Another hotly anticipated fall opening, Bar Boulud, sneaks in right before fall actually starts. Say hello to the newest piece of Daniel Boulud's empire (and the only Boston location), opening for dinner tonight at 5:30 p.m. The world-renowned French chef has restaurants in New York City, London, and beyond, but he knows Boston well, thanks to close relationships with chefs like Barbara Lynch, Ming Tsai, and Jasper White — as well as a daughter who went to Tufts. "I think Boston has always been exciting for food," Boulud previously told Eater. "The history of food here started a long time ago, and when you think of cuisine in America, automatically New England registers as one of the top cuisines."
Located at the Mandarin Oriental in the former Asana space, Bar Boulud will be quite similar to Bar Boulud in New York, but since Boulud intends for this to be his only Boston restaurant, it will also have some additional elements. "It will also be about what fits well here," he told Eater. "How do we feel here in Boston cooking versus New York? Not that we are too far away, but still there is a lot of DNA of the food scene and also the supply here. You almost feel closer to the coast. I mean, a lot of fish comes from New England, and so it's obvious that New York is fed in part by New England. So I think we'll have a strong focus on that." The charcuterie program is also an important aspect; there's even seating available at a charcuterie counter. Overall, diners can expect a French-bistro-meets-New-England vibe.
Chef de cuisine Aaron Chambers comes from Boulud Sud in New York, and he moved here back in December to start getting a feel for the hotel and the city. "[Bar Boulud is] a little more casual than a lot of restaurants these days," he previously told Eater, "and I think it's very open to a different spectrum of people. You can come there and spend $500 for two, or you can come there and spend maybe $100 for two, so it's offering many levels."
Also on the team: Joe Camper, a musician-turned-sommelier who worked at Menton in Boston and Eleven Madison Park in New York before ending up at Boulud's db Bistro Moderne. At Bar Boulud Boston, he's offering a very French wine list. Boulud previously described it as having "the core from Burgundy and Rhône, so chardonnay, pinot noir, hermitage, syrah, mourvèdre, Châteauneuf-style. It'll be French-American in a way, and international, but with a French core."
Bar Boulud is open for breakfast daily (6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.), Sunday brunch (11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.), lunch Monday through Saturday (noon to 2:30 p.m.), and dinner daily (5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.) The bar opens with the restaurant and closes at midnight every day.