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The Payoff: Café Boulud

Today, as expected, Frank Bruni awarded three stars to Café Boulud.

As I predicted, Bruni included a backhanded slap at Boulud’s flagship, the four-star Daniel, saying that Café Boulud is “the most consistently enjoyable” of the chef’s restaurants. Daniel is the only four-star restaurant in New York that Bruni has not yet reviewed. The comment certainly suggests that it might not retain its lofty perch when Bruni finally gets around to it. Indeed, I suspect the only reason he hasn’t done so is that he has no other restaurant to replace it with, and he doesn’t want the four-star club to dwindle below its current five members.

The review was one of the few times Bruni has been able to visit this type of restaurant without bitching about the elegant service that top-tier restaurants offer. Unlike most people, Frank is actually offended when you pamper him. But the best he could say, was that Café Boulud is “no less fun to visit in this informal dining era.” Though that’s a compliment coming from Frank, I doubt the Boulud empire will be pulling it as a teaser quote.

And isn’t it just typical that it was a pasta dish that sealed Frank’s opinion that Café Boulud still deserved the three stars it earned from Ruth Reichl?

Both Eater and NYJ win $3 on our hypothetical $1 bets.

          Eater        NYJ
Bankroll $36.60   $33.67
Gain/Loss +3.00   +3.00
Total $39.50   $36.67
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 15–4   13–6

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