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Though the menu changes frequently at Restaurant Daniel, for years there was one dish that chef Daniel Boulud refused to change: A sea bass with red wine sauce.
Though the menu changes frequently at Restaurant Daniel, for years there was one dish that chef Daniel Boulud refused to change: Paupiette of sea bass wrapped and sautéed in a crisp layer of potatoes, set on a bed of leeks with a red wine sauce. “For our 15th anniversary in 2008, when we redid the decor, my chef came to me and said, ‘Daniel, you are redoing your restaurant, we have a new beginning—we have to get rid of the paupiette. We are sick and tired of cooking it.’ It felt like they were ripping my heart out,” Boulud says. “But I knew he was right, so I agreed. I still loved the combination, so I proposed we keep one dish on the menu with those same four ingredients—sea bass, potatoes, leeks and red wine—with a new interpretation every year.” The current incarnation of the dish features oven baked sea bass, potato “Saint-Florentin” (potato croquettes) and Syrah sauce. “Later, after F&W Best New Chef 2007 Gavin Kaysen had taken over Café Boulud, he asked me for permission to put the original paupiette on his menu,” Boulud says. “So now it has a second life at Café Boulud, and a new, eternal life at Restaurant Daniel.” Try the original version of Boulud’s dish at home using this recipe from the July 1999 issue of Food & Wine.