db Bistro Moderne - Star Quality French Gastronomy In Manhattan

Dining in New York offers excitement on so many levels, with many name chefs competing for the destination diners, but some chefs just focus on a great restaurant concept, beautiful ambience and superb food. This was the case with db Bistro Moderne in midtown Manhattan. mylifestylenews writes.

Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud has created quite a name for himself by establishing multiple successful dining destinations within Manhattan and some of his establishments may take weeks to get a reservation, but we were lucky to secure a table at his db Bistro Moderne. Located one block east of Times Square in New York City, this location generally attracts the pre-theater dining, after-theater dinner crowd as well as some of those working executives that come for their power lunch, as well as cocktails, desserts and perhaps more. But for us, it was not about location, but about his skills in the kitchen and championing his take on contemporary French bistro cuisine.

The location is perfect for ease of access and while the façade is small and discreet, the interior is chic and creates just the right mood. On entry, you are face to face with the handsome bar, stylish dining area adorned with arty shots of black and white dining and lifestyle photographs neatly inlayed into the wooden wall that leads to some banquette seating, which then segues into the main dining room, which is slightly more formal in design. For a more casual and comfortable feel, you can choose which dining area based on your mood, speed of eating, or ambience that you are looking for. We were more than happy to be seated in the banquette booths where we were in the middle of the action and had much anticipation about the menu, considering this was the location that Daniel Boulud launched his gourmet hamburger craze in 2001 that became the talk of the town and beyond.

We were looking forward to trying his signature dish, but there was much more in store for us as well. The menu features updated bistro classics with a modern twist and market-driven French-American cuisine, alongside traditional French specialties and seasonal dishes showcasing the Greenmarket’s finest produce. The menu was well crafted not to an extensive choice but precisely what a Bistro shall cater. With an offer of a US$60 three-course prix fixe from the entire a la carte dinner menu by Michelin star Chef’s standard, the offer is more than affordable with an average of US$35 for a main course especially in New York City. Simply unbeatable!

Since we were curious to try more dishes and some dishes for sharing, we were in for a gourmands treat. After a little taster of flatbreads with a little spicy dip, we dived into the menu proper and began our culinary sojourn.

<Lobster Salad>
Carolina shrimp, vegetable crudité, iceberg lettuce and aioli
This was a great start to the evening, with a wonderful flavor and not overdoing any component, to allow the fresh chunks of lobster meat to speak for itself.

<Pate Campagne>
Country liver pate, cornichons and celery root remoulade
We adore such rustic treats and this pate had a more refined texture than some with a wonderful subtle flavor that played out over a few mouthfuls and was served in a very generous portion.

<Rigatoni all’Amatriciana> 
Iberico paletta, guanciale and tomato ragu
It may look to you just like another pasta dish until you taste it. This was an outstanding dish and the sauce was the best we have ever tasted recently. The rigatoni soaked up the tomato ragu sauce entirely with the right amount used of Iberico palette and guanciale which balanced the entire sauce, giving harmony and exquisiteness to the palate. It was quite an emotional dish that was served to us of late with a happy tear shed for every morsel, which was an absolute delight. What a triumph and yet, so few ingredients with such clout, so masterfully executed to create such a memory for us. This dish is a godsend and like tears from heaven!

<The Original db Burger>
Sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffle, parmesan bun and pommes frites.
This burger truly lived up to the hype, with incredibly juicy and tender meat and a touch of exotica with the foie gras. It is all about the quality of the meat and the preparation and this sails above many so called gourmet burgers. A definite must try!

<Magret de Canard>
Roasted Duck Breast, cherries, turnips, fregola and duck jus.
This is synonymous with French cuisine and another outstanding dish, but using a vegetable that doesn’t exactly get a good rap these days. A well thought through combination that gave richness and tartness to the palate to create a well balanced offering.

<Filet Mignon>
Beef filet, pommes boulangère, charred radicchio and sauce au poivre
This was composed of two different cuts of the beef and each was superb and very generous in portion, with simple vegetables to offset the richness of the meat and sauce. Every bite was devoured with pleasure and the sauce was mopped up with bread, as it was too good not to enjoy to the last drop.

<Pistachio Nougat Glace>
Honey nougat, pistachio praline and cherry sorbet

What divine flavours and textures and we could not fault this dish. It is not often to see a cherry sorbet that was well made either and the intensity of the cherry flavor was to die for. The desserts were calling to us like a siren on the rocks! We had to try, even though our appetites were seriously waning, and just as well we did, because they are also a standout. A folded napkin of warm and fluffy shell-like petite Madeleines brought to our table by surprise which is not what we could see from the ordinary menu. There were easily more than 10 pieces inside and they were simply irresistible. The service staff told us that they only present that to their VIPs or regulars and we were honored being the first time diners to enjoy such an exclusive privilege.

<Chocolate Raspberry Tart>
Salted chocolate shortbread, manjari cremeux and raspberry sorbet
Equally stunning and what a superb presentation – it looked too beautiful to eat, but the flavours were exquisite and intense in all regards, that left us marveling at such techniques and choice of produce to create the divine flavours on the palate.

The front of house team were so warm and accommodating on arrival and for the whole evening, we felt cosseted by their attention and willingness to recommend dishes and wines and the bottle of Chateau Maris from the south west of France, Languedoc, was the perfect accompaniment for the evening. We could not fault the team and left with a heavy heart, as we knew we would not be back for some time, but so many more dishes to try. If you have a desire to enjoy superb chic and star quality French bistro cuisine with a contemporary touch, the eponymous db Bistro Moderne is to be chosen without hesitation.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Experience: 5/5

Rigatoni all’Amatriciana
The Original db Burger

55 W 44th St, New York
Tel:+1 212 391 2400

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated. 

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