A couple of days ago on the way to the Reebok Sports Club LA in Upper West Side, I passed by Bar Boulud, and thought of eating there that night before going to the Met Opera for Ariadne auf Naxos. No such luck; I could not get decent lunch reservation for the following day either.
But I noticed that there was a new venture right next door, owned by Daniel Boulud: Épicerie Boulud, a so-called “eat-in and take-out market” that featured house made charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, as well as an array of sandwiches and sweets/desserts.
Yesterday, immediately after the gym, I marched straight into that place, and got myself a DB Smoked Salmon Mauricette, a Tarte à l’Orange, and some drinks. I sat myself out in the limited number of tables outside, specifically reserved for Épicerie Boulud patrons. The tables are separated from the outdoor tables at Bar Boulud by a low barrier. (You will know the difference anyway: The Bar Boulud’s have crisp, white tablecloths!)
When I sank my teeth into the sandwich, fireworks! Really, it was just a smoked salmon, but the ingredients tasted extremely fresh: Dill, Lettuce, Tomato, Hard Boiled Egg, Sauce Gribiche on Pretzel Bun. I had the wonderful, simultaneous experience of tasting each of the ingredients as well as all of them as a whole. The menu did not mention this, but I also tasted coarse salt sprinkled onto it, which added to the texture and taste.
(Sauce Gribiche is a mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce, made by emulsifying hard boiled egg yolks and mustard with neutral oil like canola or grapeseed, and finished with chopped pickles, capers, parsley, chervil, and tarragon.)
The Tarte à l’Orange has a very subtle orange taste to it, not overwhelmingly so and not so overpoweringly sweet, making it just deliciously right!
Just now, for the second day in a row, I returned to Épicerie Boulud, got a couple boxes of baked goods and desserts for my host, and two baguette sandwiches for myself (the same DB Smoked Salmon Mauricette and Jambon Beurre) which I planned to take back home to San Francisco. Either I will consume it mid-air, or for late dinner after landing. I know that the freshness may fade, but I am sure I will enjoy them just as much!
I found out today that the establishment had just opened last Friday (May 6, 2011). It was then no wonder that on my two visits there, I always saw many French-speaking executives pointing at different elements of the shop. For a less-than-a-week-old shop, this place has operated very efficiently. All of the staff has been extremely helpful and friendly and always smiling!
1900 Broadway (@64th Street)
New York, NY 10023
Tel: (212) 595-9606
Hours: 07:00 – 23:00 (7 days/week)
Top Pictures: All 12 pictures gathered from the Daniel NYC website and collaged together.
Middle Picture: @2011 Ramon Markus Kadi