Dining at Bar Boulud, one of the many restaurants of acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud, never disappoints: the food is great and a perfect representation of classic French dishes, like the cassoulet that has become more popular in New York the past few years, with even an annual competition where the best Chefs across the country are dueling over a very comforting dish for the title of best cassoulet in New York. This competition is called The Cassoulet War, a perfect name for a dish that was created during the 100 year war between France and Britain, in Castelnaudary (South West of France), with duck confit, pork shoulder and sausage while the city was besieged and people were asked to bring whatever ingredients they had to prepare a stew and feed the soldiers.
Winner of the 2019 Cassoulet War, Bar Boulud has been showcasing this dish, but not just its own. For one week in February, they offered Le Cassoulet Montalbanais from Parisian Chef Christian Constant who has been crowned World Champion of cassoulet. Made with Tarbais beans (you can find them on Amazon by the way), Toulouse sausage (a classic pork sausage used in cassoulet recipes), braised lamb, pork belly and duck confit.
Hearty and comforting, I loved it, but I admit that I loved even more the one from Bar Boulud, crafted by Chef Dieter Samijn, made with Tarbais beans, suckling pig, Bacon, D’Artagnan duck confit and Toulouse sausage. Cooked for several hours, this cassoulet is sublime: smokey, meaty and very comforting. Know that this dish is not at this time on their menu as a bit heavy for the summer, but it will be back for sure.
That does not mean you should only go to Bar Boulud for that dish: they have others, like the oeuf mayonnaise that are the French deviled eggs, made with Dijon mustard and herbs:
Or Daniel Boulud signature gougeres, these cheesy choux that can be so addictive (they are pretty big…):
If you are vegetarian, it can be a bit challenging as most of the dishes are for non-vegetarians, but Jodi loved their cauliflower risotto that was not like a side dish quickly put together, and also tried their Spring salad, made with snap peas, sugar snap, fava beans, mesclun greens goat cheese , radish, with a lemon vinaigrette.
With the meal, you can get a glass of wine or, ike me, a glass of Pastis, a refreshing anis based liquor, or their Upper Manhattan (bourbon, carpano antica, allspice dram).
Of course, dessert is a must have, although I did not like the ilke flottante that had an off taste, but loved the Gateau Basque, an almond custard cake served with brandied cherries.
So, I can’t wait for the fall or winter to get what I consider the best cassoulet in New York and definitely recommend this place. That does not mean that I will not go back to try other dishes: their food is simply delicious and truly represent the French culinary tradition.
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!
Bar Boulud - 1900 Broadway, Upper East Side, NY 10023