The word “pop-up” seems so inelegant. It conjures images of cardboard cartoon figures jumping out of the middle of children’s books or clowns springing out of music boxes. It does not lend itself to a long table adorned with herbs and fresh-cut bread, several courses of inspired Mediterranean dishes presided over by one of the world’s most celebrated chefs.
Welcome to pop-up, Palm Beach style.
For the second year, star chef Daniel Boulud has brought the flavors of Boulud Sud, his Mediterranean restaurant in New York, to Cafe Boulud at the Brazilian Court. Last week, the man himself, flanked by the restauraunt’s award-winn ing staff, presented a special menu that will be available here through the summer.
Stops on Boulud’s culinary tour included a smooth chilled cucumber gazpacho, the Carabineros Al Ajillo (giant shrimp, heads included, in a ratatouille and basil pesto), a tantalizing collection of mezze with a crispy but soft falafel, an aromatic Meyer lemon hummus and a gorgeous babaganoush.
The showstoppers were a whole roasted lubina, cut by the man himself, light and summery and paired with fragrant squash, and grapefruit givré, a frozen hollowed grapefruit filled with sweet-tart sorbet and accented with nutty sesame and rose loukoum, also known as Turkish delight to you “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” fans.
All were elevated with a thoughtful collection of wine, including a rich Binyamina “Late Harvest” Gewurztraminer and specialty cocktails.
A trip to the Mediterranean might be more exotic, but the tastes are available in a much shorter trip.
Boulud Sud at Café Boulud
- Café Boulud is at 301 Australian Avenue, inside the Brazilian Court Hotel, Palm Beach; 561-655-6060; CafeBoulud.com
- The Boulud Sud pop-up menu runs July 3 through Sept. 2.