Michelin Star Cafe Boulud At Blantyre
Blantyre Is a Berkshires Gilded Age Mansion
By: Philip S. Kampe - Jul 19, 2020
You can add ‘Café Boulud’ to the list of Berkshire ‘World Class’ destinations.
It’s a double whammy, because the Michelin one star ‘pop-up’ restaurant’s home through mid-October is Blantyre, the Relais & Chateaux historical 'Gilded Age Mansion.'
In this ‘new normal’ world we live in, one may be hesitant to venture out to a restaurant, as was the case for me. Fortunately, my pre-conceived uncertainties were only that. The staff at Blantyre and Café Boulud make the dining experience exactly what it should be.
Proper distancing, facemasks and safety for the customer take center stage.
With Tanglewood and the renowned theatrical and musical offerings absent this summer, a ‘New Star’ is born, this time, a dining star with a Michelin star.
Chef Daniel Boulud spared no expense to make this venture a success. Key members from his Manhattan staff live onsite to run the business.
Manhattan’s Café Boulud’s Executive Chef Jerrod Zifchak.is in charge of the kitchen. General Manager, Rachel Ossakow, heads the dining room operations. Several servers have relocated from Manhattan to assist diners in Lenox.
Chef Boulud opened his first Manhattan Café Boulud in 1997. The cuisine was French inspired. ‘Daniel’, fine ding at its best, opened its doors on the East Side of Manhattan in 1993. Since opening, it has received two Michelin stars.
To date, Daniel Boulud owns sixteen restaurants worldwide, of which ten are in New York.
Café Boulud at Blantyre focuses on French cuisine with a twist, sourcing local ingredients as often as possible to fuel his eclectic cuisine.
The three course Prix-Fixe menu at $78 is a food connoisseur’s dream. As is the weekend brunch at $48, for a two course meal and $58 for a three course, which includes dessert.
Over the years, the Berkshires have been a food destination for locals, tourists and second home owners.
With the addition of the brilliance of a great Chef like Daniel Boulud, the bar has been raised to a higher standard.
My first culinary experience at Café Boulud took place several nights ago.
The table was inside, sporting a beautiful view of nature and the land behind Blantyre.
The varied menu selections, while limited, seemed well-chosen and diverse. The Wine List is well thought out, as is the ‘cocktail menu.
The Prix-Fixe menu was my Bible.
With such diverse choices, it was difficult to choose a first course. The selections ranged from ‘Cucumber & Avocado Vichyssoise’ with lobster, dill cream and pickled Fresno chilies to Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with melon, yuzu, shiso and sea beans. What about Duck Pate en Croute with Dried Figs or Heirloom Tomato Salad.
I settled on the Vichyssoise. As my wife would say, ‘the soup was to die for.’ The combination of creamy cucumber and avocado with dill cream and lobster may have been the best cold soup I have ever had.
With such a great first course, I hesitated as to what to order for the main course. The options were more complex. Menu confusion existed immediately. What to choose?
Should I order the ‘Sweet Corn Risotto’ with chanterelles, tarragon and shaved parmesan? Or, what about the Branzino ‘Cha Ca’ with vermicelli noodles, turmeric, scallions, peanut fish sauce and lime seasoning. The other options included grilled Ora King Salmon and Garlic Roasted Chicken. What about Rack of Lamb Provencal?
I settled, instead, for the famous ‘Frenchie Burger,’ a monster beef burger topped with confit pork belly, Morbier cheese and tomato-onion jam. Pommes frites and mescalin salad were included.
It was my first burger in six months, It was overwhelmingly delicious.
The flavors flowed together like the Nile River. Each bite was better then the last. And when I took the last bite, I wanted more.
The ‘more’ is to come next Sunday. I made a reservation, in house, for next Sunday’s brunch.
I’m mesmerized with Café Boulud and the small window we have to enjoy the Berkshires top restaurant.
Here we go, again, with next Sundays’ menu.
Should I order Fried Chicken with garlic and espelette aioli, summer bean fricassee and kale salad or Hanger Steak with sunny side eggs with market salad, roasted potatoes and sauce au poivre? Or, how about a first course of Smoked Salmon, Salad Nicoise, Eggs Benedict or Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with ricotta cream?
I have a week to think about it.
Thanks to the fine dining at Café Boulud, who needs to go to another county or country to enjoy a gourmet meal.
It’s all here in the Berkshires.
Café Boulud is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
Brunches are on Saturday and Sunday.
Dinner is from 5-9pm
Brunch is from 11:30-2:30pm
Reservations are required: (413) 637-3556
Indoor and outdoor dining is possible.
Smart casual dress.