Chef Daniel Boulud’s beloved Midtown db bistro moderne will debut a completely redesigned space by Jeffrey Beers International and a newly-crafted menu by Chef Jim Burke in collaboration with Daniel Boulud on Saturday, September 21.
For the remodeled space, Boulud again tapped Jeffrey Beers, who created the original db bistro in 2001. JBI's new design modernizes the concept, creating a French restaurant that feels quintessentially New York. Inspired by the restaurant's location where Times Square meets Midtown, JBI designed interiors that are as elegant and tailored as a bespoke suit, adapting classic materials—walnut, glass, antiqued mirrors—to entertain the restaurant's stylish audience. JBI's design energizes the space with the addition of a striking new bar in the front room and an intimate room with soft grey leather booths, and mirrors etched with archival maps of both France and New York City.
Executive Chef Jim Burke, originally from Philadelphia, joins the db bistro team most recently from Caffè Storico in the New York Historical Society of Manhattan. Burke has worked at the award-winning restaurant Vetri, Angelina and his own property JAMES. He is a Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef of 2008, three-time James Beard Award ‘Best Chef Mid-Atlantic’ Semi-Finalist, and Bocuse d’Or USA 2010 Finalist.
The restaurant remains a classic Parisian bistro, romancing the regional cuisines of France, from Alsace to Provence and everything in between, while infusing the bounty and sensibilities of New York City throughout. Images of France hang beside maps of modern Manhattan; cozy wood paneling and terracotta floors bring to mind French bistros and the modern comforts of New York City; ‘Cuisine du Marché’ dishes spotlight local farmers’ seasonal produce; classic French dishes are reinterpreted alongside the ever popular—and famous—Original db Burger and Alsatian Tarte Flambée.
“Like me, db bistro moderne has roots in the French countryside and traces of American experiences as a cook and a chef, and some of my favorite French bistro dishes now on the menu reflect that duality,” says Chef Boulud. “I am very excited about the renaissance of this modern bistro and doing my part to add to the vibrancy of the NYC restaurant scene.”
The menu will feature ‘Cuisine Classique,’ interpretations of some of Daniel’s favorite classic bistro dishes, and ‘Cuisine du Marché,’ seasonal dishes capturing the spontaneity of the market. To start, diners are encouraged to sample ‘Bouchées A Partager,’ dishes to share, which display a French culinary tour from Alsace (Alsatian Tarte Flambée), to Monaco (Barbajuans Monegasque), to Lyon (Assiette de Charcuterie), and beyond. In ‘Classique,’ Boulud reaches into the past of his culinary roots and presents dishes such as the Old World classic Salmon Coulibiac, served for two in a brioche crust with mushrooms, spinach and dill rice. Francophiles will also be pleased by Pot Au Feu, beef broth with short rib, oxtail, bone marrow and horseradish cream and Dover Sole ‘Veronique,’ with cauliflower and Muscat sauce a classic from the 1960s in New York’s French restaurants. From the ‘Marché,’ a creamy risotto reverberates with Fennel Pollen—a spice Chef Jim Burke harvested regularly during a year spent in Tuscany—and is topped with barely-cooked blue prawn; a house-made Garganelli rich with rabbit ragout and strewn with fall roots satisfies a desire for pasta. The db Market Salad is filled with vegetables du jour such as heirloom tomatoes, beans and zucchini, and Jamison Lamb Loin from Pennsylvania is accompanied by glazed eggplant and chickpeas.
The Wine Cellar, curated by Sommelier Joseph Camper and Boulud group Wine Director Daniel Johnnes, represents the bounty and terroir of regional France. Whether one’s preference lies with the classic wines of Burgundy and the Rhône, precise and mineral-driven Chablis, or hidden gems from Jura and the South, the cellar offers value-oriented selections from favorite producers. Preceding the ‘Blanc’ and ‘Rouge’ sections is a list of Vins Blanc, Rosé, Rouge de la Maison—classic bistro wines selected by Camper and Johnnes. Turn the page and a collection of ‘Rising Stars of Chablis’ include Pommier, Dampt and Pattes Loup and ‘Undisputed Greats’ allow for vertical tastings of Louis Michel, Rene et Vincent Dauvissat and Francois Raveneau Grand Crus. By-the-glass offerings highlight varietals for all tastes, and a limited selection of rare treasures are poured using the revolutionary Coravin system, such as Didier Dagueneau, Pouilly Fumé ‘Silex’ 2009 and Ballot Millot, Meursault 2010. At the new cocktail bar a list of CLASSIQUE (Jack Rose, Astoria Martini, Boulevardier, Old Cuban) and MODERNE cocktails are crafted with care from seasonal ingredients such as the Try, Try Again with Rye, Byrrh, Pomegranate, and Champagne and The Early Voyager with Cognac, Fernet, Coffee, Maple and Mint.