When James Beard award-winning, two Michelin star-rated Chef Daniel Boulud announced plans to unveil a 5th birthday party for db Bistro Moderne in Miami, we cleared our calendars to make way for the celebration. The iconic eatery in the ground floor of the posh J.W. Marriott Marquis borders the neighborhoods of downtown Miami and Brickell, and is known for dishing out refined French dining in a cozy setting. Along with db Bistro Moderne, Boulud boats eateries in other major destinations, from New York City to Singapore and Las Vegas to London. With a resume that keeps on expanding, and a list of accolades stacked sky-high, we’re always interested and intrigued by what the farm-born Boulud brings to the table. Simply put, we couldn’t wait to see what the world-renowned chef had in store to celebrate his Magic City bistro’s milestone fifth anniversary.
To commemorate the occasion, a few hundred of the Miami dining scene’s power players and self-proclaimed foodies gathered to toast the culinary superstar on Wed., Oct. 22. The evening event kicked off in the bar—known for its sleek design, elongated bar top and upscale happy hour meetups—where guests toasted to Boulud and his Moderne with glasses of 2012 Trimbach Riesling and 2012 Chateau de la Chaize, Brouilly, Beaujolais.
At around 8 p.m., attendees were escorted into the main dining area, which was transformed for the occasion. A live jazz band delivered smooth mood music with a festive vibe as everyone strolled into the labyrinth of French fare. The setup included three dining rooms, each dedicated to different regions of France, boasting central dishes at each station, along with single-serving pass-arounds.
Our first stop was Normandy, which hosted a glistening raw bar lined with oysters. After a few succulent indulgences, it was off the cheese table, which featured a rich mix of Brillat-Savarin, Camembert, Mimolette, Epoisses and Persille de Rambouillet. A pleasant surprise were the spiced, candied nuts, which were the perfect accompaniment, along with a taste of the 2010 Chateau Rollan de By, Medoc, Bordeaux.
Next, we headed to Basque, which featured hearty offerings, including highlights like layered tortillas and deviled eggs topped with jumbo shrimp. The sliced Iberico leg charcuterie was the gift that kept on giving, and was deliciously devoured with our Normandy cheese plate.
In Lyon, Boulud’s native, fall-friendly stuffed pumpkin (served in a giant, hollowed gourd) was sinfully baked with Gruyere, sourdough croutons, salty pancetta and earthy wild mushrooms. An array of pâté was indulgent, to say the least.
Alsace took preparations even further, with an exotic plating of baekhoffe, a delicacy of tender veal and snails, along with a dramatically presented suckling pig with notes of apple, chestnut and turnip to complement.
Standout was Provence to close out the smorgasbord with its full-bodied leg of lamb bathed in black olive jus, sitting atop a fluffy, delightful creamy rosemary polenta (we went back for seconds—maybe even thirds). Grilled loup de mer with sauce vierge was a lighter dish to close out our festival of France with a refreshing glass of Domaine Jacourette Rosé.
In true French finale fashion, we toasted to Boulud and the success of db Bistro Moderne with champagne and macarons (a cake made of the decadent sandwich cookies boasted “Happy 5th Anniversary”), and an assortment of eclairs, bonbons and mini tarts.
Notable guests in attendance to celebrate alongside Daniel Boulud included Wendy Kallergis, Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association President and CEO; Kalyn James, Adrienne Arsht Center and TV Host of Art Loft; George Neary, Associate Vice President at Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Lucy Murillo, President of Miami’s Children’s Health Foundation.
Photos courtesy of db Bistro Moderne