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Feb 14, 2007 11:35 AM

Thanks, Bouley--Thought y'all should know

Hi, all NY CH'ers! I'm a Seattle CH in town for a week. Had a free lunch time today, so thought I'd treat myself to Bouley. It can be a bit weird as a solo person, esp. on a day like Valentine's day. Anyway, Bouley did me well, and I wanted to praise them and let y'all know!

First off, I had a lovely table -- not something you necessarily expect for a table for 1. At the end of the banquette so I had some room to myself, they lit a candle so it woldn't be too dark.

I decided rather than the prix fix I would have 3 appetizers + wine. I had:

Amuse bouche--mascarpone mousse + beet sorbet + almond foam w/ tattinger brut

1st course--return from Chang Mai--lobster wrapped in serrano ham w/ passionfruit sauce (w/ rest of tatt. brut)

2nd course--phyllo wrapped shrimp, squid and pan seared scallop in ocean broth w/ sauv. blanc from france (actually sauv blanc/semillion/moscatell--very grassy and floral at the same time)

Then they served me an extra course--pan seared skate with caper/parsley/pineapple sauce and a 2002 Montrachet (and they didn't charge me for the course or the wine!!!) I have no idea why they served me this--felt sorry for a solo on V-day? Were trying to get rid of the skate? Doesn't matter--they were great, the dish was lovely, and I so much appreciated it!

3rd course--hudson valley foie gras w/apple puree & fig/cinnamon compote with a Nuit St. George burgundy

Dessert--pumpkin seed oil cake w/ chocolate ganache & green tea/white choc. ice cream w/ another glass of tattinger (aren't you proud of my typing skills after all that wine!)

The dessert amuse bouche (whatever that might be called) was mango sorbet + star anise foam.

Anyway, Bouley's fantastic service for a solo luncher on V-day is a positive memory I'll retain and I can guarantee I'll be back. (Maybe I'll let my husband come next time!) I hope you all can enjoy such a great meal there.


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  1. I'm glad to hear that one of my favorite restaurants did such a nice job.

    1. am i the only man alive that did not have a favorable bouley experience. the service was perfectly professional. so no real gripes there. to start i thought their own bread is gummy and leaves you wanting more. nothing like sullivan st., amy's, eli's, that place in l. ic. a lot of the restaurants use, bouchon bakery, tom cat etc... i ordered the tasing menu. i was underwhlemed with a scant lobster wrapped in something? quail that was good, not great. what is there signature dish? i can't recall now, as i recall it was fine. i was hungry after 3 dishes on the tasting. i guess when all the hype exceeds the experience it can lead to this .oh yeah, i was not a huge fan of the beet, marcarapone amuse boush offering(sp. sorry) the chocolate cake, you know the ubiquitous oozing, molten thing you see alot. it was very good. of course the room was great. my buddy who was with me,and a someonewho goes to a lot of great restaurants with me, shared my perception of being underwhelmed. they don't need my business any way. but, after all the accoldades, gushing reviews etc.etc., i cannot say i loved the whole deal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jsmitty

        No--if you search, you'll find other criticisms. NO restaurant gets universal praise on this board.

        1. re: jsmitty

          No. My brother and I went for lunch I guess a couple of years ago, and he was served a chicken dish that was partly RAW. The kitchen did make a properly-cooked version, but that's the kind of thing that really should never happen, especially at a restaurant at that price and presumed quality level. And neither of us found the food as interesting as we had hoped, generally, though we did love the prune-armagnac ice cream (and wished it had had more armagnac in it - the waiter told us that some patrons had complained it had too much liqueur in it, and we made it clear to him that we found that a crazy idea).

        2. Wow your lunch date sounds great. Better than mine for sure. Gives me encouragement to try myself. Thanks for the write up.

          1. no restaurant experience is perfect but Bouley almost always comes as close any other. The negatives are so much fewer than the positives. If you had a bad experience it is usually due to IMHO other factors. I think it truly is the best in NYC when you factor everything in.

            1. I'm a long-time Bouley fan, but as Lucia says, you'll find plenty of criticisms on this board.

              But I'm delighted to hear of your good experience, which reinforces everything I know about Bouley and his staff.

              - Sean