Daniel Boulud's latest project is Epicerie Boulud, just next to Bar Boulud; it's both eat-in cafe and take-out market, with morning pastries, lunchtime sandwiches, and all-day meats and cheeses (the charcuterie cured in-house; the cheeses curated by Saxelby Cheesemongers). And there's quite a bit we love on the menu.
The Tarte Breton is a must try; eggy custard in the center, buttery-crumbed cake on the outside. Halfway between a cake and a clafoutis and seriously delicious.
Their croissant has a shatteringly crisp outer shell and a soft, rich interior, with the slight tang of cultured butter. It's impressive, though perhaps not life-changing. We'd love to try these straight out of the oven.
Pain au chocolat has a creamy, fudgy center, the same flaky dough. Delicious; we just wish there were a little more chocolate!
How about the lunch options? The lobster itself on the Lobster Salad Roll is a bit overly spiced, which keeps the fresh sweetness from shining through; that said, there are big chunks of lobster, plus a few coins of celery, creamy avocado, horseradish dressing, sliced tomato, and butter lettuce; it's all on a brioche roll. If you're the type who wants nothing going on in your lobster roll but sweet lobster and butter, this isn't the one for you.
The Turkey Club was far better; layers of egg, bacon, turkey, avocado (which got a little brown) with thin slices of bread. All the flavors mingle into a deliciously creamy, smoky rich mixture.
The Ham Sandwich was another favorite; the French know how to do these things. Ham, cheese, butter, mustard, and a good baguette. The butter makes all the difference.
Finish out lunch with a dulce de leche eclair with sea salt. It's an excellent pastry, though the puddingy filling is seriously sweet; we could have used a little more salt to offset it.