In the past, when people posted their Bouley Bakery horror stories, I understood that they were true, but couldn't jive them with my own experiences at the place. I have eaten in the main dining room once, and the experience was wonderful, and I have gotten bread, pastries, coffee and whatnot from the front many times and had always left happy.
However, this past weekend, I went into the front area with two friends for some breakfast for the first time in many months. I noted interestedly that the window counters and stools had been replaced with waiter/table service. Also, the menu has been expanded to include some brunch items such as omelettes, french toast, tartine and fruit salad, in addition to the standard, usually excellent croissants, breads, etc.
Our orders were: tea with fruit salad, tea with french toast, and coffee and a croissant with an omelette. After 10 or 15 minutes, almost long enough to forget that we had ordered, our waiter brought the two teas, followed immediately by the fruit salad. Then we waited again. After an additional 10 minutes, I flagged down a different harried looking waiter (there were all of three parties in the whole place) and inquired about my coffee and the remaining entrees. This waiter brought my croissant, followed 5 minutes later by my coffee, and then a different person arrived at the table with another fruit salad, which we hadn't ordered. The original waiter then showed up with another coffee. Finally, my omelette arrived, and we told them to cancel the french toast when they informed us it would be another 5 to 10 minutes. The prices are moderate, but the portions are small. The omelette was tasty, but came with nothing. The fruit salad was merely chopped up fruit, no dressing or anything. Very dull.
The service was unspeakably horrible. Very bady trained help. There was never any apology, because it seemed that they didn't know they were doing wrong. One of my top five worst experiences. I will never return.