All Reader Reviews of...
163 Duane St., New York, NY, 10013
nr. Hudson St.
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.
$48 Prix fix lunch was generous and nearly excellent
By HowardN on 10/12/2009
I went with a friend for the prix fix lunch. We were greeted in the apple room (intoxicating), and taken almost immediately to a beautiful table under a french landscape. We had glasses of champagne, an amuse, and a nice bread selection. For the appetizer we ordered porcini flan with crab and a dashi/truffle sauce. It was sublime, and set an impossible standard for the rest of the meal. Each mouthful was awakening, novel, and nirvana-like. Next I had the buttery skate in a slightly acidic passion fruit sauce with fava (good) , then two thick slices of roast duck, (great with the 1st cru burgundy), then a wonderful yogurt ice cream over blackberry granite'. All this was then followed by an overwhelming multi-stage dessert. The dessert course (mousse, three ice creams, brullee, confections tower, truffles) was just too much, and nearly eradicated any sense of what came before. Even so, I will long remeber the porcini flan with crab, and the luscious crispy duck. The $48 p.f. for two with champagne, wine, coffee, and tax came to $194 before tip.
Other than Kurumazushi, probably best restaurant in NYC
By scottpsolomon on 7/18/2010
"Back in the day," the great chefs in NYC were Gray Kunz at Lespinasse, Andre Soltner at Lutece, and David Bouley. Today, Bouley is worth writing about because he is still as super-talented as ever, AND he has moved into this new space that is probably the best restaurant space in NYC. Unfortunately, David is sort of a scatter-brain who distracts himself with idiotic projects. He should focus on one thing: making his flagship restaurant Bouley the one truly great French restaurant in NY. It's great now, but if he really focussed it could be legendary.
By diningdiva on 1/12/2003
Like pampering, ambiance and excellent cuisine? Well, this is a place to put on Top of your list. Easily located, your world changes immediately upon entering this extraordinary restaurant. The entire staff was most attentive, but not distracting. Every need was anticipated - no need to ask. That was one of the most amazing elusive attractions of Bouley. The courses were timely, not hurried and the presentation of each course was immaculate. The color/s, texture/s and plates were works of "art". Selections are plentiful and the Chef Surprises (sorbet/dessert mini tray) were most "personal" gifts from him to restaurant clients. I was impressed with the entire experience and would highly recommend it for anyone desiring a dining experience of a lifetime. One item I felt needed to be addressed was the use of cell phones ringing. During such an exceptional dining experiece the ring cell phones were a total annoyance and distraction. It is a place that needs ones total attention to the dining experience when so many are working very hard to make sure it a "perfect" outing.
Food, Service & Decor = Quality
By adam on 3/25/2003
Dining in NY is like looking for sea shells on the beach, there are plenty to choose from but the precious ones are few, Bouley is one of those finds. My experience started when I had to wait an hour for my table, because of a large party that arrived late. The wait was not only worth it, but the staff tried with success to make it up to my wife and I. The decor is beautiful and comfortable without being stuffy. The dishes were as inventive as they were delicious and the portions were more than satisfying. Our prize for waiting included an appetizer and desert. What a special place.
Amazing...a legend survives
By huntleysf on 10/11/2003
It's almost unheard of for a famous restaurant to be reborn as good as the original, but Bouley has done it. Superlative food in a wonderful, soothing setting. Imagination in every dish. David Bouley is the best American-born chef in NYC, and his prix fixe lunch is a fantastic gourmet bargain. (Plus, the new location is easy to find...a straight shot down 7th Ave. to W. Broadway)
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!
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