Daniel Boulud is on a tear: Shortly after opening Joji and Joji Box at One Grand Central, and on the heels of his announcing an upcoming 16,000 square-foot French steakhouse and marketplace, he’s just signed the lease to resurrect Cafe Boulud, an anchor of Uptown dining for 20 years.
The new location for Cafe Boulud will reopen in the former Vaucluse space, what had been a Michael White restaurant, at 100 East 63rd Street, near Park Avenue, in late 2023.
”It will be a different time, but the same approach,’’ Boulud told Eater. “It will still be a mix of French and international food, with a lot of seasonality. As always, there will be an emphasis on vegetables, but we will also have French classics.’’
In its tenure, Cafe Boulud offered a menu that encompassed traditional, seasonal, international, and vegetarian dishes in the Hotel Surrey (which previously housed Boulud flagship, Daniel, for seven years before it moved to its current location). The restaurant closed in May 2021 during the pandemic when the hotel was sold to U.K.-based billionaires, the Reuben brothers, and it was replaced by Miami Beach import, Casa Tua.
Cafe Boulud was a favorite among people like the former Times’ critic Frank Bruni, who, in 2004, said of the restaurant, “It doesn’t have the starched self-consciousness of Daniel or the cheeky swagger of DB Bistro Moderne. What it has is a straightforward manner and glorious food.”
The New York location will be one of three Cafe Bouluds, with others in Palm Beach, Toronto, and the Bahamas; it will be the twelfth Boulud restaurant in New York City, including the high-dollar seafood restaurant, Le Pavillion; and one of a fleet of his restaurants around the world.
Boulud’s big steakhouse project, at One Madison Avenue, will open in early 2024. The Flatiron development at 23 E. 22nd Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, will include a restaurant with a wood-fired oven and an open kitchen, along with a French cafe and market with counter foods, pre-packaged meals, and seasonal ingredients, according to a spokesperson.
Boulud said he has missed Cafe Boulud. ”My customers keep asking me when it will reopen.’’ The answer is, at the end of this year.