For our wedding anniversary, we decided to go to Bouley, the eponymous contemporary French restaurant of famous chef Daniel Bouley, located in TriBeCa.
Getting a reservation for a Friday night was not difficult and they confirmed twice with us that we were coming for dinner, reminding me each time that jacket is required. Located on Duane street, very close to Khe-Yo, this is a stunning place: big, with an elegant setting , you cannot miss the entrance with its wall of apples, the lounge area with its purple color and flowers, the vaulted ceilings brushed with gold leaves, the heavy wooden doors and the thick carpet that contribute to the general atmosphere of the restaurant. It is fancy, pricey, but comfortable, with good service, as expected in such place.
Menu wise, it is contemporary French and you do not find classics that Chef Bouley probably mastered when working for Chef Paul Bocuse in France at some point of his career. For dinner, they propose a six course tasting menu or a three course tasting; we went for the later. After ordering our appetizer, entree and dessert all at once, they brought us some semolina bread, as well as an apple and raisin bread.
But then, before our entree came, we heard a squeaky sound: it was a bread cart similar to a cheese or dessert cart, featuring different kinds of breads.
To start, they brought us a chilled tomato coulis made with a cucumber gelée.
It was very refreshing, a play on gazpacho that was perfect to open our appetite and cool us down. With it came toast that had a truffle purée on top that I inhaled...
For appetizer, Jodi ordered the Forager's treasure of wild mushrooms, a dish composed of mushrooms, sweet garlic and grilled tuna (toro):
Good dish, although the tuna had a bit of a fishy taste, far from the succulent taste of seared tuna we had in other restaurants.
On my side, I was close to order the foie gras, but decided to go for the Pacific oyster that was roasted and served with chanterelle mushrooms.
I first tried pacific oysters at ..., and really wanted to have these large oysters again. I was not disappointed: not only was the oyster fantastic and deliciously fresh, but the sauce and mushrooms were incredible. I could have licked the plate, but it would not have been appropriate...
For her entrée, Jodi picked the Chatham Day Boat cod fish, served with mushrooms (again?), artichoke and romanesco that is an edible flower from the same family as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
On my side, I went for the Maine lobster.
The fish was composed of fava beans, white asparagus and a pomegranate sauce (weird: the menu said black truffle blood orange dressing, but I did not taste or smell truffle and they said pomegranate when they presented the dish). It was succulent: the lobster being the star of the dish, perfectly cooked. I definitely recommend it.
Both dishes came with a fingerling potato purée that was delicious (I wish there was more).
Before dessert came, they served us a coconut soup with amaretto ice cream and pineapple granité.
I liked it and it was a good palate cleanser in a way. Then, they brought us some chocolates and cookies, and I admit that we could not resist, although we were full.
Dessert was a bit disappointing. We tried the hot Valrhona chocolate soufflé with white coffee cloud, coffee ice cream and a chocolate mousse.
As well as the hot caramelized Anjou pear tart that came with crème fraiche and huckleberry:
The soufflé was slightly overcooked, but I liked the Anjou pear tart, the crust being a buttery biscuit Breton.
I should mention that I drank a glass of Vouvray sec, Philippe Foreau 1999, from Loire, France.
Our dinner at Bouley was good, but I admit that I was not wowed as I expected. Would I go back? Maybe, but if I had to pick a restaurant in TriBeCa, it would be Little Park first. And for contemporary French, I would rather go to Daniel...
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!