Saturday, January 28, 2006

Review: Bouley (NYC) - 4 Oinks

Restaurant: Bouley
Location: NYC (Tribeca)
Cuisine: French
Cost: Very Expensive
Dress Code: Business Casual (lunch), Formal (dinner)

Items Ordered: Since this was our first and perhaps only time to dine at a top end restaurant by David Bouley, we opted for the 4-course lunch tasting menu ($48) to be able to sample a few signature dishes.


Service staff were formally dressed, gracious and well-trained, as can be expected from an establishment of this caliber. At times it seemed like there were too many of them, since we had numerous servers bringing the food or taking away the dishes from the last course. Perhaps that's the reason why the price of admission is steep.

While not distinctive from the outside, the aroma of apples in the tunnel leading to the entrance of the restaurant provides a nice welcome into the uniquely designed interior. The walls and curved ceiling were painted dark red, and the effect was somewhat similar to dining in a fancy cave.

My tasting menu selections were as follows (to the best of recollection):

a) sashimi quality tuna
b) salmon with orange sauce
c) slices of duck
d) warm pineapple meringue

I liked most of the dishes, especially the excellent medium rare duck. On the other hand, the salmon was so-so and the orange sauce overwhelmed the fish. The portions were a bit small, and were devoured almost instantaneously. Bouley also has a nice assortment of bread which are rolled out in a cart to your table - I tried the pistashio bread which was quite tasty.

Overall Rating: 4 Oinks (out of 5). Overall, a good upscale dining experience at a high price. Probably will come back on a date or special occasion.

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