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Manhattan

Weird occurrence at Bouley & what they did

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Weird occurrence at Bouley & what they did

Matt P. | Sep 13, 2000 11:17 AM

6 of us went to Bouley Bakery on Saturday night at 8:30. Our party was originally for 4 people, but we picked up 2 friends along the way (men, neither of whom had jackets). They said if we would wait 20 minutes, they'd happily seat all 6 of us - they said nothing about the jackets. So 2 thumbs up right there. Then we all order the tasting menu, but we ask if we can do substitutions (one of us was vegetarian, some just didn't like the 2 main courses). And they said yes, no problem (and, to my great pleasure, substituted a lobster appetizer as a main course portion). Because a number of us had been reading the whole Bouley Bakery thing on this board, we were expecting the worst. Instead, they were amazing. Okay, so it's about an hour or so into the meal. We've all been laughing, having a great time, etc., i.e. enjoying each other's company & this new restaurant experience (none of us had been to Bouley before). Oh, we hadn't been drinking much either - a bottle of wine for the whole table. Okay, so out of nowhere, this guy from, I guess, some table nearby comes up to us and says, "I've never done this before, but I just have to tell you" - at this point we're smiling and waiting for him to tell us that we're the most wonderful people to ever walk the face of the earth - "that I've never heard such loud people in my entire life. Really. You're drowning out conversation at 4 other tables. Could you please keep it down." We were, frankly, stunned. As I said, we weren't drinking, and it's not as if the restaurant was quiet - it was pretty boisterous that night. Anyway, here's the point. We eventually move on from that rude interruption, and my brother notices that same guy going up to the waitstaff 3 times throughout the rest of the evening. And the waitstaff at the Bouley did the most amazing thing. Not only did they never tell us to keep it down (and, obviously, if we really were extraordinarily loud, I'm sure they would have), but they brought us 3 FREE DESSERTS (delicious btw) and told us they were thrilled to have people there who were so clearly enjoying the restaurant experience. Anyway, I wanted to pass this on, because from reading this board, I got the impression that Bouley was stuffy. Instead, I think it's that they want you to love every minute of it there and walk out feeling like you had the greatest meal of your life, which is more than just food - it's company, atmosphere, etc. Maybe that's the key to Bouley - go for the ride and to have fun.

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