If I could, I would give Bouley a 3.5 out of 5 - mainly due to service and atmosphere. Judging the food only, it would certainly be a 5 out of 5.
I went to Bouley with my husband last week for dinner and, although it was overall a good experience, I was expecting more from this 2 Michelin-starred restaurant in NY.
We decided to go for the à la carte menu as it was quite late and we normally take a few hours to go through a tasting menu properly.
Between dishes though, we were still served with a number of amuse-bouche dishes, which was nice but filling. All food was presented beautifully and tasted great.
Unfortunately we felt that the atmosphere wasn't as good as expected. We felt the place had a very pretentious and "I want to be the new France away from France" atmosphere.
My starter had a couple of pieces of hard crab shell. Having told this to the waitress, I was told that the "the crab shell was there because the crab was very fresh". Both my husband and I were speechless and very disappointed with her response. Personally I felt that, although I was trying to point out a problem that the waitress could then advise the kitchen about, there was a bit too much arrogance to admit a simple mistake - even because crab shell could have broken one's tooth!
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