So I've been planning a special occasion dinner for a month now, that we were pretty settled on having at Bouley (we had also managed to book Per Se but were inclined to cancel based on a 9:15 dinner time). Anyway, its for 6 of us, with a whole slew of special occasions (husband's 30th, my 36th, we have a baby due a month or so later, our 10th wedding anniversary, family in town from the UK...you name it), and we've been trying to obsessively plan for a perfect evening.
Bouley was where we had a wonderful anniversary 5 years or so back, with a 10+ course degustation menu. I made clear when I booked this dinner, that our intention was a similar lengthy menu, that we wished to sort out the bill in advance (as they dont do 10+ courses regularly like they used to...), no menus, wine pairings, a vegetarian, and a pregnant woman. I was assured all of this was no big deal and would be sorted. Then the comedy started. First a call to tell me my rez at Danube was going to have to *MOVE* to Bouley as Danube is closing. The rez was always supposed to be at Bouley... They also had it booked for the wrong night (one night later). Then I phone back to sort out in detail all of our wishes and make sure none of it was too much trouble. I was told to expect a call back from the maitre'd which never came.
Fast forward to today ----- I'm told first that they dont do the degustation 10+ course any more, though he could talk to Chef Bouley and perhaps accomodate. That he couldnt tell me in advance what the price of that menu would be. That he wasnt sure if the restaurant would be moving across the street by then --- keep in mind, the meal is a few weeks away now, and they don't know yet what date they're going to move?? I can just imagine it being the day of the meal.....lot of fun that would be with the chaos that I'm sure would ensue. I could probably just about deal with all of this if he hadnt then told me he had no idea when he could get me any answers / whether we'd be able to work anything out prior to the day of the meal (including its location), as Chef Bouley is traveling and working on his new menu.
Anyway, it looks like we're going to go what seems a much safer route with Per Se, where we had an excellent anniversary 2 years ago, and where the service was impeccable. Really a shame, I have very fond memories of the Bouley meal. I also get the sense from reading recent posts that Bouley's food quality has been hit or miss lately?
Has anyone had experience with either place and planning a meal for a small group?