Bouley Restaurant, New York City, 5/25/16

Exterior
Exterior

Bouley’s entry room is a signature -it’s filled with hundreds of apples releasing a divine fragrance to greet their hungry guests.  Then you open the door to the main waiting area and are immersed in a ornate room filled with cushions, red velvet and flowers that transport you to somewhere beyond the bustling streets outside. The main dining room is upstairs but there is also room for diners downstairs as well as a party room, a couple wine storage areas and elegant bathrooms.  Be sure to ask to sit upstairs with the vaulted ceilings rather than the lower ceilings of downstairs where the ambiance is just not the same.  At lunch there’s a 5 course tasting menu, with extras or an a la carte menu.  You pick your choices from a list for the tasting and it is a relatively good deal. They do also offer wine pairings.

entry
entry

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waiting area
waiting area
diining room
diining room
dining room
dining room
table set up
table set up
Frankie checked out the table flowers
Frankie checked out the table flowers
Appetizers menu
Appetizers menu
Entrées menu
Entrées menu
Dessert menu
Dessert menu
Luncheon tasting Menu
Luncheon tasting Menu
Frankie liked the plates
Frankie liked the plates

 

We did the tasting and chose the same option for a couple courses. First placed were 2 breads and the apple-raisin was particularly good.  Then 3 amuse bouche and the 2 bite sized ones were outstanding.

flax seed baguette; apple and raisin roll
flax seed baguette; apple and raisin roll
Frankie must have tasted the butter before I got a picture of it
Frankie must have tasted the butter before I got a picture of it
Amuse: red bell pepper coulis - mild
Amuse: red bell pepper coulis – mild
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Amuse: Cracker with black truffle paté – great! Gougere filled with Comte cheese and white truffle oil – wonderful!

 

The carrot soup was velvety and slightly thickened. Very nice version. The raw fish were delicious.

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Carrot and fresh organic tumeric soup with Clementine ginger and toasted buckwheat
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Hawaiin Hiramasa & Nantucket Blue Fin with Meyer lemon, passion fruit and fresh verbena
close up
close up
Frankie enjoyed the plush cushions on the bench seat
Frankie enjoyed the plush cushions on the bench seat

 

The wild mushrooms are a signature dish and with good reason. Tastes of coconut and garlic are in the sauce and it is a delightful mixture of textures and mushroom taste.

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Forager’s treasure of wild mushrooms with sweet garlic, special spices, grilled toro and black truffle dressing

 

Next is the big bread cart and there are tons of choices.  All I tried seemed very light – not hearty crusty bread – and very fresh but luckily none made me want to fill up on them and spoil my lunch.

the bread cart
the bread cart

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The chicken was moist, tender and flavorful. It was like a version cooked in a sous vide but instead kept just as juicy by roasting. Very nice!  The venison was cooked medium rare and quite tasty. I worried it would be dry but that was not a problem. Instead it was tender and flavorful and presented with a number of sauce options.

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Pennsylvania chicken “en cocotte”, baked with alfalfa and clover hay, organic butter beans, brussel sprouts
another angle
another angle
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Organic young white fallow venison, roasted with cacao and Santa Barbara dates, spiced banana puree
mashed potatoes
mashed potatoes

 

The pre-dessert coconut soup was amazing. Cool, sweet and creamy, it was a winner.

Chilled coconut soup with pineapple granite and amaretto ice cream
Chilled coconut soup with pineapple granite and amaretto ice cream
another angle
another angle
Frankie checks for leftovers
Frankie checks for leftovers

 

The chocolate dessert was really good but the raspberry would rate only a fine by me.  The waiter also brought us a baba au rhum as an extra and it might have been the best of all three. The mingardise tray had some amazing treats and some so so. The sesame was quite good as was the flat piece that was a macaroon and the chocolates filled with hazelnut were outstanding. There were also flavors of coffee and chocolate in the fillings.

Frivolous of 70% Valhrona chocolate with Colombian coffee gelato
Frivolous of 70% Valhrona chocolate with Colombian coffee gelato
Frivolous of 70% Valhrona chocolate with Colombian coffee gelato
Frivolous of 70% Valhrona chocolate with Colombian coffee gelato
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Vacherin D’ete: salad of raspberries, lime meringue, vanilla cream and basil cloud
another angle
another angle
inside
inside
Frankie found a fancy tissue box
Frankie found a fancy tissue box
extra treats
extra treats
another angle
another angle
Frankie played on the tower
Frankie played on the tower
downstairs wine storage
downstairs wine storage
Frankie lounged on the ladies room seats
Frankie lounged on the ladies room seats
Frankie loved the downstairs flowers
Frankie loved the downstairs flowers

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