REVIEW #66

db Bistro Moderne

As the name implies, db Bistro Moderne is a modern interpretation of the classic French bistro, one that French-born Daniel Boulud also coats with an American gloss. The style of the cuisine is difficult to categorize, as much of the traditionally rustic bistro fare has been gussied up to reflect the haute-leanings of Boulud. The most obvious example is the db Burger, which has long been the most prominent item on the menu. "Burger" is of course a bit of a misnomer for this $32 haute creation that consists of a thick chunk of ground sirloin that has been stuffed with red-wine braised short ribs that have themselves been laced with foie gras and black truffles, garnished with slices of slow roasted tomato confit, freshly grated horseradish sauce and frisée lettuce, served inside a soft housemade toasted Parmesan and onion bun. It is accompanied by a silver stirrup cup of pommes soufflés. This may be an American concept, but it is a thoroughly French execution. The burger is always worth ordering at least once, particularly on your first visit. But the less heralded food at DB Bistro Moderne is sometimes even better. Executive Chef Laurent Kalkotour’s Mediterranean heritage manifests itself in exquisite seasonal interpretations that draw on French, Spanish and Italian influences.

The setting is contemporary with two dining rooms linked by a paneled wine bar with glowing wine displays. The more casual front room is dominated by a series of large floral photographs by Christopher Beane that pick up the deep red-rubbed plaster walls and are reflected in oversized mirrors on the opposite wall. The inspiration is European modernism of the 1910’s and 20’s. The more formal back dining room has a more subdued color palette with celadon green painted glass and a row of Wenge wood-framed mirrors atop the upholstered banquettes. The restaurant makes a wonderful pre- or post-theater option and, like all of Boulud’s restaurants, is a near perfect execution of the initial creative concept.

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INFORMATION

Midtown East
55 W. 44th St.
New York (nr. Fifth Ave.)
212-391-2400
Mon, 7am-10am, noon-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm; Tue-Thu, 7am-10am, noon-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm; Fri, 7am-10pm, noon-2:30pm, 5pm-11:30pm; Sat, 8am-2:30pm, 5pm-11:30pm; Sun, 8am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
    Daniel Boulud, Chef
    Laurent Kalkotour, Executive Chef
    Ashley Brauze, Pastry Chef
    Caleb Ganzer, Sommelier

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