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Feb 23, 2011 03:37 PM

Bouley for lunch

Going to Bouley for lunch tomorrow. Would appreciate any recos

163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. The lunch tasting menu now has more options that I haven't tried yet, but I liked the porcini flan, the duck, and the chocolate frivolous.

    1. First course - the Carpaccio of Kampachi, Young Big Eye Tuna, Striped Amberjack - beautiful and light.
      Second course - Porcini Flan, Alaska Live Dungeness Crab - best dish on the set menu, IMO.
      Third course - the Duck is good, but not mind altering like that at Corton. Saw my neighbor order the Venison and it looked sublime.
      Dessert - If you like Chocoate and are hungry, go with the Frivolous. If you want something lighter the Snowball with Lychee looked excellent.

      If you're considering going off the prix-fixe, STRONGLY recommend the Organic Connecticut Farm Egg - it was the best egg dish in a trip featuring five great ones........and, if you can talk them into it, the sea urchin terrine (off menu, given to me for an unknown reason) is one of the five best things I've eaten so far in 2011.

      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

      34 Replies
      1. re: uhockey

        The sea urchin terrine looks wonderful. I hope it's on the dinner menu next week.

          1. re: princeofpork

            Nope. Not at lunch. Actually only saw one guy in one, though you'd certainly not feel out of place wearing one.


            1. re: uhockey

              When I recently made a reservation for lunch the person told me that men are required to wear jackets at lunch.

              1. re: bobygee

                Interesting - I didn't, and neither did half the room.


                1. re: bobygee

                  2 of the men were wearing button downs with no jacket. No one said a word.

              2. re: princeofpork

                For dinner jacket is recommended. Lunch a jacket isnt needed. I would get there soon, while David Bouley is still in the kitchen. I give it another 3 months before he stops cooking.

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Indeed he was there and everything he was sending out was fantastic. I've no idea how things will change if/when he leaves, but super nice guy and honestly, the lunch I had there trumped EMP, which is saying a lot. It was the best lunch I've ever had in Manhattan, and amongst the top 5 overall meals.


                  1. re: uhockey

                    Wow! Looking forward to your review. BTW, Chef Bouley has been present in the kitchen for a long time (every time I've dined at Bouley in more than a year).

                    1. re: uhockey

                      Wow, indeed! Though the lunch we had at Bouley was fine (the only time we've been there), we've had better lunches at other places, including Jean Georges, Tocqueville, and Cafe Boulud. Still, I'm eager to go to back to Bouley but more so for dinner. I'd considered doing that today, but it didn't fit in with our plans.


                      1. re: RGR

                        I had a very fortunate couple of days on 2/18-2/19 with EMP and Bouley going neck and neck for best lunch ever in Manhattan - I guess the thing is that I EXPECTED EMP to be excellent while I went into Bouley with much lower expectations and aside from the overwhelming (but tasty) dessert I found everything to be truly superb.

                        I still cannot fathom why I was sent 4 complimentary dishes (though my captain stated it was because Chef Bouley "liked my order") but two of them were amongst the best courses of the meal - the urchin and the second egg.


                        1. re: uhockey

                          "I still cannot fathom why I was sent 4 complimentary dishes (though my captain stated it was because Chef Bouley "liked my order")...."

                          LOL! As you know, we were at Lincoln last night and received a complimentary dish. We were later told by one of the staff that Chef Benno really liked our order and that was the reason for the gift.

                          I agree that expectations play a huge role in how one views a meal. My expectations for Bouley were quite high, so there was a degree of disappointment. For example, everyone raves about the porcini flan, but it did nothing for me. With regard to Lincoln, I went in with expectations severely in check and came away very impressed with the food.


                          1. re: RGR

                            I loved that Porcini flan. :-)

                            ...and I'm really glad you liked Lincoln.


                            1. re: RGR

                              Lincoln in great. And so is Bouley.

                              1. re: RGR

                                Oh, so glad you liked Lincoln!!! Can't wait to see the pictures! :)

                                1. re: j.jessica.lee

                                  Hi jjl,

                                  I've uploaded the photos of our lunch. The photos of our Lincoln dinner will be next. :)


                                  1. re: RGR

                                    Excellent photos. I'm excited about the new bread. What was the dish that looked gratineed?

                              2. re: uhockey

                                I've never received 4 complimentary dishes at Bouley (last week I only received 2). Chef Bouley must have really liked your order! You must give me your secret :-).

                                1. re: ellenost

                                  I guess it was 3 complimentary as I ordered the egg dish but they neglected to charge me for it - so, 4.


                                  1. re: uhockey

                                    The egg dish was my favorite of the entire meal.

                            2. re: uhockey

                              I didn't know David Bouley was leaving, is this confirmed?

                              1. re: PorkyBelly

                                David Bouley is not leaving Bouley. I think uhockey was merely speculating that many chef-owners do hire chefs de cuisine to run the kitchen, and perhaps Chef Bouley might do so in the future.

                                1. re: ellenost

                                  Oh ok, anybody know if he's still in the kitchen?

                              2. re: uhockey

                                Bouley lunch last week, second visit, DB was indeed cooking. Fantastic meal, lots of extras, stunning technique and lux ingredients in every dish. My favorite place for lunch in Manhattan.

                                1. re: uhockey

                                  I was back at Bouley again last weekend for lunch...all I can say is WOW. Had the terrific sea urchin terrine, so so good, and a fab Black Cod Marinated with Pistachio Miso Heirloom Tomatoes. Lamb Saddle and Rack for main, and many many luxe ingredients in between. Service was warm and spot on. My happy place in Manhattan for sure. Also hit Del Posto and Babbo, both of which remain solid.

                                  1. re: mdietrich

                                    Great report! Definitely must try Bouley for lunch (have gone to dinner only at Bouley).

                                    1. re: mdietrich

                                      Thanks for the info. I don't see any sea urchin terrine on their website's lunch menu though. Did you have lunch prix fixe?

                                      1. re: kosmose7

                                        just request it when you make your reserve. I believe it is currently offered at dinner

                                      2. re: mdietrich

                                        How long does a lunch prix fix typically last at Bouley?
                                        Also, I called and was told jackets were required at lunch. But it's saying around here it isn't. So I'm confused. I'm guessing the restaurant prefers them but it isn't a requirement at lunch?

                                        1. re: Heeney

                                          Our recent lunch there was at least 2 hrs (but probably around 2.5 hrs). We are leisurely and they didn't seem to mind so...

                                          Regarding the jackets at lunch; I am certain I remember every gentleman in the dining room wearing a jacket, I wear one at everything other than casual meals so I never thought to check on the policy.

                                          1. re: Spiritchaser

                                            My last trip through, l did not have a jacket at lunch, and one was supplied, no choice on my part.

                                            1. re: Spiritchaser

                                              I have never worn a jacket for lunch or for dinner at Bouley. One time Bouley asked me in for dinner and I was dressed very casual. So he doesn't mind. I did wear a jacket to Danube, back in the day. In any case, I walk by Bouley quite often in the afternoon, Bouley has been in the kitchen during the day. I haven't seen him in the kitchen during the evenings I passed by and gazed thru the kitchen window. I suspect lunch is excellent, with Bouley in the kitchen.

                                      3. re: foodwhisperer

                                        chef means chief; i do not think that he is doing much actual cooking; he is supervising.

                                        i read an article about a cook at Jean-George who saw J-G himself cut a bagel; that was all that he did hands on.

                                  2. the menu has been refreshed since my visit in November, but they did have a similar Carpaccio dish. it was the standout of my selection. Ms. Coasts had the Porcini Flan and, although she really enjoyed it, the dish became too heavy to finish. she actually left a few spoonfuls. that said, i'm sure she'd order it again.

                                    we both had the chicken entree, which we enjoyed but wouldn't rush back for. i'll be there on Saturday and will look to try the venison. for dessert, I had the cheese course. she had the chocolate. the chocolate dish was never-ending. i ended up eating a good portion of it and i'm not sure we finished it.

                                    enjoy and please comment. i'm looking forward to hearing what you had as your main course.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: coasts

                                      I recently had a very disappointing lunch at Bouley. We'd been there about 5 years ago (the old location) and were treated so well with all kinds of extras, seriously pampered and thenI read Unhockey's report and that cemented my choice to return for a special birthday lunch. I too reserved way in advance, asked if the chef would be there, asked if it would be OK for me to take pics and told them it would be my birthday. Perhaps with all that my sights were set too high but I was very disappointed. Nothing as actually bad but pretty much everything was just OK. It truly felt like the whole thing was being dialed in from the food to the service.

                                      There's a full review with pictures on my blog:
                                      if anyone is interested in details.

                                      1. re: plafield

                                        Why do people always put an "N" in my screenname?

                                        Interesting review and thanks for sharring.


                                        1. re: uhockey

                                          Sorry about the N, Uhockey. Perhaps it's my personal aversion to the sport that wants to make you the UNhockey, since I so respect your food persona?!

                                    2. Bumping an old thread, but have a lunch reservation at Bouley and wondering how the foie gras is currently prepared at the restaurant. Looking for seared foie gras and unsure if New York State Foie is what I am looking for. Thanks!!