All Reader Reviews of...
163 Duane St., New York, NY, 10013
nr. Hudson St.
By Pirospaprika on 12/22/2005
I took someone special there this November and I have to say I very much regret it. The food was all right, but the service and the decor were horrible. Suggest Daniel instead.
By CaptainCook on 6/2/2004
When you're spending $300+ for two, you come to expect service that cares for the diners. From the moment we walked in, we felt unwelcome. The male staff looked rumpled, tired, and was very unfriendly; burly guys in jackets off the bargain rack. We did the tasting menu with wine, and sometimes the wine got lonely waiting for the food, which when it came, was barely warm. Likewise, the bluefin sashimi, which should have been cold, must have been sitting on the warming tray. The food and wine tasted ok, but the extremely poor service detracted from the evening. No one asked how we were doing, or if everything was ok. And about that bread: it was awful. The so-called sourdough was nothing of the sort. And watch where you sit: the air conditioning units can intermittently blast you with cold air. Better to walk a few more blocks to Chanterelle.
very disappointing, appalling service, bland food
By jpasler on 7/15/2016
Beware! Our experience was extremely disappointing. With bland food, unannounced alterations to the dishes on the menu, some tasting day-old, was the chef was on vacation? Beautiful restaurant with good wine list, but appalling service. Avoid being seated in the basement, where it took us 40 minutes to be served our wine. Our glasses sat empty for 80% of the time as there was rarely a server there. The food does not deserve a Michelin star. The "forager" mushrooms were dime-sized, not flavorful, and instead of having sweet garlic, noted on the menu, were in a cloying coconut milk. The well cooked duck had no sauce, only a tablespoon of risotto mixture. The visual appeal of other dishes was not matched by the culinary experience. The Bread Cart did not come until the main course, when we were almost finished with our meal. We ordered sparkling water, but our small glasses were never refilled and yet cost $20. The best part were the chocolates after the meal. When I called the next day, there was no apology or explanation. Feel misled by reviews.
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.
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...
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.
Sloppy, Overcooked and Tired
By Abbey on 3/30/2004
Walking in through the apple laden foyer into a wonderfully warm and romantic restaurant, we just expected the food to be good - the service to be efficient and friendly. What we received was poor, sloppy service where, for example, they serve the chef's appetizer while you still have your menu in hand. What to do? Eat the appetizer and place the oversize menu on your lap or wait to order while your iced appetizer melts. Of course, after one taste of the appetizer, we resumed to the menu. In general the food was tired and sometimes overcooked. Bouley tries too hard to infuse an asian flavor into every dish. Perhaps this was an off night, but honestly, it was our last.
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.
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.
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.
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