DB Bistro Moderne Arrives
—lee brian Schrager
The dining room at db Bistro Moderne
The highly anticipated db Bistro Moderne—the contemporary French-American dining concept from renowned chef Daniel Boulud—has made its debut in one of the chicest new spots downtown, the JW Marriott Marquis Miami hotel.
OCEAN DRIVE: Who are your culinary mentors, and how have they influenced you today?
DANIEL BOULUD: Whether in my cooking or my approach as a restaurateur, I’ve been influenced by those I cooked for early on, beginning with Gerard Nandron. I did my first apprenticeship in his Michelin two-star restaurant in Lyon when I was 14. Mr. and Mrs. Nandron took care of their staff like a family. The chefs who really taught me were Georges Blanc, Michel Guérard and Roger Vergé.
What made you decide to bring db Bistro Moderne to downtown Miami? Is it different from your New York and Vancouver outposts?
db Bistro has a very urban energy that suits downtown, like its Manhattan counterpart just off Times Square. Our partnership with Ricardo Glas and the new JW Marriott Marquis was also a good fit. This new db Bistro has the soul of the original but with some twists. The bar and lounge space and soaring ceilings are a luxury we don’t have in New York. The wine room, where you can host a dinner for eight, is very sexy. If you’ve been to the original, you’ll recognize about 60 percent of the menu. The balance is dishes new to Miami. We need the freedom to create spontaneously, with Jarrod adapting local flavor, ingredients and seasonality.
db Bistro is widely recognized for the original db Burger (top sirloin, red-wine-braised short ribs and, for the Royale version, black truffles). What makes a good burger?
The right blend of beef cuts—I’m not telling!—including the right amount of richness, all freshly ground. Also, a good sear and housemade garnishes, including the bun. The db Burger is really my French tribute to a great American classic. But it’s hardly traditional—more of a dish within a dish.
photographs by gary james