Bouley, NYC 2

August 4, 2015

On July 6, 2015, Linda and I returned to Bouley for lunch to try dishes for my 75th birthday celebration at the Bouley Test Kitchen in three weeks. With us were our young neighbors in France, Luc and Gabriel.

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Linda and I had glasses of 2013 Viognier, Le Pied de Samson, by Georges Vernay. We enjoyed this, had a second glass with the fish courses and decided to choose it for the party.
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We were served a black seed baguette, a little round bread and  rich Beurre de Baratte from Normandy.
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The first of the three hors d’œuvres was
Blini of Scottish Smoked Salmon
Salmon Trout Roe, White Truffle Honey
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This was exquisite. The blini was light; the bait of honey was restrained and the evident truffle flavor counterbalanced its sweetness.

This was described as a tomato coulis, but it seemed soupier than that and had nice added spicing. There was a radish slice floating on top and fontina cheese at the bottom of the bowl.
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A kudzu crisp with aligoté and black truffle.
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Elegant and very good.

Gabriel started with
Hawaiian Hiramasa & Nantucket Blue Fin
Meyer lemon, passion fruit, fresh verbena
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Luc had the
Homemade Almond Soup
Glazed scallions

Linda and I had the
Malibu Sea Urchin
Green apple, Oscetra Caviar
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There was a generous portion of sea urchin at the bottom of this oversized shell. The green apple foam seemed excessively tart to me, overpowering the dish.

The bread cart arrived.
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I had a slice of hazelnut-pistachio bread. 

For the next course the other three had the
Porcini Flan
Golden Princess crab, black truffle dashi
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The porchini flan this season has Golden Princess crab instead of the Dungeness crab we enjoyed in the winter.  The combination provides a very flavorful crab dish with flan in the bottom of the dish.

I had the
Cage-Caught Chatham Tender Calimari
Chatham scallops, butter beans, aged balsamic
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The seafood was top quality and cooked just enough, but the balsamic vinegar and little red pepper flakes were overdone for such subtle ingredients.

We were offered an exquisite little extra course: a steamed quail egg with comté foam and Australian truffles. (If you want winter truffles in July, that is where you look.)
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The sommelier now served glasses of 2009 Brunello di Montalcino, Collelceto. Very good.
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Gabriel went on to
Organic Long Island Duck
Indian Reservation wild rice, wheat berries, black dates and Hand milled polenta
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Luc and Linda had the
All-Natural Pennsylvania Chicken
Baked “En Cocotte” with alfalfa, clover hay, organic butter beans, Brussels sprouts
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Linda was expecting a burst of alfalfa and hay aroma to arrive with the chicken, but the tender, skinless chicken arrived with just excellent butter beans,  puréed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. 

I had the
Organic Great Barrington Roast Pork
Apple cider vinegar, crispy angel hair, spicy arugula
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The pork and its glaze had a rich flavor, nicely counterbalanced by the arugula. But the “crispy” angel hair underneath was a soggy mess.

The pre-dessert was a white chocolate cloud with strawberries.
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The airy, frozen “cloud” dissolved quickly in the mouth, creating refreshing effect.

The first dessert for Linda and Gabriel was
Fresh Black Raspberries Gelato
Buckwheat sorbet
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The black raspberry gelato and buckwheat sorbet were delicious. The berries seemed so fresh that they reminded Linda of eating black raspberries long ago while picking them in the family farm patch in Ohio.

Luc and I had
Chilled Coconut Soup
Pineapple granité, 10 exotic fruit sorbet, passion fruit and coconut Ice cream
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Good tropical flavors.

For the second dessert Luc and Gabriel had
Hot Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé
White coffee cloud, coffee ice cream, chocolate mousse
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Linda and I had
Hot Caramelized Anjou Pear
Valrhona chocolate, biscuit breton, hot toffee sauce
Huckleberry and Tahitian vanilla ice cream
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This was superb; the restrained caramel blended perfectly with the pear and chocolate elements. The little bowl of ice cream was a good complement. 

The mignardises tower finished things off.
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We had a very enjoyable, relaxing lunch. As is often the case, the starters and desserts outshone the main courses. We are still undecided which to chose for my party. The service was always good. The pace was slow, but that was suitable for the occasion.

To see our two meals at Bouley earlier this year click here.

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