Café Boulud Pops Up at Blantyre in the Berkshires

From July into fall, chef Daniel Boulud’s Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence–winning French café joins forces with a fellow winner. Plus, Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern debuts its first to-go program, and a longstanding fine-dining destination closes in Las Vegas

Café Boulud Pops Up at Blantyre in the Berkshires
Executive chef Jerrod Zifchak (right) helms the kitchen at Daniel Boulud's Berkshires pop-up this summer. (Courtesy of Blantyre)
Jul 30, 2020

Chef Daniel Boulud’s signature French cuisine is now available at a pop-up of his Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence–winning Café Boulud at Blantyre, a hotel-restaurant in Lenox, Mass., and a fellow Best of Award of Excellence winner. Started this month and running through mid-October, the collaboration brings a seasonal menu highlighting local ingredients, crafted by the culinary team from Café Boulud’s New York location, and paired with Blantyre’s renowned wine program. “We are excited to share the spirit and traditions of our cuisine at Café Boulud, and match it with the exquisite wine offerings of the estate,” Boulud said in a release shared with Wine Spectator.

Sommelier Alan Champney and his team offer an abbreviated list of about 50 wines for guests seeking a quick selection, but Blantyre’s entire 1,900-label list is available upon request, excelling in California, France (especially Burgundy and Bordeaux) and Italy. The meals are prix-fixe only, with dinner starting at three courses for $78. Options include starters like yellowfin tuna crudo with compressed melon, and mains like sweet corn risotto and grilled Ōra King salmon with Champagne sauce. There are also customizable culinary experiences available, such as private events and curated picnic packages to enjoy on the 110-acre property.—Julie Harans

Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern Turns to To-Go

For the first time, Danny Meyer’s landmark New York restaurant Gramercy Tavern is offering wine-and-food delivery, available through the online platform Caviar. Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) revealed the news July 16, soon after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that indoor dining would remain off the table for the foreseeable future.

The “Gramercy Tavern at Home” program features dishes from chef Mike Anthony and his team, like the signature burger topped with Vermont cheddar, bacon and smoked onion sauce, and brick-pressed chicken with heirloom peppers, onions and braised chickpeas. The wines available for pickup or delivery are sourced from the restaurant’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning collection, which is curated by wine director Chris Raftery and excels in the French regions of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhône and Champagne, as well as Germany and Italy. An abbreviated version of the 730-wine list is available, but bottlings range from affordable sparklers to rarer premier picks from producers such as Ridge, Agrapart & Fils and Domaine Leflaive.

USHG also includes Grand Award winner the Modern, Best of Award of Excellence winners Maialino and Marta, Award of Excellence winner Maialino Mare in Washington, D.C., and Best of Award of Excellence winner Union Square Cafe, which recently reopened for outdoor dining.—Julia Lombardo

Las Vegas Loses Longtime Fine-Dining Spot Sage

Sage interior
Best of Award of Excellence winner Sage had been open for a decade in the Aria Resort & Casino. (Courtesy of MGM Resorts)

Sage, a Best of Award of Excellence winner in Las Vegas’ Aria Resort & Casino, will not reopen following mandatory dining-room shutdowns in March. "After a 10 year run as one of Las Vegas’ most beloved dining destinations, the iconic Sage has closed,” read a statement shared with Wine Spectator from Aria president and COO Steve Zanella. “We appreciate all that Shawn McClain and his team have invested in making this restaurant so special and successful.”

Sage held its award consistently since 2011 for the nearly 550-selection wine program matching the high-end feel of the menu and the opulent, art-adorned space. Overseen by food and beverage director William Moss, the wine list excelled in California, France (especially Burgundy) and Italy and featured exceptional by-the-glass options. McClain’s modern American cuisine was executed by chef Thomas Griese, with signature dishes such as foie gras crème brûlée and Belgain ale–braised short ribs.

Several of Aria’s other Best of Award of Excellence winners have already reopened for dine-in: Bardot Brasserie, Carbone, Catch and Jean-Georges Steakhouse.—J.H.


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