Bouley -- Great Mother's Day Dinner
My sister and I took our mother back to Bouley to celebrate Mother's Day. Our mom hasn't been to Bouley since the relocation, and we thought this would be a nice treat for her since Bouley has been a long time favorite restaurant of ours. When we arrrived, the very charming maitre d' took our coats and told us that he had a very special table for us that would take a few moments to get ready. We sat in the lovely seating area marveling about the beautiful orchids lining the front window sill. I have never seen such a beautiful collection of orchids (except in the Botanical Gardens). After no more than 5 minutes (we were very early for our reservation--great taxi driver avoided all traffic from my sister's apartment in Gramercy Park), we were shown to our table that gave us the best view of the entire restaurant. The room was filled with the most beautiful floral arrangements (all different). To our delight, our captain was a welcome surprise. George had always taken great care of us when he was at Bouley and Danube, but we hadn't seen him for a few years. We hope he stays a long time at Bouley.
Bouley offered a 5-course tasting menu (with choices) for $95. We first started with a lovely amuse of a parfait (bottom layer cheese , topped with a tomato gelee, topped with a little quenelle of basil sorbet. All flavors were wonderful separately, but the real magic was when I dipped my spoon to the bottom to get a little of all the flavors on the spoon at one time.
For the first course, our mom and I both chose the "Spring Garlic and Almond Soup, Parsley Root and Parsley Puree with Roasted Black Trumpet Mushrooms". All the flavors worked beautifully. My sister had the "South of France Jumbo White Asparagus with Roasted Local Pencil Asparagus, Spring Garden Herbs, Bail Dressing in a Comte Cloud". My sister was "swooning" over this. She very begrudgingly let me have two tastes. The asparagus were wonderful (I've always loved white asparagus), and the comte "cloud" was perfect.
We all had the "Porcini Flan, Live Dungeness Crab and Black Truffle Dashi". Both my sister and I have had this course before, and have loved it. Our mom loved it too. There seemed to be more crab than flan. This remains a winner of a dish.
We followed this with the "Organic Colorado Rack of Lamb, Roasted with Grains of Broccoli, Cauliflower and Special Spices, Soubise of Cippolini, Confit of Vine Ripened Cherry Tomatoes, Black Truffle Sauce". The lamb was removed from the bone, and must have been an inch and a half thick. The lamb was a perfect medium-rare and very soft and flavorful (not gamey at all). There also seemed to be a black olive sauce on the plate that since I dislike olives, I skipped. There was also a potato puree that was mixed with a cheese that had to have been the best potato puree I've ever had. We also received a side dish of two potato purees (the first was a traditional potato puree; the second was green in color--my sister believes it was mixed with leeks. Both were excellent.
Our pre-dessert followed: "Coconut Soup, Organic Yogurt Sorbet, Tree Ripe Pineapple Granite, Ten Exotic Fruit Sorbet". This was perfect. All of the flavors worked beautifully for a refreshing dessert. I would have been thrilled to have this as a full dessert.
For the real dessert, our mom and my sister ordered my usual favorite: "Hot Valrhona Chocolate Souffle, Vermont Maple & Prune Armagnac Ice Creams, Chocolate Sorbet". They loved this (as I usually do). I chose a new dessert: "Organic Quark Cheese Souffle, Raspberry and Strawberry Sauce, House Made Mint Ice Cream". This was a lighter dessert and very refreshing.
George brought our mom an autographed menu (which is how I am able to recount the menu). Needless to say this was a truly memorable meal. Our mom, my sister and I look forward to our next dinner (or lunch) at Bouley. Bouley continues to be one of my most favorite restaurants. I hope you all get a chance to have as special a meal at Bouley as we have had at Bouley.