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Bouley


glenn
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Note my observations are anecdotal, and should be viewed in the context of my subjective conclusion that the cuisine at new Bouley and previously at Bouley Bakery is not always excellent or even very good (a view that differs from that reflected in many other posts). :wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Robert S. expressed disappointment with Bouley's bread. While I took the other side of the discussion, my experience today causes me to agree with him.

They served a plain roll. Not exciting, even though plain bread should be. It seems it's the lure of the pistachio and raisin that keeps me happy with their bread. And while I'm still happy with the bread that features such things, it's clear that the underlying product is not tops.

By the way, today's lunch was 4 of 6 courses perfect and 2 of 6 very good. Sauces were fabulous, even better than fabulous, but the texture of my two fish entrees (halibut seemed too thick, striped bass would have benefited by a brown crisp side) kept it from being at the pinnacle. But the 2 starters and 2 desserts were awesome, as was my wife's vegetarian tasting meal.

My brothers salmon and veal were just pretty good, but nothing to write about.

beachfan

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A recent lunch at Bouley was sublime-- a perfect dining experience. The food and service were flawless. I don't know when the water glasses were refilled but they were always full. A glass of ice we requested was replaced throughout our three hour lunch without our ever having to ask for more ice. Every need was anticipated. I have also never seen so many different breads offered throughout our meal; saffron, sour dough, raisin, walnut, pistachio, and apple are a few that I remember.

Before you enter the restaurant the mood is set. The entrance hall has "ladders" on which apples are stacked. The fragrance and visual effect is stunning. We had the following summer tasting menu priced at $45.

Amuse Bouche: A glass about 6 inches tall was layered with crabmeat, gazpacho and guacamole.

First course: Phyllo crusted Florida shrimp, delicate Cape Cod squid, a sea scallop and crabmeat were surrounded by an ocean herbal broth. Superb.

Second course: Maine salmon with a fricassee of sweet corn, sugar snap peas and sorrel accompanied with a frothy buttery sauce and Atlantic halibut surrounded by finely diced local Ruby beets and a beet/horseradish sauce. Of the two dishes I liked the halibut the best.

Next the chef sent over a demitasse cup layered with sea urchins, kaffir lime mousse, and caviar. This course was half eaten and I didn't hate it but I wouldn't order it!

Third course: Pennsylvania all natural chicken roasted with Roma beans, green asparagus and Canadian chanterelles with a fresh chamomile sauce and a roasted organic tenderloin of veal with a pinot wine sauce and confiture of scallions. The chicken was moist and tender as was the veal. The accompanying mashed potatoes were rich and very smooth.

We opted next for an a la carte cheese plate.

Fourth Course: a wonderful fresh local strawberry soup with black mint sorbet. I enjoyed the soup but not the sorbet.

Dessert: A hot Valrhona chocolate soufflé, with scoops of chocolate sorbet, vanilla ice cream, maple ice cream and prune Armagnac ice cream. This was the best version of this dessert that I have ever eaten. We also had a white chocolate mousse served in a martini glass. Berries were on the bottom, then the mousse, a layer of strawberry sauce and a topping of an ten exotic fresh fruit sorbet that tasted like mango to me.

Coffee was outstanding.

After we paid our bill, $102 per person with tax and tip, a lovely assortment petit fours were brought to our table. I remember tasting tuilles, a nut coated truffle with a pistachio cream center, sesame brittle, a chocolate ganache in a shell, and a custard cream tart topped with berries.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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A recent lunch at Bouley was sublime . . . . We had the following summer tasting menu priced at $45.

Rosie -- If the price is $45 for the prix fixe lunch, the price reflects a $10 increase over the $35 I paid as recently as 2 months ago. :sad:

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A recent lunch at Bouley was sublime . . . . We had the following summer tasting menu priced at $45.

Rosie -- If the price is $45 for the prix fixe lunch, the price reflects a $10 increase over the $35 I paid as recently as 2 months ago. :sad:

There are two tasting menus. A $35 and a $45. We splurged~ :biggrin:

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 1 month later...

I had lunch a few weeks ago with three of my friends and thought it was fabulous. Since we were from out of town, i made reservations from Montreal and had to explain the situation when they asked for a phone number. The person with who i spoke was very kind and made me feel as if they were waiting for us. When we arrived at the restaurant, everything was very cool and we ordered the 45$ prix fixe. What happened next was unexpected. They started sending food we hadn't ordered and took the liberty of doing things that weren't on the lunch menu. We had all the classics and some wine pairings and so on. But when the bill came, they had charged us 75$ as we would have paid at night. We all jumped and talked about the situation among ourselves and agreed not to make a big scandal out of it since we had been treated like kings and had drank wine we had not ordered but still we couldn't believe it. If you take the liberty of doing such things, you should always do it at your own charge. Note that the food was fantastic and the service efficient but what if we didn't want to pay as much for a lunch. I guess they didn't bother screwing 4 canadians cause we are only one time customers.I'd really like to see what you all think about that.

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we ordered the 45$ prix fixe.

guru -- With all respect, if I were in your shoes, I would have politely mentioned to the maitre d' that, while you had a wonderful meal and appreciated the generosity of the restaurant, you had ordered the $45 prix fixe and hoped that the bill could be adjusted accordingly. If my request were declined, I would ask to speak with the lead chef in the kitchen at the time. To charge $75 without prior consultation is inappropriate. That you were happy with the food is not a mitigating factor, although the converse of dissatisfaction with the food might be an exacerbating factor. :hmmm:

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we ordered the 45$ prix fixe.

guru -- With all respect, if I were in your shoes, I would have politely mentioned to the maitre d' that, while you had a wonderful meal and appreciated the generosity of the restaurant, you had ordered the $45 prix fixe and hoped that the bill could be adjusted accordingly. If my request were declined, I would ask to speak with the lead chef in the kitchen at the time. To charge $75 without prior consultation is inappropriate. That you were happy with the food is not a mitigating factor, although the converse of dissatisfaction with the food might be an exacerbating factor. :hmmm:

I agree with Cabrales.

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  • 1 month later...

cabrales,

i've been checking the Bouley website recently as well and was thinking the same exact thing!

happy to report that they are still offering a 5-course tasting menu at lunch--i walked by during my 3-day stint of jury duty down in tribeca but unfortunately didn't have time to sit down for a meal. it was posted on the door that the restaurant was offering the 5-course tasting menu for $45. (i think this was raised $5-10 in the past few months.)

i believe they still offer a smaller 3-course prix-fix lunch but i can't remember the price. sorry about that!

Howie

Edited by Howie (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Upon learning that my girlfriend had gained admittance to law school on Monday, we decided to stop into Bouley, unannounced, for a celebratory dinner. Fortunately, the restaurant was not particularly full, so we had no problem being shown to a table.

This is my first visit to the restaurant since the restaurant was reincarnated from its Bouley Bakery guise. Others have already commented on the decor, but I love the way the arches carve the main room into more intimate spaces and the general feel of the places. The apples, of course, are wonderful.

Because of the celebratory nature of the dinner, we started with two glasses of Veuve-Cliquot Le Grande Dame, 1993. Almost instantly--at about the same time we were presented our menus--our amuse bouche showed up. The amuse was salmon gravlax atop a layer of yogurt atop celery and dill. Although the timing was not convenient (I'm not sure if they expected us to put down the menus and eat or decide what to order and leave the amuse sitting in front of us), the dish itself was fantastic. I don't ususally like salmon at all, but this was one of the finest dishes I have had in months. The celery and salmon had similar textures, providing every bite with a consistent mouthfeel and allowing the tongue to understand this as one unified taste instead of a competing array of flavors. Not to suggest that there was a lack of complexity--this dish was slightly sweet, a bit salty, with the subtle, essential flavor of the celery providing a grounding for the dish.

At this point, our expectations for the meal were quite high. We were excited to eat some more food, if only we could order it. After initially sending our server away because we had not had enough time to consider both the amuse and the menu, we put down our menus and waited for him to return. And we waited. And waited some more. Finally, our waiter returned. In most respects, service throughout the night was excellent--knowledgeable, unobtrusive, and responsive to our needs without anything needing to be said. Timing was an issue throughout the night, however.

Shortly after ordering, our appetizers appeared. I had the "Return from Chiang Mai", a cold lobster dish served with serrano ham, artichokes and mango. The dish was dense and densely packed with flavor; there was passion fruit in the sauce, and this, combined with the mango, gave each bite a palpable zing, a tingling on the tongue that provided the only sort of counterpoint hearty enough for lobster this flavorful. Across the table, my girlfriend was enjoying a panache of three salads (although actually four appeared, arranged in small camps on a large plate.) The foie gras was just as we both enjoy it--rich and buttery, without a livery taint; the fricassee of mushrooms was excellent; and the satay of scallops and shrimp made her put down her fork and exclaim with pleasure. The only downfall of this dish, from my perspective, was that the individual salads were too small for me to sample much of, and she ate the shrimp and scallop so quickly that I didn't get to try any of it.

For our main course, I ordered monkfish roasted with musrhrooms and artichokes. This dish was also quite good; the fish was excellent and flavorful, nicely sauced and well accompanied by the vegetables. My girlfriend had ordered the salmon, and was less enthusiastic about this. She felt the salmon was somewhat overcooked, which wouldn't be any surprise given the long lag time between our appetizers disappearing and the fish showing up. This dish was the only disappointment of the evening.

For dessert, we had decided to share the "Sweet Pleasures", which was layers of milk chocolate sandwiching a milk chocolate ganache and chantilly, resting on top of a toasted hazelnut dacquoise. This dessert was very good, although not particularly imaginative. Before dessert, we were presented with two substantial pre-desserts. I received a trio of sorbets (prune?, pineapple, and apricot) while my girlfriend received some sort of citrus sorbet (pomelo?) along with something else that I now do not remember at all. In many restaurants, these would be excellent desserts, so we were exceptionally happy to receive them as a palate cleanser.

Overall, one of the best meals I have enjoyed in New York for some time, despite some service glitches and the less-than-stellar salmon. Now that I live near Bouley, I am eager to return, and will hopefully have more reports soon.

Dinner, accompanied by two glasses of expensive champagne and a half bottle of Paul Blanck riesling (and including tax and tip) was $300.

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I received the following information from Bouley. The 5 courses for $95 is a reasonable price, for that restaurant. :blink:

"Chef David Bouley invites you to experience a unique tasting menu created in celebration of one of his favorite winter pleasures, the French Black Truffle. This very special menu is provided below, as well as on our website, www.bouley.net.

Begins Monday, February 10 through the end of the month...

Chef's Welcome Canapé

***

Salad of Organic Rabbit with Jerusalem Artichoke,

Mâche, Baby Watercress and Black Truffle Vinaigrette

***

Dairy-Free Ravioli of New Zealand Langoustine and Black Truffle Glazed Savoy Cabbage and Snap Peas

Banyuls Wine Sauce

***

Fingerling Potato Cloud with Black Truffle, N.Y. State Foie Gras and Organic Quince

***

Farm Raised Guinea Hen Baked in Buttermilk and Black Truffle

with White Asparagus, Truffle and Porcini Cooked "En Papillote" Almond-Truffle Natural Jus

***

Warm Bosc Pears in a Réglise Glaze, Rosemary Flan with Black Truffles Greek Yogurt and Kaffir Lime Sauce, Rose and Almond Ice Cream

$95"

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That is odd.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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My first reaction was a concern for persons who observe certain of the kosher rules, but there's a yogurt item and ice cream toward the end.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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