Part of Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star chef Daniel Boulud’s culinary empire, Café Boulud is a favorite among New Yorkers, fans of the famed toque and guests of The Surrey Hotel, which sits next to the eatery. As one of three outposts, the New York location is an Upper East Side staple. And the French restaurant is as sophisticated as its surroundings.

It starts with the menu, which is composed of four sections that are inspired by Boulud’s culinary muses: la tradition (classic French fare), la saison (seasonal ingredients), le potager (the vegetable garden) and le voyage (world cuisine). Every portion has appetizers and entrées, and if you really want to get a taste of the French chef’s repertoire, mix and match dishes from each, such as the warm corn velouté with a corn hushpuppy, tarragon and vanilla oil as well as striped bass en paupitte (fish wrapped in crispy potatoes). There’s also a prix-fixe lunch option, if you would rather leave the decisions to executive chef Gavin Kaysen, a James Beard Award winner.

The bright dining room is what you’d expect from an upscale New York restaurant. You’ll see lots of suits and ties throughout the day, though don’t feel that you need to don a jacket to dine here. It’s a business-casual restaurant, but we suggest erring on the overdressed side just in case. The atmosphere is far from stuffy; in fact, it’s quite welcoming. On nice days and evenings, opt for a table outside on the sidewalk to watch Upper East Siders stroll through the beautiful neighborhood. For a nightcap, head into The Surrey for chef Boulud’s art-deco-influenced Bar Pleiades for a rotating list of seasonal cocktails, such as the Last Caress (Chartreuse snow with juniper berries and champagne).

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Restaurant

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Restaurant