DB Bistro Moderne, New York

The UES' modern French bistro
When acclaimed restaurateur Daniel Boulud (whose other eateries include the Five-Star Daniel, Boulud Sud and Café Boulud New York) unveiled his newly renovated Midtown staple in September 2013, the once modern-looking French bistro transformed into a more classic one. Designed by Jeffrey Beers International, the new DB Bistro Moderne now has a chic bar ready to serve you custom cocktails, classic tipples or excellent French wine.

The rest of the space feels new as well. Three rooms connect together railroad style, each with defining characteristics. The wood-paneled front room has a large communal table, fixed banquets and forgoes the white linen in favor of bare wood tables. On the wall, marvel at photos of Boulud as a child, as well as antique visages from the chef’s hometown of Lyon.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • Not only had the space been refreshed, the menu also got a revamp by Boulud and executive chef Jim Burke, and it offers plenty of market-driven French-American bites.
  • You can find DB Bistro Moderne located just one block east of Time Square in the heart of the Theater District. Its great proximity to top Broadway venues, including the Gershwin Theatre, Eugene O’Neill Theatre and Minskoff Theatre, makes it the perfect place for pre- or post-theater dining.
  • While it hosts high-end bottles behind the counter, the bar serves casually dressed patrons who lounge there lackadaisically nibbling on foie gras-stuffed burgers and sipping specialty cocktails like the Try, Try Again (rye, champagne and cocoa).
  • For a good sample of the offerings, try one of the special three-course prix fixes, which include menus for a power lunch, a three-course option and one for pre-theater dining (Tuesday through Saturday 5 to 6:30 p.m.).
Things to Know
  • Head to classy DB Bistro Moderne for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or check it out for a pre-theater meal between 5 and 6:30pm. On Tuesday through Saturday, dinner commences at 5 and runs until 11 p.m.
  • But, if you want to head to the New York restaurant for a drink, you are in luck — the bar is open every day from 11:30 a.m. until it locks the doors.
  • There is no strict dress code at DB Bistro Moderne, though it’s advisable to go business or casual chic.
  • Because this French-American restaurant caters to the theater crowd, a lot of well-dressed patrons come in before and after the shows, so if you want to blend in with the guests at this time, dress smart, even if you aren’t going to one of the nearby theaters.
The Food
  • It's classic-bistro-meets-modern-cuisine; the menu is broken into Classique and Du Marche, which translates to "of the market" and encompasses dishes that feature local and seasonal fare.
  • This includes Maine lobster with eggplant mayonnaise, dry-aged prime rib cote de boeuf, warm kale salad with duck confit, a fantastic garganelli pasta with rabbit ragout and fall root vegetables.
  • The previous menu’s famous DB burger, a beef patty stuffed with short rib and foie gras on a Parmesan roll, is also present among the restaurant’s past offerings.
The Drinks
  • The wine program, run by sommelier Joe Camper, is also worth checking out since there are numerous wines by the glass, with options ranging from value-driven wines, to exclusive selections that usually are only available by the bottle.
  • For the latter, the New York restaurant uses a Coravin device that draws wine from a bottle without uncorking it, which keeps the air out and the rest of the contents fresh.
  • Naturally, while DB Bistro Moderne stocks wine from around the world, the focus is on the French variety — from Burgundy to the Rhône to Bordeaux, just about anything you could hope for is in the cellar.
Business casual
Private dining
Reservations recommended
Getting There
55 West 44th Street, New York, New York 10036
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