HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Bouley Bakery, is it really that bad???

  • f

I must again ask the question, Is Bouley Bakery that bad??? I have reservations there for my B-day on 1/2/00, what should I do??

It seems that Mr. Grimes from the Times was duly impressed, is this an aberrant opinion. Is there a consesus to the tepid reactions? I must say that I have heard all the hype and am intrigued. I am also celebrating the next week at my favorite, Tabla and am looking forward to a week of epicurean pleasure...I hope.

Any comments???

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. In response to your first question- YES.

    1. I hope not because I, too, have birthday reservations - 12/26, at 6pm. I'll try to remember to post a report as soon as we get home from dinner and, if it's as bad as all these postings seem to make it, perhaps you'll have time to get a reservation somewhere else. I'm hoping for the best but that's just me - the glass is always half full...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dena

        Thank you, I hope that they live up to the hype.
        I look forward to your response.
        By the way the menu is located at their website.

        Link: http://www.bouley.net

      2. Look, I had a *wonderful* lunch with my brother there. They seated us about 10-15 minutes late and were a little cool about it but once we were seated everything was was SUPERB from there: the food, the service, the portions, etc. We feasted on all the breads through out our meal which were truly transcendental, we got huge bowls of fresh sorbet and frozen yogurt before our desserts, all the food was perfect. I left there raving about it. If you have an early rez that's probably good and just expect to wait a bit, I guess. The only reason a 10 minute waite was annoying was because we were both trying hard to fit this nice lunch into a busy business day. But all's well that ends well. TIP: split your appie and dessert so you can fit in more bread! And on the way out, I bought a devine loaf of roasted garlic bread for $5. White bread studded and stuffed with whole roasted garlic cloves, amazing toasted with butter..........froze it in several chunks and enjoyed it for weeks to come.

        1. It's not that bad. Have no fear. Go, and enjoy.

          Like any other business, Bouley serves thousands of people, and no matter how good they are, the law of large numbers says they are going to piss some people off. I don't say that these people don't have good grounds for being pissed off, however, I don't think the number of tepid reactions has reached a point where you need to be overly concerned.

          Bouley (the former restaurant and the current Bakery) is my favorite restaurant, bar none. I've been there over a dozen times and never once had a bad experience. Never felt it wasn't worth the price. Never had to wait for a table more than 5 minutes.

          1. Clearly, it depends on your reservation time. If you're eating there at 6, have no fear. If you're eating there at 9 or later, I'd be very, very worried.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dan

              Reservation Time=9PM
              Right After the Main Rush...
              Guess I'll be postin' by the bar.
              Well I will elaborate on my experience
              after my visit.

              Though, now I feel a growing sense of trepidation.

            2. Ok...so bouley has a website with an address for Mr. Bouley...so if you really want to be heard take all of the entire thread and send it to him, or send him the link so he can read them all. That would be my suggestion....let him see that his mistakes have visibility....Maybe you'll get a free voucher or at least something if the guy cares at all.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                What's the URL? I looked for a Bouley website when I first had my awful night there, but couldn't find one.

                1. re: Dan

                  I gave it out earlier...Here ya go.
                  Hopefully, your criticism will help by the time I get there.


                  Link: http://www.bouley.net

              2. I've been there about 6 times. The food and service have been uniformly excellent (and sometimes heavenly). Twice we had to wait a while (once a long while, and the anteroom was crowded ... free glasses of champagne were proffered (and accepted :-) ). Once, the couple next door had a serious complaint (though I don't know it was) and the restaurant responded by refusing to take their (platinum) card (i.e., they got a free meal).
                Obviously, they're not perfect with regard to spacing out the reservations and it can impact the later diners sometimes. If you keep this in mind, you may be pleasantly surprised by not waiting, and you will almost certainly have a marvelous dinner....