Bouley's Empire

Chef David Bouley has been a New York food icon since he arrived in the 80's. He currently has restaurants Bouley, Burshstroke and the Test Kitchen downtown. His uncompromising vision and creativity have kept his establishments at the forefront of dining royalty year after year.

I recently had the honor to be invited to dine with some fellow concierges at Bouley, but the first stop was Brushstroke. This temple to Japanese cuisine is immaculate and simple at the same time. If one were to imagine a tea house in Japan, this might be what the inside resembles. Decored with reclaimed wood and recycled books covering the wall, you have to look to realize what the walls are made of. A hush was in the air as the open kitchen communicated with in-ear mics ala security at a high profile event. You felt as if you were in a temple to food with the efficiency and reverence with which the staff (both kitchen and floor) moved.

We were treated to some fantastic signature drinks and dishes. The vegetable salad and the chawanmushi were phenomenal. Clean, yet intense flavors. But the sushi, out of this world good. I have had sushi at a lot of places, this is right up there at the top. The sushi chef trained with Jiro of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame. I will go back for a omakase menu at some point, but this night we were moving on to Bouley...

Bouley was one of the first "upscale" restaurants I ever ate at, so there is a special place in my heart for it. It has moved since I first dined there but the ambiance, feel and food quality are still top notch. The first thing you notice is the smell of apples as you enter into this special world, and yes you are leaving everything else outside. This is a world where everyone is celebrating something special, a birthday, and engagement or anniversary. We had the honor of dining in the private room with a table made of petrified wood, beautiful and organic, like Chef Bouley's food. The private space fit our group of eight perfectly. The room is decorated with interesting little knick knacks and features a large flat screen tv that can show presentations, sideshows and other media in case there is a class taking place.

The night was an amazing night full of fantastic food, wine and conversation with Chef Bouley and his amazing staff. Bouley has once again cemented a special place in my heart and it is something to be experienced by everyone.

Tomato coulis w/ sheep's milk ricotta, truffle pate' with kuzu cracker

Heirloom Cherry Tomato, Tahitian Vanilla and Tri-Star Strawberries
Balinese Pepper
Early Summer Fingerling Potatoes Lightly Smoked Over Multi-Seed Aromatic Health Tea with Grated Turkish Bottarga

Uni w/Apple sorbet, salmon & tuna roe and yuzu

Snapper in ravioli corn soup
Porcini Flan, Alaska Live Dungeness Crab, Black Truffle Dashi  

Bread cart

Pistachio Miso Marinated Fresh Black Cod with Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes  

Chicken Baked with Alfalfa and Clover Hay
Local Corn Ravioli, Nova Scotia Chanterelles 

Hot Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé, White Coffee Cloud, White Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Mousse