Had a memorable anniversary late lunch at Bouley today. The place was crowded with young lawyer/wall street types when we got there, but the crowed thinned soon after and we had one room almost to ourselves. Cozy, romantic setting. The amuse was a pesto glace with buffalo mozzarella and greek yogurt--amusing indeed. And refreshing on this steamy day.
We both had the $48 tasting menu, with a nice north fork sauvignon. For first, I had the tuna tartare, which was perfect, including a hint of cilantro which I like (just a hint). Spouse had the shrimp, scallop, and squid, which was both delicate and strong at once (some phillo on the shrimp, some broth at the base, good parsley creme, too). Seafood was slightly underdone to highlight its freshness and flavor.
Next we had halibut in a red beet sauce and wild salmon with porcini. Both were superb-- fish was fresh and tasty, portions perfect. The Bouley bread selection is a trip in itself--they bring a cart, you choose, they slice!
Third course was, for me, long island duck with spring peas (the peas, the puree); for spouse, pork tenderloin with celery puree. Both were delightful-- interesting flavors, prepared correctly, yum.
A grapefruit sorbet came next, followed by a strawberry ruhbarb soufle and TWO warm chocolate cakes with ice cream (an anniversary extra, as were the glasses of Jumilla sweet wine). At the end of the meal you get a goodie from the bakery (a little pound cake) to take with you.
Service was lovely, without being intrusive or inattentive. Bill with tip came to $175, which is a major bargain for the quality and amount of food. I'ts 8 p.m. and I still am not hungry for more food today!
Thanks to chowhounds for recommending Bouley for a late lunch. It was flawless.