Review: Daniel Boulud

September 3, 2008
Restaurant week, day two… dinner was at Daniel Boulud inside Wynn. The dining room was fairly empty when we arrived for our seven o’clock reservation. However, it was filled by the time we wrapped up our meal. We were seated inside with a partial view of the Lake of Dreams. We caught one show during our meal; it consisted of a large frog singing “What a Wonderful World”.

Service was sufficient; we were well taken care of for the most part. However, timing was a bit off, we had a significant wait for our entree and dessert.

We got started with a bread basket, which offered three varieties: French, wheat and some sort of fruit. All were quite good. Tarte flambe followed, it was similar to a flat bread pizza, and it was topped with caramelized onion and bacon. It was enjoyable.

Appetizers were up next, Frank selected chilled corn soup and I had chicken and chanterelle ballotine en croute. Frank’s soup was accompanied by little beignets filled with crab, those were delicious. The soup had a nice corn flavor, but served cold it reminded me of baby food. Frank only had a few bites before he turned it over to me. When I got to the bottom of the dish, I was rewarded with a piece of ham and corn kernels. My ballotine was rich and flavorful. It was best paired with country bread and mustard.

After that, we dug into our entrees. Frank chose the Berkshire pork duo while I had crispy duck confit. The presentations of both dishes were beautiful. The duo consisted of pork belly and loin wrapped in bacon. Each was juicy and full of flavor. We agreed it was better executed here than at Nobhill, when we had the same dish, a month or so ago. The duck was fantastic, so tender and moist; it practically melted in my mouth. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. Frank thought it was great, too.

Lastly, we were served dessert. Frank had chocolate molten cake accompanied by pistachio ice cream. I chose a trio of tropical desserts, banana soufflé, a chocolate coconut tower, and pineapple sorbet. All was delicious with the exception of the pineapple sorbet. It had more bite than I like, I’ve never tasted anything with such a great abundance of pineapple flavor. The banana soufflé was the highlight. It tasted like a freshly baked banana muffin.

Overall, Daniel Boulud provided us with a great meal, we were happy we tried it. However, neither of us was blown away. We won’t rush back to sample the regular menu.

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