Thursday, January 24, 2008

Recent visits - Bouley and Bouley Upstairs

Recent Restaurant Wraps!

Bouley: Sunday, Jan. 6th
"Eating here is always a special occasion. I love opening the big door and entering the apple warmth of the place. We've been here before, but the glamor of the red room with curved ceilings and beautiful art never fails to welcome and remind us that it has been too long since we last ate here.

"After ordering champagne by the glass, I went right for the Tasting Menu without the wine pairing. There are five courses -- actually more with all the little chef treats to wet the appetite or cleanse the pallet, and cookies to see you off. (My babysitter was so happy to get the lemon bread that was an extra gift as I picked up my coat.)

"Each course had a few dishes from which to choose -- not easy to decide.

I went the seafood route:
Chef's Canape -- a yummy beet and foamy horseradish starter
Sashimi Quality Tuna with shaved fennel dressed in herb oils and a spicy marinade
Return from Chiang Mai -- chilled Maine Lobster, Mango, fresh artichoke and Serrano ham with passion fruit, fresh coconut and tamarind dressing (a treat, don't miss this!)
Maine Day Boat Lobster with fresh Porcini mushrooms, black trumpet mushrooms, pencil asparagus, parsley root puree and burgundy wine sauce (Your mouth should be watering now; it was amazing!)
Texas Pink Grapefruit Soup infused with green cardomon, star anise, and Tahitian vanilla with Campari sugar and Fromage Blanc sorbet

Hot Valrhona Chocolate Souffle with Vermont maple ice cream, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sorbet (the souffle was perfect)
I should not forget the bread. I tried at least four different kinds, one better than the next.

Upstairs Bouley Bakery: Jan. 11th

photo from NY Mag

"My husband and I only had an hour for dinner and no reservations. Since we had just eaten at Bouley earlier in the week, we thought we'd try Upstairs next door. The General Manger, George Barber, couldn't have been nicer, finding us a couple chairs at the sushi bar with a promise of the full menu service. (I loved the hook under the bar to hang my purse.)

"I can't go to Upstairs without having the asparagus with blue crab, my favorite. My husband and I marveled at the efficiency of the small sushi and Japanese corner, only to learn from George that the chef will soon have his own Japanese addition to the Bouley family (in the nearby space formerly occupied by Delphi diner). It seems there are lots of moves in the future for the Bouley enterprise in Tribeca:
- Main restuarant Bouley will move into the newly remodeled Mohawk Building;
- Bouley Bakery will move into the current Bouley space, and
- Upstairs will expand with Bouley Bakery's move.

Glad to see that Tribeca will have even more fine dining to choose from in the coming year -- given the crowd, they need the extra space.

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