The birthplace of the gourmet burger — that meaty arrangement of sirloin, short rib, foie gras and black truffle ($32) — just shook things up a bit by undergoing a complete renovation and menu revamp. Offerings are now divided into “cuisine classique,” such as coq au vin ($28) and seasonal “cuisine du marché,” and one new vegetable dish is changing the profile of roots, much like that burger when it first burst on the scene.
Executive chef Jim Burke bakes a whole celery root ($16) in salt, then cuts it into wedges and pan roasts in butter, garlic and thyme. Sautéed wild mushrooms and apple confit, beurre noisette, and a toasted barley salad with notes of walnut, apple, celery leaf, parsley, shallots and garlic grace the veggie with a hearty and earthy depth that demands attention while eating. This is no side-dish afterthought, nor anything to be hidden in a stew; this celery root is a centerpiece starter worth showcasing on its own.
Daniel Boulud’s 12-year-old db bistro moderne reopened after a complete renovation over the summer. The rooms feel cozier, more modern and intimate with chestnut and red wine tones, and a new bar allows more of a lingering vibe. As great as it is to freshen things up, however, it’s nice to know that some things don’t change. While that celery root will eventually go out of season, one can always count on the fancy burger remaining.