Restaurants & Bars

Outer Boroughs

La Bouiliabaisse 126

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La Bouiliabaisse 126

Steve R. | Jan 22, 2005 06:03 AM

Finally made it to the new La Bouiliabaisse and Neil Ganic is serving almost the same menu as he did on Atlantic Ave (prices are somewhat higher) with the same great results. We were regulars for the 1st 5-6 years of that place so I'm somewhat biased (however, we have no personal relationship except to shake hands and say hello on the street).

We got there at 6pm, very early (at least by our standards) for a Friday night, and the place was already just about full, with us getting one of the 2 remaining tables for 2. It stayed that way the entire time. He doesnt take reservations so it's a tough decision whether to come on a cold night, since waiting on line is not an option. It's still BYOB, so we brought in a $20 bottle of Cabernet Franc (French), light enough for fish but flavorful enough as a red for a cold night. Neil was the only chef in the kitchen, systematically preparing everyone's food without error, and making it look easy (and enjoyable).

Appetizers were both excellent: she had a very large & well seasoned crab cake, made with very fresh crab and not filler ($8). Liked the mustard on the side the most of the 3 puddles of sauce provided. I had a beet, gorgonzola & greens salad which was very large and basically excellent ($6). Bread served was non remarkable but the oil infused with lots of fresh garlic livened things up.

For dinner, we both ordered the bouiliabaisse. I wouldnt recommend anyone who loves b going out of their way to come here to get it, as he doesnt make a traditional version, but more like a seafood combo in broth. His seafood combo menu item is the same without cod and with a spicy tomato broth instead. At any rate, there was a very sizable amount of lobster (not easy getting meat out of lobster shell when working with broth), and very fresh mussels, scallops, shrimp and cod. Could have been hotter (temperature wise) but, given how cold I was yesterday, I probably could have gulped down boiling liquid and been happy. Certainly warm enough. ($19 each)

We made friends with diners on one side of us and, although she was also eating the bouiliabaisse, he had duck. He was very happy with it and it seemed to be very well prepared with veggies and mashed potatoes as sides (I think $15 or $16).

My wife had tarte tatin w/vanilla ice cream (brave) & I had the poached pear w/gargonzola in syrup from the app. menu as dessert (something I learned to do in the old place). Both were excellent. Only problem was that the espresso machine was broken and the American coffee is weak and unsatisfying.

No longer the only game in town, I wouldnt tell folks to go there instead of other good places within 10 minutes drive (ie; 360), but it's up there with all. He sure can cook.

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