That would now be the southeast corner of West 64th Street and Broadway. Épicerie Boulud opened on that corner at 1900 Broadway, across the street from Lincoln Center, this spring, and it's a great addition to the pre-theater dinner scene. More importantly, it's the best alternative yet to the grab-a-quick-sandwich-before-theater-or-film near Lincoln Center.
This is one of prolific chef Daniel Boulud's recent openings on that block. It is adjacent to Bar Boulud, the Lincoln Tunnel shaped tube of a dining room that has been a beautiful and civilized restaurant spot for a few years now and is one of my favorites for dinner before Lincoln Center. And it's also next door to Boulud's newest and fabulously reviewed restaurant, Boulud Sud, which I have not yet had the opportunity to try. But, all in the name of research, of course, I'll be making an effort...
One sunny and temperate summer evening a few weeks ago, before a film at Lincoln Plaza, I arrived early and hungry (this is often the case; luckily, New York is so easy for curing that situation, in just the right form and price range). It was my first glimpse of the épicerie, its glass front completely open to the sidewalk, where sit-down tables and standing bar tables had been placed outside to permit the take-out process to end about five steps from the wine-by-the-glass bar, oyster bar, charcuterie, fromagerie, patisserie, and fresh sandwich and salad display cases.
And so, one purchase of a glass of rosé and a lobster roll later, I was contently seated at a table right on Broadway, watching the passing scene and listening to my three bling-laden table mates discuss their recent "holiday" in England and the financial troubles in Europe. (It was all a bit incongruous, but that's New York!)
I even had time after my impromptu sidewalk picnic to wander over to check out the music that was wafting over from Lincoln Center Out of Doors.