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.
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.
The carrot soup was velvety and slightly thickened. Very nice version. The raw fish were delicious.
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.
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 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.
The pre-dessert coconut soup was amazing. Cool, sweet and creamy, it was a winner.
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.