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“Excellent Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bouley

Bouley
163 Duane Street, New York City, NY 10013-3803
+1 212-964-2525
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Ranked #8 of 11,751 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $0 - $80
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Hudson Street
Transit: Chambers Street stop 1,2,3,A,C,E lines Brooklyn Bridge stop 4,5,6 lines City Hall stop R line
Description: Bouley features the exciting culinary talents of famed four- star Chef, David Bouley. Bouley offers French cuisine with modern Asian influences served in an elegant and intimate setting. In addition to the a la carte menu, the restaurant offers a $55 five course tasting menu for lunch and $175 six course tasting menu for dinner. Parties of 8 or more may order from the tasting menu only and deposit is required to secure a reservation. Chef Bouley is always happy to accommodate all dietary needs and restrictions. Jackets are required for gentlemen at both lunch and dinner.
Manalapan, New Jersey
1 review
“Excellent Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

We had a delightful dinner at Bouley in NYC. The whole experience was wonderful. The service was attentive and knowledgeable from George Thomas. The sommelier recommended an excellent bottle of wine. The only thing I can say about the food is "amazing". The chefs produce delicious works of art. The fact that the men have to wear a jacket is a plus for me. In this new "casual" dining society, it was a pleasure to dress for dinner and have it at a restaurant that still captures early French etiquette and decor.

Visited August 2014

Review collected in partnership with this restaurant

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bouley R, Manager at Bouley, responded to this review, August 13, 2014
Dear Loving,

Thank you so much for your positive and kind words on Trip advisor in regards to your dining experience at Bouley. We value your opinion and strive to perfect our services through each and everyone's feedback. Bouley is delighted to hear that you had an enjoyable dining experience with us and look forward to serving you again in the near future.

Herbal Blessing,
Bouley Reservations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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783 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

During a long four day weekend in NYC, sampled three one-star Michelin restaurants of which Bouley was one. Except for the Porcini Flan, the Sea Bass entree and tart were flavorless. My dining partner had similar comments about her meal. Dining experience was also degraded because of being relegated to the basement which had air conditioning vents blowing cool air on all the tables. This caused the cooling of the food to the extent that the warm courses were cool before the course was finished. BTW, the other one star restaurants were excellent to outstanding. For being such a highly rated restaurant, I am not recommending this restaurants to my friends and family.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food

Review collected in partnership with this restaurant

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bouley R, Manager at Bouley, responded to this review, August 15, 2014
Dear Michael,

Thank you very much for your kind and polite observations. The red room downstairs was built to give our guests the impression of the original Bouley created in 1987. We apologize that we still have mechanical issues that is out of our control. We are currently working on the issue in order to meet your future expectations. Your observations on the food and flavors that were lacking is brought to the attention of the chef and he will ensure that on your next visit he pays closer attention with the meal. We invite you to futher express yourself at office@bouleynyc.com. We hope to hear from you soon.

Herbal Blessing,
Bouley Reservations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“The Crème de la Crème”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

I've had the pleasure of eating at some of New York's finest restaurants, and Bouley is, in my opinion, the best. Zagat's recently proclaimed it to be the #2 restaurant in New York, and with good reason: my recent experience here was flawless from start to finish.

We were greeted by a friendly hostess and immediately shown to our table. Each server we had represented the ideals of professionalism and hospitality; they did everything they could to ensure we had a superior experience. All the servers were extremely knowledgeable about every menu item, and were clearly passionate about the cuisine they serve.

Each member of our party ordered the five-course tasting menu, which I highly recommend to anyone visiting Bouley. Prior to our meal, we were brought a pair of amuse-bouches. The tomato gelee and soy sorbet were the perfect way to cleanse and refresh our palates.

For the first course, I ordered the Big Eye Tuna, served with bergamot, green apple foam, and osetra caviar. There was exceptional chemistry in this dish, as the delicately-prepared apple foam complimented the tuna perfectly. This appetizer also hinted at the Japanese influence in David Bouley's cuisine. The caviar, as expected, was divine.

For my second course, I had the Japanese-inspired Porcini Flan with black truffle dashi, which is somewhat reminiscent of Chawanmushi, and is definitely one of the best dishes I have had anywhere. I love black truffles, and the distinctive flavor of the dashi combined perfectly with that of the Golden Princess Crab. This course exemplifies David Bouley's food: all the ingredients are chosen meticulously, and the final product is sensational.

For my entrée, I ordered the Long Island Duck, which came with hand milled polenta, a puree of Nevada dates, and a fluffy potato dish. The duck was extremely tender, and the portion size was perfect. My fourth course consisted of organic Santa Barbara strawberries and angelic amaretto ice cream made on site. This dish delighted with its simple yet refreshing blend of flavors and effectively prepared my palate for dessert.

For dessert, I opted for the Caramelized Anjou Pear, which was beautifully presented with Valrhona chocolate, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, hot toffee sauce, lemon verbena, and a Breton biscuit. This dish was a very satisfying way to end a memorable meal, as it was sweet and soothing, but not sacchariferous enough to be overwhelming. A tray of small chocolates was an excellent concluding note, and we received a lemon cake when we left. We were at the restaurant for about 2 1/4 hours; the five courses were perfectly spaced out and we never felt rushed.

I must mention the bread cart, as the selection was outstanding and each type I tried was delicious. I particularly recommend the cherry and hazelnut breads, in addition to the traditional brioche.

The interior of the restaurant is beautifully designed; Bouley is opulent without being ostentatious. I absolutely love the fact that jackets are required for men; in fact, in an era of the smart casual dress code, I wish more restaurants in New York would adopt this policy.

Every aspect of my experience at Bouley was impeccable: this is truly a superior restaurant in terms of service, atmosphere, food presentation, quality of the cuisine, and chemistry within each dish. Bouley stands out as a true gem in one of the world's premiere dining cities; it is an ideal choice for an exquisitely-prepared meal in an elegant setting.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bouley R, Manager at Bouley, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Dear Alberta,

Thank you very much for your warm, and positive review on Bouley. We pride ourselves in delivering exceptional guest service, and exceeding our guest expectations. It was an honor having you join us at Bouley. We hope to serve you in the near future.

Herbal Blessing,
Bouley Reservations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Best Value in Manhattan!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

First, jackets are required for men even for lunch. But no worries--they’ll rent you one. Because of the jacket requirement, I thought the place might be stuffy, but it wasn’t and all the servers were friendly.

I was in food heaven. I couldn’t believe that the lunch tasting menu was only $55 until the bill actually arrived! They even give you a little gift (a lemon pound cake) to take home. What a deal!

All the appetizers were great. I loved Blini of Smoked Salmon while my companion loved Big Eye Tuna and the wild mushrooms with grilled toro. I also really liked the complimentary potato-cheese spread on a cracker using Japanese sembei dough.

We weren’t thrilled with the entrees—either Braised Beef Cheeks (I didn’t like the sauce) or Organic Long Island Duck. But I won’t complain for $55 for 5-courses!

Two courses of dessert and a complimentary chocolate tray were a little too much for this non-sweet eater (I’d rather get one more appetizer), but white-coffee ice cream that came with Chocolate Soufflé was delicious!

And the bread cart—I tried about 8 kinds and most of them were wonderful.

The service was impeccable the whole time, very pleasant.

Those who have never been to Bouley don’t know what they are missing. I will never leave NYC without dining at Bouley!

  • Visited August 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bouley R, Manager at Bouley, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Dear Global,

Thank you for joining us at Bouley, and for taking the time to review. We hope to serve in the near future.

Herbal Blessing,
Bouley Reservations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Never going back”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014 via mobile

I went to Bouley once before for my birthday and it was wonderful. However, when I went back I had one of the worst dining experiences of my life. The waiters paid almost no attention to us, screwed up our orders and forgot all of our drinks. Also, I had loved Bouley for their care with food allergies and wonderful gf free bread. But this last time they screwed up the allergies, and the slices of bread were so think I could see through the slice! When the waiter was cutting the bread in front of us it seemed as if they were saving up on bread which was absolutely ridiculous for a restaurant that charges $50 for an entree. And when I asked for more bread they never brought it! Overall the dinner was bad, the food came in cold, the flavor was terrible, just a poor disappointing experience overall. Stay away!

  • Visited August 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bouley R, Manager at Bouley, responded to this review, August 8, 2014
Dear Aline,

Thank you for taking the time to review Bouley. We truly value the opinions of our guests, and we apologize that we did not meet your expectations. Providing our guests with the best possible dining experience has always been our mission. We have addressed the service issue, and spoken with the employees in question. Kindly note that we extremely cautious with food restrictions & allergies our guests have as this will not be taken lightly. Our bread slices are finely cut to a ratio that will fit our guests needs and not overwhelm, given that we have 12 different types of bread for you to enjoy. We want you to know that we truly enjoy exceeding our guest’s expectations and want them to feel wonderful with the experience they have at Bouley. We invite you to please contact us at office@bouleynyc.com to further express your concerns. We look forward hearing from you.

Herbal Blessing,
Bouley Reservations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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