Do you have a top 5 restaurant list?  Well I do and I have to say, until a few weeks ago, it was a top 3.  I’m a tough patron to please.  I cook at home, own a catering company and enjoy food.  With knowledge of flavor profiles, cooking techniques and an affinity for fresh ingredients, I can be a tough critic.

What makes a top restaurant to me?  A meal that has me oooing and ahhhing from start to finish that leaves me salivating for days.

The last time I had a restaurant make my top list was about 3 years ago.  Mark, Ava and I still talk about our amazing lunch at the Lowe’s Boathouse in Central Park.  Well thank goodness my top 5 had room for one more.

Daniel Boulud’s BAR BOULUD.  This is a restaurant I spotted a few years ago when we were in New York’s Lincoln Center for Ava’s graduation.  Needless to say, it was way to busy to even entertain the idea.

Fast forward to last month.  After attending the Baldor food show in Manhattan, myself, Mark & his sous chef Mike were obviously looking for a great place to have a cocktail.  We thought we’d head over to the Empire Hotel’s rooftop lounge.  Apparently they’re not open on Mondays, but hey lucky for us.  I spot the cluster of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants across the street and quickly recommend we head over to their sidewalk seating.

I never would have guessed that my next favorite meal was about to come.  As it is a French restaurant, I was resigning myself to having something a bit more rich than the fare I’d usually go for.  To my pleasant surprise, that wasn’t the case.

We definitely splurged on the escargot.  I haven’t had it in years as it’s usually drenched in butter, not this time.  The escargot came in the most perfect cast iron pan smothered with a garlic parsley almond paste…..pure perfection!  And those perfectly bite sized potato croquettes!

Just as I was about to give into a decedent burger, I spot the Cabillaud Confit.  Olive oil poached cod, peas & fava beans with farro risotto.  Sold!  Mmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmm.  I’m still salivating!  Not only was it beautifully presented, it was delicate and mouth watering.  I didn’t want it to end.


The guys were as excited as I was to get their meals.  Mark opted for a duo plate of sausages ,blood and truffled pork over celery root puree.

Mike went for pork jowl and veal sweetbreads.  If you ask my, my dinner was the hands down best of the best.

Oh my, we were almost embarrassed at the “clean plate club” we left behind.  It seriously looks like we licked our plates.  Needless to say, we highly recommend this restaurant.