Bar Boulud is award-winning chef Daniel Boulud’s first UK venture, and although he is relatively unknown on this side of the pond, he has been stirring up the restaurant scene in New York for 18 years. There, he is the clout behind five restaurants including Daniel, the three-Michelin-starred flagship on Upper East side. The DB brand also has restaurants in Palm Beach, Miami, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Beijing.
It is this brand that Boulud brought over to the UK in May 2010 when he decided London, a city known for literally eating and spitting out many a restaurateurs’ dream, would be his next frontier. And although the restaurant and wine bar is located within Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, the cuisine is decidedly French bistro with a heavy American bent and slight Middle Eastern influences: Coq au Vin coexists peacefully alongside NY-style burgers and Tunisian spicy lamb Merguez sausages, while grilled Scottish scallops do the same with Austrian pork sausages. Beverage-wise, a fully-comprehensive wine list boasts an impressive selection of old- and new-world wines from the Burgundy and Rhône Valley regions. And while the menu may be a tad overwhelming at first glance, the helpful attention by the waiters and the sommelier help make the selection process a whole lot easier.
One could be forgiven for thinking a restaurant owned by a three Michelin-starred chef which is also situated within a five-star hotel would be stiff , prim and unrelaxed. Not this one. Bar Boulud manages to offer top-notch nosh in a casual, dressed up atmosphere with equally relaxed prices. How else can one describe the extremely affordable prix fixe menu of £22 for three courses?
LTB tip: Ask to taste any two of Bar Boulud’s sausages for a starter to sample some of the restaurant’s range of delicious sausages. If you’re there with a companion you’ll end up tasting four flavourful sausages in just one sitting. Yum!
Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oreindal Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London . Call 0207 201 3899 or visit www.barboulud.com to make a reservation.