Daniel Boulud’s new Café Boulud announced last night at the Four Seasons

Daniel Boulud’s new Café Boulud announced last night at the Four Seasons

(Image: Four Seasons) 

The Four Seasons condo presentation centre played host to celeb chef Daniel Boulud last night, where he introduced his much-gossiped-about new restaurant, Café Boulud, set to take up residence in the new Four Seasons hotel on Bay Street. Café Boulud will have its own entrance and patio space facing Yorkville Avenue, and sit above a new bar that will celebrate the hotel group’s 50th year in business. Boulud is famed for his New York-based, globe-spanning empire of restaurants, including his most renowned, the three-Michelin-starred Daniel.

Toronto’s Café Boulud will take after the New York restaurant of the same name (there’s also one in Palm Beach). But with only one restaurant in Toronto, versus his six in New York City, Boulud joked “I can pick and choose menu items from my other restaurants—you’re going to get more for your Café Boulud here than in New York”. Though the menu has yet to be determined, Boulud says he will be guided by a farm-to-table ethos and let the suppliers and availability of ingredients craft the dishes. If it’s anything like the New York version, expect menu items like terrine de lapin, bass “en paupiette,” roasted côte de boeuf for two, and duck confit ravioli. What it won’t be is the second coming of the late, lamented Truffles, the fine dining temple the Avenue Road Four Seasons. Boulud says he wants his place to be “informal—not casual but definitely not formal”.

This isn’t Boulud’s first time to Canada—he took over two Rob Feenie-run restaurants in Vancouver (Lumière and Feenie’s) before closing them down in March of this year. He’s also opening a Maison Boulud at the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal. And while he’s not the first big New York chef to open up shop in Toronto—the Thompson Hotel brought in Scott Conant’s Scarpetta last summer, and David Chang announced he’d be opening two Momofuku restaurants in the Shangri-La in 2012—he is the first with three Michelin stars under his belt. Not that diners should expect to see him in the kitchen too often—as he told the Globe and Mail: “I never sign a contract that obligates me to spend a certain amount of days. I hope to spend much more time in Toronto, that’s for sure.”