Daniel Boulud Turns Famed NYC Restaurant Into South of France Oasis

Jeff Chouw/Courtesy Boulud Sur Mer

The Michelin-starred chef is celebrating the opening of indoor dining with a themed overhaul.

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After months of restrictions, New York is finally able to experience indoor dining again. And chef Daniel Boulud, a member of the Global Dining Collection, wanted to celebrate in a big way. So he’s turning his flagship Restaurant DANIEL into a casual pop-up dining experience with a south of France theme. 

Francesco Tonelli/Courtesy Boulud Sur Mer

Called “Boulud Sur Mer,” the temporary concept was a unique collaboration between Boulud and renowned architect and designer Stephanie Goto. Together they executed a vision meant to transport diners away from the chaos of reality and into a relaxing world filled with dreamy hues (and delicious foods). 

Related: How to Turn Your Outdoor Space Into a Garden From the South of France

“This is an extraordinary moment. There was an opportunity to do something where we could use design to heal and, for a moment, take people away,” Goto told Departures. “We wanted to tell the story of the journey to the south of France and use the elemental qualities and the beauty to enhance that story.”

Courtesy Boulud Sur Mer

To do that, they used blue fabric screens in the lounge to evoke an initial coastal vibe before entering the main dining room staged as a “Salon Vert.” There you’ll find arched openings covered in Hermes “Feuillage” wallpaper with a sculptural oculus of green as the focal point. 

“The central oculus feature is a three-dimensional eye to the sky,” said Goto. “It’s supernatural and recalls the idea of being in the outdoors and bringing the outdoors in. We wanted that to be the iconic moment of the space and leave diners with a lasting memory.” 

Courtesy Boulud Sur Mer

And one of the highlights will most certainly be the private bungalows covered crisp white and geranium stripes that will line the sidewalks extending the experience further outdoors. The bar and lounge will have a different vibe too. The Provence-inspired menu offers a prix fixe inside and à la carte outside in our quaint bungalows. 

Related: The Most Stunning Al Fresco Dining Experiences in New York City

“My friend Stephanie Goto, talented architect and artist, has staged an atmosphere that transports you into a lush fantasy garden, complete with crisp tablecloths, and garden furniture,”  Boulud told us. Adding, “While restaurant DANIEL will always remain, after many months of being closed, I felt motivated to create something more lighthearted. We are thrilled to re-open our doors, accommodate more guests, hire back more staff, and create a new experience. Fine dining goes casual for a little while at DANIEL.”