When we saw on Bouley’s website that it’ll be launching BYO nights in the fall, we thought, awesome, this’ll take the bite out of those $40 entrees. But don’t dust off your wine caddy just yet — it turns out the Saturday-night dinners are in the 30-seat private dining room, and the tasting menus prepared by Bouley and his new chef, Shea Gallante, will cost you $350. That’s right: $350 without wine. Hey, that’d be a deal if this were Masa or Per Se, where the food costs about that anyway, but fact is, Bouley’s regular tasting menu is $95 without wine and $175 with (the chef’s menu is just a bit more). We’re assured these six-course tasting menus will include specialty seasonal ingredients such as black and white truffles, which might sound good to hard-core oenophiles with money to burn; all we ask is that Bouley stop teasing the plebs by advertising “BYO night” on its homepage.
The private dining room. Photo: Courtesy of Bouley