We are in Daniel Boulud’s cafe at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida dozens of times a year. It and The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia are our two favorites on America’s east coast.
Now Boulud has launched a new New York City restaurant at One Vanderbilt named Le Pavillon. Charles Passy describes Boulud’s new venture in The Wall Street Journal quoted below, writing:
For more than 25 years, the French-born chef Daniel Boulud has impressed New Yorkers with his cuisine, earning Michelin stars and rave reviews from critics. Along the way, he has expanded his empire—not just within the city, but also throughout the U.S. and even abroad.
Now, Mr. Boulud is tackling what might be his greatest challenge: opening a high-profile dining spot opposite Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal at a time when the city is still recovering from the pandemic.
Le Pavillon, Mr. Boulud’s new 11,000-square-foot restaurant situated at the One Vanderbilt office tower, was created and will be operated in financial partnership with SL Green Realty Corp. , the developer behind the $3.3 billion building that opened last September. Mr. Boulud will begin welcoming diners Wednesday, which is also the first day New York state will allow restaurants in the city to operate at 100% capacity for indoor service while maintaining proper social distancing. Mr. Boulud’s team said the timing was coincidental.
Much like One Vanderbilt itself, Le Pavillon has been in the works for years. Marc Holliday, SL Green’s chairman and chief executive officer, said he had wanted a signature restaurant in the building that would offer “an eating experience for this time and for the future.” Mr. Boulud was an obvious chef to turn to, he added.
For Mr. Boulud, the restaurant, which has 120 seats in its main dining room, represents an opportunity to show New Yorkers that he can still deliver at the top level, but also find ways to innovate. Though rooted in his contemporary French sensibility, the restaurant, with a $125 three-course prix fixe dinner menu, will have a menu largely dedicated to seafood and vegetables, making it somewhat different than his high-end Daniel establishment, which has a more varied bill of fare.
It is also the rare restaurant by Mr. Boulud, whose other currently open New York establishments also include Bar Boulud and Épicerie Boulud, that doesn’t bear the chef’s moniker. Instead, the restaurant takes its name from a famed French dining spot in New York of a previous generation, one that Mr. Boulud said industry colleagues still talked about with fondness when he first arrived in the city decades ago, even though it had already been closed.
“I felt it could be interesting to have a resonance with the past,” said Mr. Boulud. He also noted that the restaurant’s garden-like design—there are several live trees in the space—reflects the idea of a “pavillon,” a festive area to gather.
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