Okay, so my Christmas present from some very good friends is "dinner anywhere in New York". Generally, my favorite New York meal is the tasting menu at Jean Georges, but seeing as someone ELSE owes me a meal there (lucky me!), and I don't want my "dinner anywhere" friends to have to spring for Alain Ducasse (where I've never been, and would love to try), and I've never been particularly impressed with Chanterelle or my years-ago visit to Daniel, I've narrowed things down to Bouley or Lespinasse...
While one of the great meals of my life was about 13 years ago at the ORIGINAL Bouley, I'd subsequently found both Bouley Bakery and Danube to be decent enough, but nothing special and way overpriced for what they were. On the other hand, I've read in several places that the CURRENT Bouley is just as good as the original. Meanwhile, I've never been to Lespinasse.
Either way, I like to try a lot of different things at places such as these, and I really don't care much about either the wine list or the desserts. So my question is:
Between Bouley and Lespinasse, who's got the better "tasting menu" and, as a secondary consideration, who's got the "less snobby without sacrificing professionalism" service?
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