Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Back Bay's Boylston Street is Bar Boulud in The Mandarin Oriental, Boston. The French-inspired bistro is a sister restaurant to Chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants in New York City and London.
After an exhausting, yet invigorating afternoon of fashionable boutique shopping on nearby Newbury Street or next door at Boston's iconic Prudential Center, with legendary stores such as Barneys New York, Gucci and Saks Fifth Avenue, Bar Boulud is the perfect respite to enjoy some fabulous seasonally-inspired favorites and a glass of wine or two from the extensive selection within their wine cellar.
Our favorite spot to cozy on up (especially during the winter months) is in the lounge, which is to the right after you walk in the entrance. If you're coming from the hotel, it's to your left after you pass through the long hall. We're a fan.
With many past visits under our belts, we started off by ordering some of our favorite dishes to share. PEI Malpeque oysters, escargot, peeky toe crab tartare, lemon sole meunière and classic steak frites all came to mind.
The escargot was prepared with burgundy snail, button mushrooms and almond, topped with delectable bite-size circular puff pasties, that when dipped into the parsley garlic butter — melt in your mouth. The peeky toe crab fresh from Maine is a gift unto itself. Between the endive, grapefruit, crème fraîche, celery and blood orange, we'll let you decide what the definition of decadent is.
TIP: A little-known Back Bay secret: Monday-Friday from 2-6pm, you can enjoy your favorite delicacy, oysters on the 1/2 shell, for only $1 each.
Once we were on to our second glass of wine, a 2011 Jean-Luc Colombo, Côtes du Rhône Syrah, we were more than eager to start on our entrees.
The lemon sole meunière is such a treat. If you're looking for something that's both French and melt-in-your-mouth certifiable, this is it. Since I'm a huge fan of capers, I love how the different elements blended into one unique taste between the macron almonds, cauliflower and brown butter.
It's hard to go wrong with steak frites, a classic dish. The hangar steak was perfectly seasoned and cooked very rare as requested. Served with watercress, crispy shallots and hearty hand-cut french fries to finish off your smile. Knowing that it's served with my absolute favorite, béarnaise sauce; I get so, so excited knowing I don't have to ask for it when I order. Although, I often ask for extra tarragon in my béarnaise. Guilty pleasures.
For dessert we opted for the Tarte au citron. Between the tantalizing meyer lemon custard, crunchy shortbread crumbs and intoxicating amaretto gelée... Wouldn't you?
During the late spring, summer and early fall, the people-watching patio which lines Boylston Street will be calling your name. That's where you'll find us. Until then, au revoir!