Boulud, who already owns three successful Manhattan restaurants including his flagship, Daniel, has long wanted to introduce authentic French charcuterie to Manhattan. He finally found the perfect partner in Vérot, a third-generation charcutier whose St. Germain shop is a favorite of top French chefs from Hélène Darroze to Pierre Hermé.
For Vérot, the main challenge was finding American animals worthy of his butcher knife. "The pig has to weigh around 300 pounds — that's how you get this beautiful layer of fat," says the sausage maestro, pointing at a picture of a succulent ham he recently served at a private party. He finally located the right pigs at a farm in Missouri, and has also imported Sylvain Gasdon, head charcutier at his Paris shop, to work his magic at Bar Boulud while Vérot hops back and forth across the Atlantic.
Located in a 2,200-square-foot space across from Lincoln Center, Bar Boulud has seating for 100 on the main level plus dozens more on the mezzanine and in three private dining rooms downstairs. Thomas Schlesser designed the rustic-chic decor and Daniel Johnnes will determine the wine selection.
For the squeamish, the restaurant will also offer a choice of traditional bistro dishes. But both Vérot and Boulud are confident that once New Yorkers get a taste of traditional French charcuterie, they'll be hungry for more: The two Frenchmen already have plans to open another Manhattan eatery within the next few years.