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db Bistro Moderne, Chef Brian Loiacono's Modern French Bistro on 44th and 6th in Midtown West

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I have been to this Boulud outpost maybe 4 or 5 times dating back to I think 2003 or so. It was quite nice back then. Then, I went there for lunch a couple of times with a vendor for the overly wrought burger for fun. It was all good.

Then, last fall, went again pre-theater of all things and WOW. They'd updated the dining room a bit it seemed, and the menu was great. Really great. Good wine list if a bit overpriced. GREAT service/staff. My only regret was not taking proper tme to give the place a lingering meal for justice. Next time.

I've been luck enough to go to db, Cafe Boulud, Bar Boulud, Danie; and I think another instance, this db experience was near the top of the heap. Honestly, Daniel was kind of a let down (aside from the over the top service, which was a hoot). My wife and I were walking quite a few blocks after the meal as we are wont to do, and we both came to the realization 'Palena is better.' (sad in retrospect now, but true!). And Daniel itself was no slouch by any means whatsoever. It was quite fine.

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OK, we went again after a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see an almost gone exhibit. They were so on last time, we wanted to take our time here and indulge and we were not disappointed. More soon with pictures. This after a pretty spectacular lunch at Eataly's seafood thinger dinger. 

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This restaurant was the first of the Boulud empire we ever tried - probably back in 2002/3/4 (cannot remember). We've since been to Cafe Boulud (2nd favorite), Daniel (amazing), DBGB (NYC), Bar Boulud and I think maybe one more (plus the local DC one now). This was very good back then, and we've been maybe 3 or 4 more times and I went for lunch maybe twice. It's always been good.  We were in NYC last year to see Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan in two plays back to back and, prior to one of the performances, dined pre theater here. It was so damn good we knew we had to come back when we had more time.  So when we wanted to come up for a day to see an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we knew we'd hit here, despite so many other fine choices in town.

It did not disappoint. Solid service, great discussion with the sommelier about the wines I'd had it narrowed down to in order to get one that worked with both of our mains, nice cocktails, and really, really good food.

Food pictures below.

Pate en Croute

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Escargot Fricasee

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Amish Chicken

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Venison Chops

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Cafe au Lait

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Ruby Red Grapefruit

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Escargot Fricasee

attachicon.gifEscargot Fricasee.jpg

For the five people left in DC who remember, the home-run dish at "Palladin" restaurant in The Watergate (the excellent younger-sibling restaurant of "Jean-Louis" by the great Jean-Louis Palladin) was the fricassee of snails. It was the best dish being served in DC at the time - if you all only knew just how great Palladin was (both the bistro and the chef), you would have been flocking to get this fricassee of snails. Sigh ... I'll bet Regine remembers it. I'll bet Gerard Pangaud does too - I'm going to write him and ask him.

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For the five people left in DC who remember, the home-run dish at "Palladin" restaurant in The Watergate (the excellent younger-sibling restaurant of "Jean-Louis" by the great Jean-Louis Palladin) was the fricassee of snails. It was the best dish being served in DC at the time - if you all only knew just how great Palladin was (both the bistro and the chef), you would have been flocking to get this fricassee of snails. Sigh ... I'll bet Regine remembers it. I'll bet Gerard Pangaud does too - I'm going to write him and ask him.

 

Well I sure do not. What was amazing about the fricassee was actually the chicken oysters (well really all of it). I love snails!

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Took some clients to DB Bistro yesterday. Note to those planning on going in the near future: due to some major construction in the neighborhood there is a reduced amount of electricity/ gas available for the restaurant and grill items (like the burger) may not be available. If you are intent on trying the burger that started the "high end" burger craze, call ahead.

DB has become quite a hot spot for lunch given its proximity to the midtown financial institutions. In fact, I took two clients to lunch and sat across the room from some other clients! That said, our meal did not suffer for the restaurant being filled to capacity.

I had the spring pea consomme and the coq au vin. The spring pea consomme consisted of a bowl filled with some peas, sauteed leek and onions, a pea puree, and some thinly sliced mushrooms. The consomme was poured into the bowl tableside, which melted the puree into the soup. This was a very nice, light starter and the spring peas were very nice, although the composed dish could have used a shake or two of salt. I made do without since I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the meal and salt/ pepper were not on the table.

Coq au vin was a very generous portion, served insanely hot (like molten hot), along with spatzle. The sauce was extremely unctuous, and could have used another shake of salt (albeit a very small one) despite the bacon lardons included in the dish. All in all a very good rendition of a classic dish - the spaztle was served in a separate steel ramekin and was fine, although the presentation made it a bit awkward to include the spaztle into the dish the coq came in, were one inclined to do so.

I hadn't been back to DB since 2005 if I had to guess, and this visit was solid, I'll certainly head back for client lunches in the future, although not before I visit a few more spots in the neighborhood first (like Hunt and Fish Club). Not sure I would make the trek over for a dinner, but I suppose that you could do worse pre-theater in the neighborhood.

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On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2015 at 7:02 PM, DonRocks said:

For the five people left in DC who remember, the home-run dish at "Palladin" restaurant in The Watergate (the excellent younger-sibling restaurant of "Jean-Louis" by the great Jean-Louis Palladin) was the fricassee of snails. It was the best dish being served in DC at the time - if you all only knew just how great Palladin was (both the bistro and the chef), you would have been flocking to get this fricassee of snails. Sigh ... I'll bet Regine remembers it. I'll bet Gerard Pangaud does too - I'm going to write him and ask him.

Funny that I just came across this. The dish was a fricassee of fresh snails, sweetbreads and mushrooms. The dish was risky because it was a salt magnet. J-L had a notoriously heavy hand with salt. It was always hilarious when the live snails were delivered. We would find snails on the walls and ceiling of the kitchen. 

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