We're visiting NYC for a week this january and I've been able to get a table at Bouley that saturday at 9:30 PM. I would have choosen EMP but it is fully booked, so I thought that Bouley was the second best choice (Per Se is too expensive).
I am however wondering if 9:30 PM is too late when we're getting the tasting menu, couting 17 dishes according to the menu on their web page.
Do you have any experience starting your dinner around 9:30 PM on Bouley? I'm afraid that they will try to rush us through the menu - we really want to enjoy the dinner and take us time doing so. Normally we would use the whole evening (in this case half the night?).
About the restaurant prices in USA. At Bouley the the tasting menu including wine is $280 pp. Is this including service, tips, tax, etc.? Or do you have to add 20%, which makes it ~$340?
What do you think the _total_ price for the tasting menu and wine pairings will be at Bouley for two persons?
Thank you very much for sharing any experinces. Also if you have other suggestions that I should consider instead of Bouley (being somewhat less expensive), feel free to share them :-)
IMO the lunch menu at Bouley is a much better value...Have you considered booking one at lunch?
Most lunch menus at good restaurants seems to have a significantly decreased quality vs. their dinner menus, but I've been to Bouley's lunch twice in 2012 and the service and the food was comparable to some of the best in the city....
I actually had a very enjoyable lunch at Bouley today. To answer your questions:
1) You will not be rushed. But if you order the tasting menu, I'd estimate dinner will run close to 3 hours.
2) In the USA listed prices at restaurants generally don't include TAX or gratuity. Tax in NYC is 8.875%, tip is customarily 15-20% of the pre-tax bill (many people just double the sales tax to calculate tip). So your total bill at Bouley will come to about $722 for 2 people. $560 for food and wine, $112 tip, $49.70 tax.
3) Other places to consider: I haven't been to EMP, but at those prices I would go to Corton, The Modern, Jean Georges, or Le Bernardin before I went to Bouley. Bouley is a great restaurant (and probably has the most beautiful room in the city), but I didn't think the food had the "wow" factor that I got at the above restaurants. I do think their lunch tasting menu at $55 is one of the best deals in town, though.
Bouley is one of my most favorite restaurants. The tasting menu is not 17 courses; one needs to make a selection from each category. You will probably have 7 courses with some extras. The $280 with wine pairings does not include tax or tip. I am confident that you will not be rushed during your dinner. Have a great time!