I've only eaten at the counter. If only mall food were more like this! Their croissant and counter service are both excellent. For a stark contrast in quality, try a lackluster croissant at recently opened Tisserie. The macaroons are like the ones provided after dinner at Per Se. That is, the last time I went, which was a while ago.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed eating there. A friend and I celebrated her birthday at lunch there recently (in fact, we celebrated at dinner, too, but that is another story) and we had a fine time.
We sat at the communal table, which occasioned a string of questions from the hostess, struck us kind of funny. Do you want to sit near the window or away? Near. Side-by-side or across from each other? Side by side. Do you want to face this direction or that direction? She was very nice and we all laughed.
We both had a most excellent seafood salad with tender-crisp shrimps, squid, lovely bits of scallop and Peekytoe crab. Every bite was great, and perfectly dressed. Should be at $18.95, but we were pretty happy, despite one mean leaf of mache. Sheesh, can I have another leaf? Thanks? Tart cherry crèmes brulee tarts for dessert, quite nice enough, although I can generally skip dessert.
I'd gladly go back.
I agree with Lutkie. I place it in the same category as 'Wichcraft--not in the quality sense, but in the sense that I usually feel like I'm paying a little bit more than I should be, but end up being just fine with that given the delicious tastes and fresh ingredients.
I was never a big fan of macarons till I tried them at Bouchon Bakery--go for the caramel!
Also, as nice as the sit-down service is at BB, I prefer to pick up from their takeout counter and walk over to the Park--the perfect centerpiece of a perfect New York summer day.
Bouchon is pricey because of the location, but they do use the top quality ingredients in everything. I'm no pastry virgin and I love it! Eating at the cafe I would reccommend any of the salads and sandwiches. They are nicely presented and the service is gracious. I think the pastries and cookies, etc. are just as good at the retail store as in the restaurant (not always true of the sandwiches). It's worth a trip, even if the Samsung sign is a bit ridiculous.