All Reader Reviews of...
163 Duane St., New York, NY, 10013
nr. Hudson St.
By mbreit37 on 4/21/2009
My husband and I had a wonderfully enjoyable evening at Bouley tonight. We were celebrating my 60th birthday, and wanted the dining experience to be special. The quality and taste of the food, service, and ambience far exceeded our expectations. My husband had the six-course tasting menu, and I had the seafood appetizer, the LI duck, and the chocolate souffle. Superb! The fragrant aromas, different food textures, and various taste sensations were a delight. The service was exquisite. Robert was informative, helped us make our selections by describing the food and its preparation and presentation, and infused some humor into our interactions (which we very much appreciated). Thanks to all for a great time, including the birthday desert plate. Now my husband wants to celebrate his next birthday at Bouley!
Not impressed at all.
By zagoren on 5/4/2009
Had a 8:45 reservation. We were told to wait 20 minutes and have a drink at Secession (which Bouley owns). They asked for our cell # and never called. After waiting 45 minutes in the other bar, we came back just to see what was up. The hostess said we have a lovely intimate table ready for you when we showed up. She tried seating us in the basesment which has all the aesthetics of a waiting room at grand central. I had specifically asked for table in the main dining room when i made the reservation. Then Then they tried to seat us at a huge circular table up front (a table for 8). We held out for a nice table with some privacy. The food was all too much foam and eggs and silk (flan) for me. nothing was fresh or evocative of the earth. When they brought bread around the said "Would you like some bread from The Bakery". And they insisted we take a leave behind bread from "The Bakery". Seems a little obvious as a cross-sell. the waitstaff is excellent. the food...meh.... And they OVERBOOK and send you to a sister bar. shameless.
$48 prix fixe lunch is a steal
By suzanned8 on 5/8/2009
Wonderful food, lovely serviceÂ—Bouley is back! I'm not sure where the other reviewers are eating . . . it could not have been lovelier. This is our first time in the new space at 163 Duane (we'd been for lunch a couple of times in the old space). Delicious seasonal food, wonderful combinations, a good wine list . . . what more could you ask for. Go, and go for lunch, NOW.
By amelialocks on 5/21/2009
I want so badly to madly love Bouley. The interior is impeccable, designed beautifully and very warm and inviting. The service is unbeatable, with smiles and questions answered whenever you need someone. The wine list is well put together and we had three spectacular bottles. The bathroom is so perfect, with it's central divan, and authentic antiquity, that I didn't want to leave - I wanted to hang out. In the lounge of the bathroom. That's saying a lot. However, the main event: The Food, left a smidgen to be desired. The Ahi tuna and mushroom flan starters are perfect. Perfect! But the oyster starter and most of the main courses were under-flavored. The cod was just bland (boring). The lobster dish was the best among them, and pretty good. Dessert was superb. And you cannot beat the apple-room upon entering and leaving. Dinner for 4: $600 Will return, but now we'll know that Bouley, despite it's reputation and price, is not perfect.
By porque on 6/3/2009
I was in NYC on business and was taken to Bouley by my business colleague. I had not heard of the restaurant or the chef, so I had no preconceptions. The staff was friendly and helpful, and the food, the food, the FOOD - it was out of this world. Truly one of the best meals I have enjoyed in my lifetime. I am looking forward to going back on my next trip to NYC.
By mitchellk on 6/23/2009
There is a reason why many people give Bouley mixed reviews. The taste of the food is relatively dull and there is a ridiculously long wait in between courses - to the point where you no longer want the food and the meal just drags on. The positives were the bluefin, salmon, farm egg and the chocolate frivolous. The rest of the meal fell short in a variety of ways, including lack of seasoning and flavor . Perhaps the shellfish dishes, which my wife is allergic to, taste better. Unfortunately, we almost found out since, despite noting this during our reservation and to our server (who assured us it would not be a problem), she was served a dish containing scallops anyway. It was sheer luck that we caught the mistake before my wife would have spent our first anniversary in the hospital. Bouley does not meet expectations and will disappoint, especially for the price.
$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.
Not What It Used To Be
By JudgeJudy on 11/21/2009
I used to treat myself to either the lunch or dinner prix fixe tasting menu. Boy, has the quality of food gone down. A fatty piece of steak that I paid $25 extra for! Very slow service. I'll be going to the Duane Park Cafe across the street instead; they are consistently good and not grossly over-priced as Bouley is.
By Boyd on 12/26/2009
It was chaos just trying to get seated, and we left without eating. We had booked a month in advance, admittedly for Christmas Day. But this is Bouley. We had been before, and it is a 4 star restaurant. So when there was a room full of people waiting to be seated, all of whom had been waiting over an hour, and when we heard that the table service was very slow (4 hours for a meal), and the food was not up to scratch, we left for somewhere else. This is not excusable on the management level. What was the surprise if everyone had booked in advance? Where was the maitre d'? We were barely greeted and would have to stand to wait. We are from NY. But poor tourists. My advice, save your pennies, and go somewhere else.
Disgraceful Christmas Day
By arose03 on 12/28/2009
We too were there for Christmas day, and we too left before being seated. People coming out of the restaurant were complaining about the awful food and service, the wait even though we had a reservation was over an hour, and we turned around finally and took off. How could you not plan for the number of people who were there when you had the reservations booked? Joke.
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