The who: The plush downtown outpost of celeb chef Daniel Boulud is running a “Boulud Sud Pop Up” experience from now until July 30th at DB Bistro Moderne. Executive Chef Clark Bowen will recreate several fan favorites from Chef Boulud’s popular Mediterranean restaurant featuring flavors from France’s Côte d’Azur, Spain, Italy, Greece, North Africa and Turkey.
The space: The temple to rustic French cooking on the ground floor of the sleek JW Marriott Marquis has been given a Mediterranean feel with lots of lush plants, free-flowing olive oil decanters and green-colored glasses that are a signature at the New York location. There’s also that spacious cocktail lounge outfitted in gray studded leather couches flanking the marble sunken bar, which is a sophisticated spot to sip a St. Tropez Gin and Tonic (made with Lillet Blanc and lemon verbena).
The dishes: The menu travels the entire region offering flavors from France’s Côte d’Azur, Spain, Italy, Greece, North Africa and Turkey. There is an emphasis on grilled fish and lamb, as well as an abundance of fresh vegetables. Prices are in keeping with the luxe surroundings: starters are $12-$19 and mains are $22-$34.
Setas con huevos
Dinner starts with fresh focaccia and olive oil. Warm cheese popovers also serve as an amuse bouche. From there it’s on to a platter of mezze that includes a spicy hummus, petite falafel balls and babaganoush. The Arabic Lamb Flatbread is topped with eggplant, pine nuts and drizzled with labneh yogurt to cool some of the heat from the spicy meat. The “Setas con Huevo” is a panzanella-like salad made with roasted wild mushrooms, croutons and a runny egg yolk. Larger plates like the Lebanese Spiced Sea Bass over a bed of freekah with apricot sauce play with Middle-Eastern flavors balancing spicy and sweet while the Spring Pea Risotto is a decadent bowl of high-end comfort food.
Spring pea risotto
Desserts go for drama with the Grapefruit Givre made from a hollowed-out fruit filled with rose loukoum, grapefruit sorbet and topped with threads of sesame halva. A chocolate fondant cake with smoked cinnamon ice cream and a tiramisu with coffee gelato round out the sweet offerings.
Bottom line: The chance to try some of Daniel Boulud’s popular Mediterranean dishes at this limited-time pop-up.