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“Bar Boulud”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out French Upper West Side Moderate Great

The day started off like most others. I woke up, made some coffee, went to the gym, and did some writing. But by 2 o’clock things had changed drastically—and dramatically. There were roller skates. There was disco dancing. There were Greek Gods, curses, and spells. There were leg warmers. In other words, Xanadu—The Musical.

You see, Kathy, Julie and I were in the mood to play hooky and had planned a day of silliness and indulgence. What could be better than a matinee of Xanadu and a post-roller disco meal of charcuterie at Daniel Boulud’s latest temple of wonder and satisfaction, Bar Boulud? As we found out, not much.

Before we get to the exquisite (and preposterously caloric) experience that is dining at Bar Boulud, I must say a few more words about Xanadu. (Cue “Got to believe we are magic.”) This musical is a must-see. It is soaked in hilarious 80s-isms, drenched in sarcasm, and has its tongue so firmly planted in cheek that you will split your sides with laughter. I was doubled over in my seat for a time. And by the end of the show I was singing, swaying, and dancing with Kathy and Julie in the small space in front of our seats. We were not alone. The entire audience was on its feet. The experience was truly rare and amazing. So, here’s the thing. If you’re feeling the weight of the world, having a bad week, dealing with a load of crap in any part of your life, I really do advise a matinee. It’s a short show (no intermission), not even two hours, just go. And then, do as we did. Take the 1 train to Lincoln Center for dinner at Bar Boulud. And let life’s pleasures continue.

Bar Boulud, which was designed by Thomas Schlesser, is quite a marked change from the set of Xanadu. There are no Grecian columns, no bandanas, or short shorts. Daniel wanted to do something different and more casual than his previous projects with Bar Boulud—a restaurant that reflects the rustic and rich cuisine of his hometown Lyon—but an ‘80s roller disco was not in the cards this time. (One can only hope for next time.)

The striking blond wooded room is long and lean and boasts a vaulted wine barrel ceiling and soft butter colored walls hung with handmade wine-stained prints. (These make for creative Rorschach conversation after a few glasses of wine.) While I was a bit disappointed not to find the staff delivering charcuterie and wine in short shorts, ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Upper West Side :
+ 'Cesca   + Asiate   + Blue Hill Stone Barns   + Per Se   + The Neptune Room   + Spigolo   + Telepan   + Aix Brasserie   + 'Cesca   + Bar Boulud   + Dovetail   + BarBao   + Dinosaur Bar-be-Que   + Kefi   + Bar Luna   + Ed's Chowder House   + Red Rooster, by Rachel Barbarotta   + Loi by Dara Pollak   

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