My Experience at Daniel Boulud's Newest Restaurant, Le Pavillon.
I was invited to Chef Daniel Boulud’s new restaurant, Le Pavillon. I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally go out and know I was about to experience the best after being on lockdown for so long. When I first became a concierge years ago, I would go to different restaurants to check them out. As a concierge you have to know what the hot spots were, best food, most elegant, trendy, etc. I remember using my trusty Zagat guide and Time Out Magazine. There were so many places to visit, and I definitely couldn’t afford to dine at each. So, whenever there was a new restaurant or a five-star restaurant where my guest wanted to go to, I would go to the bar. I would have a cocktail and sometimes an appetizer. I would introduce myself to the Maître d’, managers and at times I would get to meet the chefs. I would have a great relationship with the bartenders too. I would check out the vibe and at least had a small taste of the restaurant. But there was one restaurant I was determined to have a full dinner and it was Daniel. I’ve never had French food, especially Fine French food. I saved my money and made a reservation.
I remember walking in, and the space was elegant. I was seated and the server handed me the menu, then the sommelier came and suggested some wines. Throughout the night I was pampered by the staff. I had my first French meal at one of the elegant restaurants in New York. To be more specific, one of the top 50 restaurants in New York. Top 50 may not sound like a big deal but this is New York with thousands of restaurants. It was one of the best experiences in my life as a young concierge. I know that may sound dramatic, but it was at the moment I knew that there was more to life than working a regular job. I could also have the best things in life and enjoy elegant things. That dream I had as a young girl growing up in Bushwick was becoming a reality. I was exploring new places, experiencing new foods and meeting new people. Daniel Boulud had become my favorite chef and gateway to luxury. His restaurant and the experience I had was a reminder that I can always have the best and I deserved it.
Throughout the years as a concierge, I would dine at each new restaurant the Chef Daniel would open in New York and not once was I ever disappointed. I had the privilege to meet him multiple times and he is also a huge supporter of the concierge community in New York City. He has spoiled us many times as well as our hotel guests. I knew any time I would send a guest to his restaurant they would have the best experience and food.
Fast forward to 2021 and I received an invitation to a private luncheon at his new restaurant, Le Pavillon. What better way to celebrate my first concierge event after New York has reopened than at Daniel Boulud’s latest restaurant? It was a sign that it’s time to live my luxurious life again.
The restaurant is across the street from Grand Central Station, I arrived and walked up a few flights of steps… and there it was my favorite building, the Chrysler Building. It was floor to ceiling windows with real plants and trees inside the restaurant. Of course, I was hot because it was 90 degrees in New York, and I sat on the bar before I would greet anyone so I could cool down. I asked for water and the bartender offered a glass of champagne. As I sat drinking my water, the sommelier was across from me with a magnum of champagne. As he prepped the bottle, he placed it down and popped the bottle open. It was the smoothest opening. You didn’t hear a thing. Pure Elegance! He grabbed the magnum and poured the champagne. I had sip and began to people watch my fellow concierges. The servers came by and gave me a beautiful scallop dish. This was my first meal of the day, champagne and scallop. Now that’s living. Then the servers kept bringing more yummy goodness.
Chef Boulud grabbed a mic and greeted us with his entire team from all of his properties in NYC. He told us how he thought about waiting to host an event for us but thought since NYC is open again and its summertime he didn’t want to wait. It was the perfect time to see us again. He told us the story of the original Le Pavillon in New York which was originally in Queens. It was the first real elegant French restaurant in New York. He told us about his vision and the space design which has live trees, large floor to ceiling windows and a beautiful chandelier above the bar that was designed just for the space. He introduced us to his entire staff then ended his speech by inviting us to his new kitchen and before we went into that kitchen there was a table full of desserts.
It was such a dream to experience Daniel Boulud’s new restaurant and have it to ourselves. I walked the entire space, went to the kitchen and saw the chefs working. I met his management staff and had a lovely conversation with them. I proceeded to go to the dining room and finish a chocolate dessert, I had to grab another one. I finished my glass of champagne and just enjoyed this moment. I sat there looking at the space, at his team moving about and looked out towards the bar where you can see the Chrysler Building. It was beautiful. I am grateful that I am able to experience luxury dining in the city that I love. It was a reminder to always live my best life and not take anything for granted.
If you want to experience Daniel Boulud’s new restaurant Le Pavillon you can make a reservation here.