large group.
Not sure why, but I'm noticing a terrible trend in nyc dining where food is tending to be extremely salty. I talked about this with our chef friend and he agrees as well. I will definitely come back here since the sausages are so fun, but never for anything else.