Boulud Sud (NYC Restaurant Week)

As a foodie, I just had to attend Restaurant Week in New York City during the summer. During a specific time (actually not a week but more like a month or so) in the summer and winter, NYC restaurants offer prix-fixe lunches for $25 and dinners for $38. But it took me forever to get to it.

NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week

I’m not the type of foodie who has to go to that exclusive restaurant to try their elusive dishes. No. I prefer the street stands and simple foods. Sure I like the fancier stuff, but girl has a poor college student budget! I have to eat cheap yet delicious food. So I tend to find myself in Flushing’s New World Mall food court. They do a good job at satisfying my appetite and wallet.

New World Mall in Flushing, Queens, NY

New World Mall in Flushing, Queens, NY

My friend actually made the reservations after I decided I really didn’t care where we ate. Based on my frugal selection of food, any restaurant participating in Restaurant Week would be a step, no a leap, up from where I’ve been dining. I usually aim for less than $15 per meal, but $38 for an entire meal! Even I consider $30 to be the maximum price for a pair of jeans. It sure made a dent in my wallet but what a experience eating at Boulud Sud.

It was so fancy. Nothing compared to crowded tables in a food court or ordering at a counter and waiting for your number to be called. Here, you sit down at a table, which already have plates and probably more to come as dishes arrive, which is when you begin sympathizing for the dishwasher. My usual dining places usually use disposable dishes. What a change of pace. Cloth napkins are already folded before you when I usually have to grab a handful of paper napkins. There were also wine glasses. But too bad, I’m under 21-years-old.

Table setting

Table setting

A waiter, who takes the time to recite the special of the day, hands the menu to you. I listened, but I know I wouldn’t order those because I had my eye on the special Restaurant Week menu. Anything additional would just raise the already high $38 check. At New World Mall? You hear tons of shouting. Chinese is everywhere and even though I’m learning Chinese, I still have trouble deciphering the menu. I tend to rely on the English or ask the cashier for help. I try to act all innocent and childish so I don’t seem like a stupid 19-year-old illiterate Chinese girl.

It’s been awhile since I ate at Boulud Sud. Actually, I ate there on August 14. I admit, I’m a procrastinator, but better late than never, right? However, I do the preparation. Even now in China, I haven’t found the time to blog, but I’ve been taking pictures and writing notes about the food I’ve tasted. As for this meal, I took pictures and took notes on my phone. My observations of the food will be based on memory and the notes I took, which I’m now deciphering.

It’s hard to blog about food. It’s a curse but you can’t help but do it! It’s like I’m Ella from Ella Enchanted. Instead of having to follow orders, I have to follow my stomach. When I sit down for a meal, I pull out my giant camera and while eating, I take notes on my phone. I take a bite and think. Along the way, I make typos because I’m so impatient that I want to eat already! It sucks that food cools while you’re trying to get the perfect picture of it. It’s a sacrifice that I’m willing to make to have the memory of the food after I’ve devoured it.

Bread

Bread with olive oil (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

Bread with olive oil (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

The bread came free of charge. I don’t remember the taste of the bread that was meant to be dipped in oil. I’m sure it tasted delicious.

Pan-fried pancakes (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

Pan-fried pancakes (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

There was also a pancake that tasted very similar to Chinese pancakes, bing (饼). The smell and texture of it reminded me of bing. But I’m sure that idea of pan-frying dough in oil is universal. Such a simple dish but oh so satisfying!

APPETIZER

Ouzo Cured Salmon – Whole Wheat Bulgar, Cucumber, Dill Yogurt

Ouzo Cured Salmon – Whole Wheat Bulgar, Cucumber, Dill Yogurt (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

Ouzo Cured Salmon – Whole Wheat Bulgar, Cucumber, Dill Yogurt (Photo Credit: Richard Ke) 

The salmon was very light and refreshing. Perfect for an appetizer to prepare you for the entrée and finally the dessert. The pickles added a tangy taste, which added onto the refreshing taste of the salmon.

Unknown Fried Pork Dish (friend)

Unknown fried pork appetizer

Unknown fried pork appetizer

My friend ordered the dish that was off the Restaurant Week menu. I don’t have the name of it but I remember that it was fried pork. I do not remember what it tasted like but my notes say: “Fried pork creamy inside. Rich because fried but veggies balance it.” I’m not sure how fried pork is creamy… As for the latter, I know that I tend to find fried food rather rich. I probably thought it was too heavy but with the vegetables, it prevented it from becoming too overwhelming.

Cross-section of unknown fried pork appetizer (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

Cross-section of unknown fried pork appetizer I guess it looks creamy on the inside? (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

ENTRÉE

Charred Berkshire Pork Loin – Market Bean, Chorizo, Oregano

Charred Berkshire Pork Loin – Market Bean, Chorizo, Oregano (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

Charred Berkshire Pork Loin – Market Bean, Chorizo, Oregano (Photo Credit: Richard Ke)

I originally thought the pork would be very tender because it had a light color. I usually think of fat when I see that type of color, since my parents cook beef with the fat still attached. It has a rather slippery, but soft texture. However, I forgot that pork is usually light in color. I do wish the pork was softer, but that is probably from my initial misidentification.

The pork loin had a slight saltiness. Paired with the sauce, which I’m assuming is the market beans, it was almost as if eating mashed potatoes. It was very smooth and therefore had a nice consistency.  The small hard pieces of meat added spice and had a bacon flavor. I believe this was the chorizo, which I’ve heard of many times on food shows but have never tasted before. It tasted amazing.

Za’atar Spiced Swordfish- Rice Pilaf, eggplant, lemon tahini (friend)

Za’atar Spiced Swordfish- Rice Pilaf, eggplant, lemon tahini

Za’atar Spiced Swordfish- Rice Pilaf, eggplant, lemon tahini

My friend ordered this. I think I got a small bite of it but I didn’t take down any notes. I’m sure it tasted great. It looks very pretty.

DESSERT

Chocolate Panna Cotta – Caramel, Raspberry Foam, Chocolate Sorbet

DSC00219

Chocolate Panna Cotta – Caramel, Raspberry Foam, Chocolate Sorbet

The panna cotta and sorbet just melt in your mouth. Exquisite texture. There is an appetizing dark chocolate flavor, which I don’t usually say since I usually dislike dark chocolate. So the fact that Boulud Sud was able to make me say I liked the dark chocolate is quite a feat. Well-done.

I liked that this dessert had a lot of juxtaposition. You had the soft panna cotta and sorbet contrasting with the crunch rice-crispy like bits. There were many flavors, from the bitter dark chocolate to the sweet caramel to the tangy tart raspberry foam. I loved getting a bit of each component and having them combine in my mouth as I experienced each flavor and texture, not only individually, but also together. They worked in total harmony.

Orange Blossom Cloud – Sangria Blackberries, Rose-Marzipan Gelato

Orange Blossom Cloud – Sangria Blackberries, Rose-Marzipan Gelato

Orange Blossom Cloud – Sangria Blackberries, Rose-Marzipan Gelato

Very interesting dessert. I actually wrote: “reminiscent of soap but I want more.” I guess that was the best way I could describe the dessert. The white portions were very fluffy and I even called it “strange.” I don’t remember much about it but my notes sure demonstrate my confused but admiring thoughts for this dessert.

Final Thoughts

I like fancy restaurants. Maybe instead of dining in cheap stands, I should cook more at home and save up for these type of restaurants. NYC Winter Restaurant Week? At least if I do this, then I’ll have more cooking blog posts…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s