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Jean Georges vs Bouley vs ?

aggiebethie Sep 20, 2010 03:22 PM

My boyfriend and I are making our first trip to NYC and will be celebrating his birthday while we are there - his sister is joining us from DC so we will have 3 people for dinner. Apparently I waited too late to make awesome reservations for Saturday night (Oct 9th). I've already contacted Per Se, Daniel, Le Berdain, EMP, and WD-50, and they are all booked, and I can't do Momofuku Ko because we have 3 people.

All we really want is a great tasting menu (no sushi b/c he just got back from Japan and you really can't top the sushi there) with maybe some molecular gastronomy thrown in and a volume level that we can easily talk to each other. Price and location don't matter. So, it looks like my options are Jean Georges and Bouley (and a small handful of others that still have reservation availability). Between those two though, which would you choose and why? If you have a suggestion for another tasting menu restaurant, please share. Thank you so much for your help!

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    fm1963 RE: aggiebethie Sep 20, 2010 03:57 PM

    My choice would be Jean Georges, which is a league above Bouley in terms of food, service, and atmosphere. The tasting menu of signature dishes should not be missed.

    Bouley is fine, but some of the dishes fall flat, service can be tense and erratic, and the tchotchkerie in the room can be a bit much. But I do like their lunch deal.

    Also consider Corton and The Modern Dining Room (for the latter, be sure request a table by the windows in order to minimize some of the noise drifting in from the Bar Room).

    SHO Shaun Hergatt is another possibility, though IMO not as wow-worthy as JG, The Modern, and Corton.

    Enjoy your visit.

    Jean Georges
    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

    239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

    SHO Shaun Hergatt
    40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

    1 Reply
    1. re: fm1963
      newfie29 RE: fm1963 Sep 21, 2010 10:29 AM

      Three of us had dinner Saturday night at SHO Shaun Hergatt and thoroughly enjoyed it. The service was outstanding and, at $69 /person for a three course meal, overall it was a really good deal. None of us duplicated the others' orders, and there wasn't a choice among us that wasn't happily devoured. Two rounds of amuse bouches to start, and a cart full of truffles, macaroons and petit fours at meal's end truly contributed to the wow factor you're looking for.

      SHO Shaun Hergatt
      40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

    2. sgordon RE: aggiebethie Sep 20, 2010 04:32 PM

      I'm not a fan of J-G so much, between the two I'd do Bouley. Nicer atmosphere, not so corporate-stuffy.

      Other non-Japanese options, that according to Opentable have openings: The Modern Dining Room, Joel Robuchon, Del Posto, Craft, Colicchio & Sons... of those, I'd probably choose Del Posto. Fantastic the times I've been, though I haven't done the tasting menu. Been tempted, since that's the only guaranteed way of getting the famous "100 Layer Lasagna" though. For something a bit more "molecular" Robuchon, obviously.

      According to opentable there IS an 11:00 opening at WD-50, if that's not too late. Or you could just do a walk-in earlier. There's nearly always seats available in the no-rez bar area. I've never had a problem just walking in, even on a Saturday night when the rest of the place is booked solid.

      50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

      Del Posto
      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      Colicchio & Sons
      85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      1. ellenost RE: aggiebethie Sep 20, 2010 05:52 PM

        I've been a big fan of Bouley for more than 10 years. I just celebrated my birthday at Bouley in August. We had an exquisite tasting menu. The room is gorgeous and service is very attentive. I've also celebrated my birthday at Jean-Georges in the past. While the food is also excellent, both the room and service leave me cold.

        BTW, my other favorite restaurants are EMP and Momofuku Ko.

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          edwardspk RE: aggiebethie Sep 21, 2010 07:22 AM

          Another vote for Jean-Georges. When it comes to quality of food, quality of service, decor and price point, it consistently lands as my overall favorite restaurant. I think you would not be disappointed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: edwardspk
            cambridgedoctpr RE: edwardspk Sep 21, 2010 09:08 AM

            I had a great meal at Corton though the savory part was better than the sweets. I like everthing about Jean-Georges though you should know that it is a fusion restaurant. Next visit to NYC, i will check out the new EMP, which has a lot of support of chowhound.

            239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

          2. Bko RE: aggiebethie Sep 21, 2010 10:14 AM

            I'd prefer Jean Georges over Bouley. I feel the food is more interesting there, and they are one of the few restaurants that incorporate an Asian influence into their dishes very well. Corton is another place that you could try.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bko
              peter j RE: Bko Sep 22, 2010 11:14 AM

              Seconding Jean Georges and Corton over Bouley.

              Jean Georges
              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

              239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

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              fm1963 RE: aggiebethie Sep 21, 2010 11:00 AM

              delete (sorry, wrong thread).

              1 Reply
              1. re: fm1963
                pizzajunkie RE: fm1963 Sep 22, 2010 10:35 AM

                I've never been to Bouley but have been to JG several times and can't find any fault with it - it's always on my "must" list when I visit NYC.

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                theOGbigguy RE: aggiebethie Sep 22, 2010 12:47 PM

                With very few exceptions, Bouley's new restaurant has been receiving dissapointing reviews. My meal there was unremarkable but solid, which generally places my opinion of the place towards the top of the range.

                JG is excellent, although I generally only go for lunch.

                The choice between those two isn't close in my book, it's JG by a landslide.

                Others to consider are The Modern, Kyo Ya, Degustation and Adour. All are preferable to Bouley in my mind, but I would probably pick JG over each of them as well. If you don't want sushi at Kyo Ya, do the 9 course tasting.

                Kyo Ya
                94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                1 Reply
                1. re: theOGbigguy
                  doubledoc RE: theOGbigguy Sep 22, 2010 01:28 PM

                  Had dinner @ The Modern about a month ago. Overall, it was a very nice experience, and better than my experience at Bouley, where there were serious problems with the service throughout the meal. However, the food at Bouley, when on, truly sings at a level that Kreuther's food doesn't.

                  Food: Bouley>The Modern
                  Service: The Modern>Bouley
                  Intangibles: Modern>Bouley*

                  *numerous freebies (comped wines/free courses, layers of post dessert food), incredible space, Moma...but if you are in the main room @ Bouley on a cold night and the fireplaces are happening then you will be a happy diner assuming the service does not implode.

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                  aggiebethie RE: aggiebethie Sep 24, 2010 08:14 AM

                  Thanks for the help everyone! We ended up getting a reservation at JG. So looking forward to all the food in NYC!

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