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dave,

the menu sounds incredible, and a lot of work

where do you think the inspirations are from?

(if there arent any sous chefs, who is responsible for the daily work load)

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its a rare occasion that they let people bring in wine these days. Some vips do but those that do bring bottles like a 57 pommeral. Are your reservations for dinner? If its something really special i could try to talk to them about it. Do you plan on goign tatsing?

It's a graduation dinner (me college, my sister high school) with my family. I do plan on going withthe tasting menu. I am going to call to find out about the BYO situation and ask for a wine list to be faxed if possible.

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as far as insperation is concerned i think it comes from alot of places. Some is japanese some is spanish and some french. Bouley and ceasar both have there favorites and both look to them for insperation as others look to them.

There are basically three people who kind have stepped up to teh plate as far as leadership is concerned. One is myself, the other is my partner at night, and teh other is the fish saucier. Together we try to help the chef de cusine as much as possible. We are lookign for a soux chef at the moment but its been a little hard. We did jsut hire a couple of [people this week so there are finally some helpign hands.

Well let me know what tehy say to you about the wine. If its somethign special ill put in a word and see what i could do.

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Its admirable to shoulder the burden.

I know that Bouley is French, is Ceasar Japanese or Spanish?

Who do you feel is the most influential chef?

Ferran and Albert and Andoni certainly seem to be working very well,

Pierre Gagnaire and Michel Bras in France,

I follow greatly Tsuji's seminal text on Japanese cooking,

Do you have some recommendations for me?

Also, has Bouley been working on Molecular Gastronomy?

Thanks

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Well let me know what tehy say to you about the wine. If its somethign special ill put in a word and see what i could do.

I called yesterday. They seemed perplexed that I would even ask if there was a BYO policy. So that was a no go. I then asked if I could have a faxed copy of the wine list in order to be able to do some research beforehand. That was also met with a "no."

It's too bad they won't let us bring in some bottles. My father has some great stuff in his cellar that he's picked up in the ccourse of 30 odd years.

I thought it would at least be within their ability to fax us the list. It didn't seem like an unusual or burdensome request. Any way you could pursuade this to happen? If you could, that would great - just send me a PM. Thank you in advance for trying.

Edited by EJRothman (log)
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This is a variation on the dish we ordered, except ours came with halved red grapes and little else.  The waiter told us the rhubarb was "in the sauce" and offered to bring us some extra rhubarb "on the side."  When we told him there was no rhubarb in the dish, he disappeared to the kitchen, then came back to tell us we were right, that the ingredients did not meet the chef's "quality standards" and a substitution was made.  Well, it was nice of them to tell us after we brought it to their attention.  The man at the table next to us had the same dish and didn't notice the mistake; I suppose it was assumed we wouldn't either.

I believe that changing dish elements on the fly, when the quality of the ingredients listed on the menu do not correspond to the chef’s standards, is common. Moreover, I’d warry to visit a restaurant that is willing to sacrifice the quality of the product only to adhere to the menu or due to a restaurant’s inability to change the printed version of the menu on time. I would probably be displeased that the service staff wasn’t aware of the replacement, but I would not consider the replacement itself or the lack of its description on the menu to be a mistake, nor would the service staff’s unawareness dramatically affect my enjoyment if the dish otherwise fulfills my expectations. In the end, the question always lies in whether you were satisfied, and whether the replacement was well balanced and played along with all the elements on the plate. If the dish succeeds after the alteration, extra points go to the chef for creativity, in my book.

We've no problem with the substituting of ingredients on the fly, and love trying new things. But if the menu says one thing and we receive something substantially different, there's a problem. The waiter should have informed us. He obviously didn't know about the change (we had to bring it to his attention, and he had to check with the kitchen after opining that there was rhubarb on that dish); moreover, the kitchen didn't seem interested enough to inform him (and, by extension, us). And if a complex rhubarb sauce is substituted by halved red grapes, however fresh they are, we're going to feel slighted and underappreciated. Because in this case, it is all about me (or any diner), the paying customer.

After reading this - you must have been at the table next to ours that night. If they also found your wine selection after an extensice cellar search - then I know it.

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Its admirable to shoulder the burden.

I know that Bouley is French, is Ceasar Japanese or Spanish?

Who do you feel is the most influential chef?

Ferran and Albert and Andoni certainly seem to be working very well,

Pierre Gagnaire and Michel Bras in France,

I follow greatly Tsuji's seminal text on Japanese cooking,

Do you have some recommendations for me?

Also, has Bouley been working on Molecular Gastronomy?

Thanks

ceasar is spanish but he likes to say hes japanese. he is very in touch with the japanese mentality on cooking.

As far as chefs. I mean we all love ferran for his wierdness but i like to go to brass and pierre and all those guys. For me these guys are really in touch with what there doign and i think i share their mentality. Bouley is really into teh japanese thing right now. He takes trips to japan all the time.

W edont really do molecular cookign well maybe the mango caviar is but thats about it.

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I have reservations in 3 weeks. Does anyone know the tasting menu policy? I know usually the whole table has to get it, but we're going to have a party of 5.

Is it realistic for them to ask us all to get the tasting menu or just a few?

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Hello Everyone

Chopjwu12, what do you think is the problem with Bouley's inconsistency.

Don’t get me wrong I thing Bouley is a genius and amongst the best of the best in the world. I have dined close to 60 times at the old Bouley and it was MAGICAL every time

At the new Bouley one day it could be great and the next time just SO SO.

Also Is Bouley aware of this problem.

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Bouley has long been the most profoundly dysfunctional top-tier restaurant I know of. Even Bouley's die-hard supporters occasionally walk out of the place saying "I can't believe I just had such a shitty meal." At the same time, once you've tasted Bouley at his best, you can dine for two weeks straight at Michelin three-star restaurants in France and never have a better meal.

Is the chef aware of this? Of course he is. So is everybody who has ever worked there, and all but the most clueless of longtime customers. But it is part and parcel of his dysfunction that he has never been able to fix it.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have reservations in 3 weeks. Does anyone know the tasting menu policy? I know usually the whole table has to get it, but we're going to have a party of 5.

Is it realistic for them to ask us all to get the tasting menu or just a few?

I don't know what Bouley's policy is on this, but it's always realistic for a restaurant to require that all diners at the table get the tasting menu and it's a common policy. To a great extent, it's simply a matter of logistics and timing of service. If two people order three courses and three order the tasting menu, it's like serving two separate tables, with the added inconvenience of coordinating the service, in spite of the fact that the two groups will be eating at different paces. I believe this was the subject of a thread on eGullet not all that long ago.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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the iconsistency thing is teh easiest question of all to answer. I always lay it out like this. When you have at least 30 cooks with a chef de cuisine and soux chefs in your kicthen things soem time seem to go alot easier then when your open for more services and have about 15 or less cooks with just a chef de cuisine. There was a week not to long ago that we had 12 cooks working 14 shifts. The inconsistency comes from people being preety worn down is all. DOnt forget what kind of talent bouley had in his kitchen then too. We are talkigfn soem of teh best cooks of today worked there.

But its all coming to a happy end i hope. We just hired a couple new people and got a couple of externs in a couple times a week. Things are lookign brighter right now. This new help should take soem of teh weight off teh shoulders of teh cooks that have been workign really hard these last couple of months.

I think this is the biggest case for teh inconsistencies. But please i invite evryone to come again in a week or so when all the new people get settled and see what you think. We have changed dishes around and everything. Something my friend ceasar hasn't had all that much time to do but with a little more breathing room he has gotten the oportunity to work on some stuff. The only thing we are really missing is a soux chef. But thats my opinion.

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thats exactly right. The prefer a jacket if you can but if you dress very very nice casual they let you slide to. Hell ive seen peopel with jeans on in there which i think is ashame.

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Wouldn't a phone call to the restaurant be better than hearsay?

you often don't get a good indication when talking to the receptionist. hearsay, which we would hope would be firsthand reports, often do the trick.

If I have any doubt and need to ask, I actually prefer the official line from the restaurant, and I never ask patrons who have been. Maybe it's because I like dressing up and am not looking to find out how casual I can go and still get away with it?

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differ'nt strokes. but at least we both understand each side, now.

Also, the OP asked about the "dress code," which means what the restraurant requires or desires. If the OP had asked, on the other hand, what patrons have been seen to wear . . . .

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differ'nt strokes.  but at least we both understand each side, now.

Also, the OP asked about the "dress code," which means what the restraurant requires or desires. If the OP had asked, on the other hand, what patrons have been seen to wear . . . .

right again. batting 1.000.

Edited by tommy (log)
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OP weighing in here. Originally I asked this question here because I was too lazy to call. However, I did end up calling and was told the "no jeans, no sneakers, jacket suggested" line. However, first hand observations can be helpful in that they offer a window into what people usually wear.

Although the Hawiian shirt sounds tempting, I will probably go business casual or wear a suit. What do you guys think? I will be going there straight from work where the dress code is business casual. Should I bother wearing a suit that day. My father doesn't seem to want to wear a suit and it might seem odd (though it doesn't really matter) if I showed up in a suit and he was business casual.

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What's the definition of business casual? Dockers and a shirt?

I think they probably won't turn you away, but my feeling is you'll most probably feel less out of place in a blazer or sportsjacket, which you can put on or take off as you like. I noticed that some diners took off the jacket when seated.

It is a formal-ish restaurant. A lot of the wait staff are in suits.

In case you were wondering, I took so much notice of the how diners were dressed because I had to buy a new blazer for dinner there. So I wanted to feel that it wasn't for nothing :-)

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