To many people, Café Boulud Palm Beach didn’t need any kind of makeover. The posh restaurant inside the Brazilian Court Hotel already was one of Palm Beach County’s premier eateries. So why change?
“We’d been open for 13 years and it was long overdue,’’ said General Manager Jason Lakow. “We had considered it for about two years.’’
The result is an amazing transformation evident from the moment you walk into Café Boulud. Gone is the small bar just outside the restaurant’s entrance. It’s been replaced inside by a 15-seat bar that is the centerpiece of the new-look Café Boulud. In addition, the yellow carpeting has been replaced by a hardwood floor.
The entire dining room, in fact, is lighter and more inviting than before. Be sure to check out the new ceiling deign – made from sea shells and Pecky Cyprus.
Café Boulud Palm Beach still retains its class and charm, but the renovation – complete with custom bar stools and chairs – gives the restaurant a bit of a less formal feel and more active vibe. Guests are even talking about whispers at the “new’’ Café Boulud Palm Beach.
The renovation was accomplished thanks to a collaboration between Brazilian Court owner Richard Schlesinger’s Ceebraid Signal Corp., and acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group.
“Things like colors and certain other things with the ambience, it was really (Boulud) who pushed for them,’’ Lakow said. “The design team had a very clear direction of where to go.
“One of the things we originally set out to do with (the renovation) is make everything a lot more open, lighter and breezy.’’
For example, a large glass panel was removed and replaced with French doors that opens up the patio that leads to the restaurant’s terrace dining, which is very popular in the winter season.
“We can really connect our lounge area and bar area with the outside – make them appear as one complete thought,’’ Lakow said.
Leaving something out? Oh yes, the menu. For years Café Boulud Palm Beach had been known for its “Four Muses’’ menu, but some guests found it a bit difficult to understand. The restaurant’s new menu is easier to understand but still features Daniel Boulud’s classic French cuisine, as prepared by Executive Chef Rick Mace.
The Dover Sole Meuniere – fileted tableside and served with basmati rice, super green spinach – is outstanding and a classic Café Boulud dining experience.
My favorite? Orecchiette pasta served with wild boar ragout and buttered squash. Like the new-look Café Boulud Palm Beach – it’s vintage Daniel Boulud set in a new environment that’s not to be missed.