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Posted by anonymous on 03/10/2009
It is serene without being pretentious. It is quiet without being morgue-like. It takes care of you without being overbearing. And I haven't even mentioned the food... which is a revelation. From the amuse bouche to the copious desserts they keep plying you with the food manages to be inventive but not so odd you question what you are eating.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/07/2009
I have to admit I had heard about Bouley when I first moved to NY and avoided it based on the assumption that it was likely another establishment restaurant in NY that is overpriced with a pretentious following and let's face it you can get superb food and ambience across the spectrum of prices ranges in this city. My relatively new suitor brought me to Bouley last night and I have to say every moment was exceptional - the gentle but accomodating service, the insanely good food (the foie gras was perfectly prepared - the lamb melted in my mouth - the amaretto dessert was heavenly) and wine, the romantic winter garden where we were seated by candle light ... I can't say enough and am suprised to see the comments that suggest this is a hit or miss restaurant when my experience was so wonderful (and I'm a food lover and have been all over the city and have my own restaurant list so I promise I am very even keeled when it comes to commentary on a restaurant!). I'd hate to return and be disappointed but I had to leave a few comments to let you know that perhaps your visit will be a hit like ours was...
Posted by David and Robert on 03/01/2009
My sister gave me a gift certificate which I lost for 4 years. When I found it I called and asked if it could be honored. Mr Steele (MGR) was so kind and understanding. Helping me with my reservation and gladly allowing me to use the 4 year old certificate. I was a bit nervous because I'm a non pretentious man who enjoys a group of friends gathering in ones kitchen to prepare a meal together to the ultra elegant ambiance of Bouley. From the coat check to the waiters and sommelier, they couldn't have been nicer. We were treated like royalty. I had the tasting menu and a $110 bottle of wind and thought it was worth every penny. The total with tip was $420. and I'd go again in a heart beat. The staff had a fantastic mix of professionalism and warmth that made me feel immediately comfortable. One was very business like while another with a charming french accent made light jokes of how I must have not enjoyed the course because I wiped the plate clean. When I was presented with each coarse the waiter would take time to describe each plate in detail. Describing the origin of the entree, the reduction it was served with, the type of mushrooms and puree...etc. They must have known I wasn't one of the other pretentious snobs that wrote some of the other reviews on here. We were treated to an extra dessert and 2 nicely wrapped lemon cakes upon our departure. It couldn't have been nicer and the food was superb. I highly recommend it. Thanks Bouley!
Posted by ellenost on 02/08/2009
Just had a wonderful dinner at the "new" Bouley. Everything that I loved about Bouley is even better now. Food, decor and service are among the best. The menu is almost all new. I can't wait to return.
Posted by natalie on 01/23/2009
bouley is, without one doubt, the best restaurant (food-wise) i have ever been to. i highly suggest the tasting menu with wine pairing - you will literally remember everything you ate, even more than a year later. please do not visit this restaurant without trying the lamb or the return to chaing mai. yes, it is VERY expensive (though if you want an almost as good quality of food for less money, Bouley Upstairs is quite tasty, too) and the atmosphere is a bit stuffy, but if your chief concern is the food, then just dress yourself up to the minimum (i've actually seen people in jeans here, as long as they're paired with nicer clothes) and focus on the amazing meal you'll definitely have. i have never been disappointed by this place, and the service is always perfect, too. this is not the kind of place you go to for a quick meal - you come to take your time, enjoy, sip, savor and marvel.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/10/2009
Seriously, are all the reviewers frustrated food critics who must strive to find inmature, amde up antics to fuss about? Bouley is a superior dining experience and an excellent choice - in the upper levels of NYC restaurants. Relax and try not to be junior food critics who need their food a specific color or suffer for for their art, but rather enjoy excellent food presented in a professional manner, by a friendly, competent staff at a level expected in a fine restaurant. When we dined here recently the food and wine were excellent - as was the service - and easily equal to Restaurant Daniel and Le Bernardin on subsequent nights.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/10/2008
I'm sorry to say that my first visit to Bouley last night was also my last. A friend had worked there some years ago and frequents the place, as does his family. We went for a celebratory dinner, and he had arranged in advance for a special tasting menu of the chef's choice. When we arrived, we were handed menus - which we did not need, and a restaurant of Bouley's calibur should have been aware of the arrangement. After he explained to our waiter what we wanted (again, he should have already known), we waited 1 HOUR before anything but bread and butter showed up on our table. We didn't see food on anyone else's table, either, suggesting a problem in the kitchen. That happens - and when it does, you should be honest with & apologize to your guests, not say, when they inquire at the 45 minute mark as to the wherabouts of some sustenance, "The chef is creating something special for you". The something special was tuna sashimi. It does not take 1 hour to slice & plate tuna sashimi. The courses that followed were hit & miss - a boring striped bass, an okay lobster, a good egg dish and a superb lamb - but the massive amount of time between them was inexcusable (again, suggesting a kitchen playing catch-up) and never addressed or remedied by the staff. Service was uncoordinated & clumsy water glasses left empty, a waiter placing down fresh wine glasses next to the fresh wine glasses that another waiter had just placed down, then realizing his mitsake & taking them away ... all without apology or acknowledgement. We were on time for our 8:15 reservation & we did not leave until 12:30 a.m., and we did not linger or dessert. Inexcusable. I've had many better meals & experiences at restaurants that cost far less. I'd take the tasting at Mas any day over another meal at Bouley (which is twice as expensive). Shame on you, Mr. Bouley. (And shame on you for closing the wonderful Danube to open a bistro - just what NYC needs, another French/Italian bistro). I will not return.