It’s Christmas Eve and we thought very appropriate to share our review of Café Boulud as it just might be the best present Toronto has received in a long time. I do consider myself a sort of expert when it comes to Chef Boulud’s endeavor in the new Four Seasons Hotel – I dined there three times in one month. Never once was I disappointed.
When I read Joanne Kates’ article I was led amiss by her last line: “does Toronto really need Daniel Boulud?” My answer is yes, and here’s why: While Toronto is filled with fantastic restaurants, there are few that are always consistent, offer an international vibe, have chic and elegant décor, and the food creation is outstanding. Café Boulud does all this. Oh, and did you know this is the first Michelin star chef to grace the Toronto dining scene? In a city like ours, it seems crazy that we only now see a Michelin star chef open a restaurant.
Consistency is difficult for a restaurant to accomplish yet is also the most important key to having lasting success. Having dined at Café Boulud three times in its first three months of service, I was amazed by its consistency. After my 2nd meal there, it became very obvious that General Manager, Hani Roustom, is the man behind the front of house and why everything seems to always go seamlessly. Having been in the business for so long, it’s an automatic reflex to watch restaurant teams at work. In this case, I am very impressed at how well Roustom works the room with his team. He knows what’s going on in every corner, helps his team execute excellent service and greets guests like they’re family – including myself and my family.
On my third visit to Café Boulud, I put my family on camera to get their reactions to the expertise that is Chef Daniel Boulud. My father is a well-traveled man to say the least – I like to say he goes around the world once a month, though that may be a slight exaggeration… However, he has been to many great restaurants and dined in several Michelin-star restaurants. It seemed only right to put him in our vlog. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner, and at this point I have tried almost everything on the menu. I will say that my favourite dish is the Octopus a la Plancha. Funnily enough, the first time I dined there I asked Roustom what his favourite dish was and this was it. Only on my third experience there did I try it and it truly is an outstanding plate. The octopus is cooked perfectly and the marcona almond paste drizzled on the outside of the plate is what makes this dish unique and elegant – just like the restaurant. Watch and see what else we enjoyed – I guarantee you will want to make reservations ASAP.
So – do we need Daniel Boulud in Toronto? Definitely, and I say it’s about time.