I really wanted to be impressed and amazed… but, alas, I wasn’t. It has a great pedigree – established by French superstar chef Daniel Boulud, currently in residence in NYC with a rack of Michelin Stars. It has a great concept – charcuterie, terrines and Anglo-French comfort foods. But, somehow, it just doesn’t come together.
The place was certainly abuzz when I arrived. There are two main dining areas. One, is very canteen-style and noisy. It even has a food bar facing the kitchen, as if you were going to eat sushi by yourself. Then, there is a cosier-style dining area with larger, more plush-looking banquettes. Behind this is a bigger bar with a seating area.
Everything is very loud. Furniture looks a bit cheap and furnishings a bit kitsch. The main bar is covered in zinc, which is practical but not very nice to languish at.
I was shown to a table in the canteen area. This was precisely NOT where I wanted to sit.
The menu had a nice selection and everything sounded really great. But the reality fell short of the expectation. The food was fine but not memorable. I did enjoy the ‘Piggy Burger’ but it wasn’t the greatest burger of all time and certainly not something I would go all the way to Bar Boulud to eat again.
The staff were friendly and made a good wine suggestion but I left feeling a bit empty. It was as if a lot of money had been spent for a pretty average experience – and at one of London’s finest addresses to boot.
Oh, well. It’s nice to see that at least the restaurant business is thriving nonetheless, as the place was truly packed. Otherwise, I think there are better culinary experiences on offer. I give an extra point, however, for a novel menu.