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jdogg80 Jun 3, 2008 10:57 AM


My hubby is quite a foodie (and he loves French food), so I'm thinking Bouley for his bday. What do you all think of this restaurant? Worth the $$$? Any other recommendations for a nice night out to celebrate? Thanks!

  1. s
    sam1 Jun 3, 2008 11:16 AM

    i havent been to bouley in about 2 years but of the 5 times ive been there, every single time was excellent. recent snipes on this board have me fearing a return trip...i also have other fine dining to try before another visit.

    if you go, consider pre or post drinks at brandy library on north moore...a fantastic liquor bar.

    1. r
      rrems Jun 3, 2008 11:18 AM

      If you search Bouley on this board, you will find a wide range of opinions. I think there are better options for the price. For a foodie who loves French food, Jean-Georges would be my pick, or possibly Picholine.

      1. m
        MsBeebee Jun 3, 2008 01:13 PM

        Aureole beats Bouley hands down.
        River cafe is a good choice, also, Le Bernardin, and Gramercy Tavern .
        I'd stay away from One if By Land, Two if By Sea.

        1. d
          dhs Jun 3, 2008 01:28 PM

          I took my GF there for her birthday in January. We both had a tasting menu and she had the wine pairings as well. I felt it was a wonderful meal and experience. The cost of the dinner makes it something I would not repeat without trying other places first but we both enjoyed it tremendously and the space was very nice for a romantic, special dinner.

          1. m
            MIKELOCK34 Jun 3, 2008 07:19 PM

            Bouley is one of two restaurants in NYC that I will not visit again because of the food. Their tasting menu is my least favorite in the city.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MIKELOCK34
              jsmitty Jun 4, 2008 07:01 AM


            2. ellenost Jun 4, 2008 09:51 AM

              Bouley is one of my most favorite restaurants (along with Aureole). If you're hubby is a foodie who loves French food, the two of you will love it. I prefer the "white" room for its intimacy, but others on this board prefer the "red" room. I'm not a big fan of the tasting menu (I prefer the selections on the a la carte menu).

              1. h
                Heavy Ed Jun 4, 2008 02:14 PM

                I second Jean-George over Bouley.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Heavy Ed
                  smr18 Jun 5, 2008 09:12 AM

                  I think it depends on what atmosphere you want... Bouley is quiet and a darker room so much more romantic than the other choices....

                2. Spiritchaser Jun 5, 2008 09:27 AM

                  We flat out love Bouley and our most recent visit a few months ago was again fantastic. They are getting ready to change locations though so you would probably want to check on that.

                  You should also look into Daniel and Picholine.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Spiritchaser
                    jdogg80 Jun 5, 2008 11:22 AM

                    I was going to ask people's opinions of Daniel vs. Bouley. That option came up too... they both seem great! What do you all think?

                    1. re: jdogg80
                      Spiritchaser Jun 6, 2008 05:12 AM

                      They are both fantastic when it comes to the food but I would have to give the advantage to Daniel, the meal seemed more cohesive. Enviornment wise it would depend on what you wanted. Daniel to us seems more grand and polished whereas Bouley seems more intimate and romantic. Having dined at both for some special occasions I would say Daniel did a better, albeit slighty, job of making it special.

                      1. re: Spiritchaser
                        Schpsychman Jun 6, 2008 08:30 AM

                        Came to NYC (from Philly) for the Valentine's Day weekend in February and had two meals, one at Eleven Madison Park and one at Bouley. We should have done it in reverse order because Bouley was a big let down after experiencing all that is EMP, which blew it away. The cost of the meals were relatively the same but while the food, service, and attitude of the staff at EMP was perfect the same could not be said for Bouley.

                        It dripped with pretense and the sommelier's could not have been different either. At both places we had wine pairings. At EMP the sommelier poured the wine, waited for a taste and approval, and then poured more. One wine my wife didn't like and she felt bad saying so. He immediately brought the wine list to her and, with his suggestions, chose another wine. At Bouley the sommelier glugged the wine in the glass and walked away, the clear message being "You WILL like what I picked out for you because, afterall, I'm French." And that really was the attitude the whole evening as well. We were not that impressed with the food at Bouley, my veal chop was rather dry and pretty bland. The food at EMP, on the other hand, was sheer visual art and the tastes were incredible. If your husband knows and loves French food, don't go to Bouley and seriously consider going to Eleven Madison Park for a 3 hour slice of heaven.

                  2. k
                    kfontaine27 Jun 6, 2008 02:51 PM

                    have only done the bouley lunch tasting menu (most recently 2 months ago), but it is incredible. the finest french food i've had in new york, and superior to jean georges and daniel, in my opinion. the phyllo crusted shrimp is a true masterpiece. the service is nothing special, though i've found it more casual than stuffy. its not a place to go for an fiine dining "experience" like EMP, but if its great french food you want, Bouley is the one.

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