Monday, June 27, 2011

Bar Boulud in NYC

Since eating in Daniel almost 10 years ago, I've been a huge fan of Daniel Boulud. It ranks up there with my fine dining experience at Jean Georges and Alain Ducasse. Finesse food matched with superb service.

In looking back at it, I've actually eaten at 5 of his restaurants - 4 in New York City (Daniel, DB Bistro, DBGB, and Bar Boulud) and 1 in Las Vegas (DB Brasserie). I've always had an enjoyable food experience. However lately, at DBGB and now at Bar Boulud, the host/hostess were surprisingly rude. On TV Boulud is such a friendly guy who puts attention to detail and service. During our dining experience at Daniel my brother met him, and he's such a friendly guy. Unfortunately, it seems as though it gets to the hosts/hostesses heads that they are working at a Boulud establishment.

At our most recent Boulud dining experience at Bar Boulud, we were seated outside and at the time our table was nicely covered by the umbrellas. However, halfway through our meal the NYC summer sun moved its way onto our table and chairs. We asked our server if we could move inside; so she, in turn, asked the hostess. The hostess came to our table and said there were no tables available only bar seats. So we said we'd like to move to the bar seats to enjoy our last course. She, then, said she'll check with the bartender. When she came back out, she said the bar was all filled. We sadly accepted her answer and quickly finished the rest of our meal. After we paid the bill, we went inside the restaurant to use the restrooms. (Just a side note - the bathrooms here are nice and clean. It felt like a restroom in a five star hotel.) To my surprise, the tables and bar were practically empty..and this was only 10 minutes after the hostess spoke to us. Let me speak colloquially and say, "What's up with that??"

At all of Boulud's 5 restaurants, we've enjoyed the food. It's quality and worth the expense.. But it's the food AND service that makes the dining experience, not just the food. At both DBGB and at Bar Boulud, it's been the host and hostess that have ruined our experience. The people hired at that position seem to feel a power that they should not expose to customers. They should be as warm and as friendly as Chef Boulud to represent him and his restaurants.

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