Monday, June 20, 2011


Épicerie Boulud. Image by The NewsGallery.
Épicerie as in grocery in French—is one of the latest gastronomic ventures by prominent French Chef  and Restaurateur, Daniel Boulud.  Have a watch at the video (below) and see Mr. Boulud himself introduce the newly opened épicerie/café bar.

What's fabulous about Daniel Boulud's attitude towards his eateries no matter how petite, is that he's the most excited of them all; he loves to talk about the smallest of noshes in his now growing food-business-empire.  From club sandwiches to chocolate croissants, to their delicious variations of house-made award winning patés, terrines, and of course fromage, Chef Boulud speaks of each one like he's a kid again—tickled and excited to share his knowledge of his new found  toys.

Épicerie Boulud. Image by The NewsGallery.

There's definitely no snobbery oozing out of this French man, which obviously trickles down automatically to the staff—who are also happy to serve and share tidbits about the products.  And we wholly understand Boulud's enthusiasm for all his goodies, too.  Done with extensive knowledge, pride, and happiness to share all that is savory with French delicacies (particularly coming from his region of Lyon), Épicerie's little treats are just that: nothing but delectable treats, and at affordable prices.  

DB Smoked Salmon Mauricette.
Image by The NewsGallery.
We tried a few items from the Épicerie menu (sandwiched between Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud [also freshly opened]—all three are huddled comfortably at the corner of 64th Street and Broadway, New York).  We highly recommend grabbing sandwiches at the Upper West Side foodie delight, which one can enjoy at the outdoor seating if it pleases, or take to go for a picnic to Central Park.  

From the De La Mer (from the ocean) section there is a perfectly assembled DB Smoked Salmon Mauricette ($12.50).  The salmon effortlessly melts in your mouth—incited by the garnishes of dill, lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg, and sauce gribiche, served on a soft pretzel bun (pictured right).

Equally scrumptious, is the Pain Bagnat (also an option De La Mer, $9.50).  This lovely tuna ensemble is presented with avocado, olives, butter lettuce, tomato, cucumber, hard boiled egg, on herb foccacia.  All the bread are done á la maison of course, and if you wish to pair your sandwich á la Daniel with some chips, not surprisingly, Boulud does sell some homemade Gaufrette Potato Chips as well, which come in two flavors: sea salt & Pierre Poivre or Thai lime.  

There's also a palatable selection of salads, soups, and a custom selection of American and French artisan cheeses (curated by Saxelby Cheesemongers); this specialty shop even features a raw bar for oysters (pictured above).

Épicerie Pastries: Swiss Brioche,
Canelé, Chamonix.
Image by The NewsGallery.
Moving over to the dessert course, for those with a sweet tooth, this place can be dangerous.  There's an array of pastries, tarts, cakes, and even gelati that can easily compel one to stay at the Épicerie just indulging in little sweet nibbles without realizing the time.  

Completely overzealous, we sampled one of each (from the L to the R): Swiss brioche ($3.00), canelé (from the region of Bordeaux, $2.00), and chamonix (named after the town, $2.00).  

The brioche is moist to refinement. It's simple and elegant--ideal with a nice café. Although it was the canelé pastry which was the yummiest surprise—the outer layer is hardened with a caramelized crust, while soft with a custard center—the after taste leads one wanting more.  And lastly, the mini white pastry shaped almost like an egg, chamonix: its outer glaze is filled with a madelaine cake, flavored with orange bits and other spices—the sugar richness will keep one going at least for a little while. 

Épicerie Gelati:  Hazelnut Passion Fruit,
underneath- Pistachio Rasberry.
Image by The NewsGallery.
That is until you bump into the gelato corner of the Épicerie, where one might surely be tempted if not simply to remedy ones curiosity of the featured flavors.  For two generous scoops ($4.50) you can try a hazelnut gelato infused with passion fruit, and then something like a pistachio raspberry concoction.  The gelati amalgamations are interesting and noteworthy—they may not necessarily overshadow some of the classic gelati aromas, but they're most certainly worth a try.  

The Executive Chef of Épicerie Boulud is Jonathan Kinsella, and Executive Pastry Chef is Ghaya F. Oliveira.  The Épicerie opened only about four weeks ago—along with its sister up-scale Boulud Sud—a Mediterranean inspired fusion restaurant.  

Daniel Boulud's restaurant DANIEL is a 3-Michelin-Star restaurant.  He currently has 12 restaurants —six of which are scattered in New York, where he resides—and the rest sprinkled in Miami, Vancouver, Palm Beach, Beijing, London, and at the Marine Bay Sands in Singapre.  The 56 years old gastronomy master, has also been recognized by the James Beard Foundation awards for Outstanding Restaurateur,  Outstanding Restaurant, Best Chef New York City, and Best Chef of the Year.

Épicerie Boulud

Restaurant/Cafe · New York, New York
Mon - Fri:7:00 am-8:00 pm
Sat - Sun:8:00 am-8:00 pm
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