All Reader Reviews of...
163 Duane St., New York, NY, 10013
nr. Hudson St.
I dream about this place!
By AllTrue on 1/5/2006
From the moment you enter through the fragrant apple tunnel until you leave and pick up your elaborately gift-wrapped doggy bag which also contains a gift of a fragrant small bread loaf; Bouley rises above the rest! The restaurant is divided into two vaulted cave-like dining rooms with a "white" room and a "red" room (this was so romantic with opulent fabrics and carpets and dim Tiffany style lamps on every table.) Service was, of course, impeccable and who can forget the wonderful breads and pastries that Mr. Bouley is so famous for?!! All in all, a great night out!
My Favorite Restaurant in NYC
By jaredroussel on 12/6/2006
From the moment you step foot off of West Broadway into the elegant door, you are instantly comforted by the escape of the city into a traditional, light and sweet, apple aroma-filled passageway to the restaurant. Once seated, you're offered a wonderful bread selection (they have an entire cart filled with something like 15 different breads -Â I highly recommend trying the one with the raisins inside and dried apple on top). The wine selection is very large, and there's definitely something great to be found to go along with your meal. My favorite part of the restaurant, aside from the absolutely amazing courses, is that you are brought so many small additions to your meal such as a puree for an appetizer and dessert that seems to be different every time I go. You leave Bouley with a full stomach, but you never even realize you're getting to that point. I've never had but a great experience here, and I definitely recommend giving Bouley a shot! If you enjoy this restaurant, its sister restaurant by David Bouley, is Danube, which I've also visited several times, offers an equally amazing selection of Austrian-inspired cuisine.
Trying too hard - failing bad
By Cleo on 3/14/2007
The aura and prices of this restaurant requires perfection, the illusion of perfection is the only thing you get and the food is not bad but it's nothing special either. The somelier seems very inexperienced and young to the extent I highly doubt he in fact has the proper training. And it really just comes down to; don't pretend to be a 3 star guide michelin when you are not. I would perhaps say a 1 star restaurant though given that it does produce what it aims to serve. Extremely boring restaurant and really boring menu, the feeling is very heavy in there...
By LInterdit on 4/24/2007
I have been to Bouley three times so far with each time being wonderful. The stereotype of "pretentiousness" that stalks high caliber restaurants concerned me at first, but suffice to say I was completely wrong. The hostesses were inviting and the wait staff was warm and friendly. The waiting area is small, so it's best to grab a seat if you can. No two patrons are alike, the dress code being tested with personal style coming before rules (no jeans however). The decor is elegant and cozy with couches that line both dining rooms and satin pillows that fill their corners. The bread is delicious. I always end up having the lamb for my main dish, whether we do the tasting menu or A La Carte. Everything is always cooked perfectly and no bite has to be over chewed. The "mashed potatoes" have an unreal consistency and taste phenomenal. You constantly get special additives before, during, and after your meal and the presentation is elegant but not daunting. The chocolate souffle is perfect and the petit fours that are brought out afterwards are a great French touch. Bouley is a memorable restaurant that will keep me coming back!
Culinary Didacticism -- Great but not for casual diners
By CKegler on 5/1/2007
Didactic! Exquisite in taste and detail, yet "didactic" distills the essence of the experience at this 5-star. We opted for the 5 course prix-fixe tasting menu with the wine-pairing option for each course. We marveled at the freshness of the seafood, and the meats had well-blended tastes. The accompanying sauces were light yet flavorful, creating Zen-like gustatory balance. The wine-pairings were primarily French, following a light to heavy progression. The portions of the tasting menu were tappas-sized and all together, created a substantial meal. There were palate cleansers between meals, such as a yogurt or a light, nearly tasteless sake. Excellent service with the rotation of the head waiter, the wine steward, and intermezzo server. The impeccable service also made the experience "didactic" because every dish and every wine was accompanied by instruction. I am thankful to have researched the menu before going to Bouley's on my first visit. If I hadn't, I would have labored through complicated menu options. Concentrating too much on the menu comes at the expense of concentrating on one's dinner company. Warning: Blazers are required for men!
By omeko3 on 6/19/2007
I decided last minute to go to Bouley and was very surprised. The food was amazing, I had the return from Chaing Mai which was very good and the Veal which also was good. My girlfiend had the seared Foie Gras, which was quite good and was an amazingly large portion. She also had the lamb which was amazing but was a small portion. The service was quite good the only acception being that I had to make a plea just to see the wine list. Besides that everyone was extremely friendly, unlike their sister restaurant Danube.
2 stars restaurant
By girardasse on 12/11/2007
1/ Food. Ive tried 2 tasting menus. - Phyllo crusted shrimp & scallop: perfect cooking, 2 stars - Sashimi tuna: excellent but not so original, 1 star - Return from Chiang Mai: great mix of flavors, 2 stars - Rouget & cheese?: slightly disppointing, 0-1 stars - Maine lobster: tasty, 1-2 stars - Squab & FoieGras & Cabbage + puree: great combination: 2 stars. Im not a dessert person but it was maybe my favorite part, the (curry?) ice-cream was delicious, so were the vanilla, coffee and chocolate ones along with a hot chocolate cake... 2/ The Service is professional, and I have to mention the sommelier who didnt push for the wine pairing but instead recommended a few wines by the glass (very good choice). 3/ The decor is cosy, yet not as good as the food. Overall, my humble opinion is that this restaurant deserves its 2 stars in Michelin...
This review is about Bouley Bakery & Market.
By GUCCI4B on 1/9/2008
This review is about Bouley Bakery & Market. I had hoped to find a new gourmet prepared foods market place per the description I had seen of the "market" side. On the ground floor "bakery" they had a good selection of your basic gourmet sandwiches (and all the requisite bakery items), many different types of breads behind the check out registers. Basically the only prepared foods that I saw was macaroni and cheese and a caponata (vegetable tomato sauce mix from Italy) and wild rice all in reheatable containers. They also have plenty of roast chickens for take away. These were all hot in the display thus presuming people take it right home to eat. Also they had some green bean salad in small and large and some other pasta/cold salads. I gather now that the market downstairs just sells fish, meat and cheese and not much else. I am sure the quality is top notch, but can and would rather get those things at Baldacci's and get reward points or Whole Foods and be assured of quality and high turnover.
By wanderkinder on 8/11/2008
Perhaps it is unfair to compare it to the likes of the 3* Michelin/19-20 hat Gault Millau restaurants or even Per Se which we had just experienced prior to here, but there was no denying that the food was less than stellar. Tried too hard on flavor combinations so that natural flavors didn't come through, foie gras tasted like a lump of lard and was undercooked, souffle was more like molten chocolate cake. Waiter was offended we asked for sommelier's assistance and made snide remarks about it. Other service was up to professional and up to par. Decor was going for old world charm, but just wound up looking like it needs a face lift. The breads were good. Overall we thought it was rather overpriced for what we got.
bda price/service and food value
By joachimhackl on 11/9/2008
My husband selected this restaurant as a special surprise for my birthday. We paid $350 without tip. The Tasting Menu choice was better than the selection of foie gras as appetizer and pig as main course (a tiny square of food for $44). There were at least 6 waiters in black suits and several others, who served the food and water. The "men in black" were not able to answer any question competently and they were arrogant too. The only two persons, who's knowledge reflected what this place claims to be, were the maitre and the sommelier. For the change of the dessert of the Menu to cheese, we were charged additional $24! Definitely a place, were you pay for all the employees, but not for a reasonable/even little overpriced dinner.
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