What is Daniel Boulud’s new restaurant like at Ritz-Carlton Montreal?
It is a Maison Boulud, like we have in Beijing, but the menu first and foremost reflects the local market. We look at what the local market can bring us and what can we do with the ingredients that are seasonal and accessible there. The menu is a blend of Café Boulud, Bar Boulud and sometimes a touch of Daniel. It’s a little bit of a composition from a few of our restaurants — we even do a burger from DBGB. The soup I made 20 years ago when I opened Daniel for the first time on 76th Street — I’m still making that pea soup today because it’s an expression of spring at its best. I use five different peas for the soup, and it’s always delicious. We make ravioli with sheep’s milk ricotta from the local sheep’s milk we got from Quebec. We have also an arctic char dish, and we make it with spaghetti squash pesto, a basil pesto with pine nuts. We have very good mussels there, too.
Every one of our restaurants is chef-driven, and we try to have a bit of his personality and background in the menu. I think it’s important. Ricardo Bertolino is the chef at Maison Boulud, so we have a couple of dishes that are slightly Italian but all with my approval.