lunch at Bouley during the blizzard

Woke up to snow this morning, which stopped the very second Al Roker said "The snow will stop soon." Following is account of what we did two snowstorms ago -- when the going gets tough, the tough have lunch. We called Bouley and booked a table.

Arrived a little early (getting around in a blizzard is not an exact science). Admired the dining room, which we had not previously seen in daylight. Reminds us of the pillars and arches at Baumanière; this effect glows gently during the day, is more dramatic at night. Strolled a little (well, trudged a very little), returned at the time of our res. When we came back, what could only have been a bus tour was arriving. Almost left again. Glad we stayed! The very large group was seated in a private dining room downstairs, the Diner grumbled until we were seated (5 whole minutes -- can't they recognize a dangerously hungry man?), and very nice things began to happen. Not discussing wine because
wine blogs are a whole 'nother world, but we did not go thirsty.

The tasting menu was such good reading that we ordered it. Lovely creamy mouthful of soup as amuse-bouche, followed by Chatham Blue Fin Tuna with a teeny bits of Marinated Japanese Turnip, Spicy Radish and Yuzu-Miso Dressing. I list all this because the tuna was very very mile and very cold so that it needed all these companions for flavor.

But then, then, the Porcini Flan with Dungeness Crab that everyone raves about. And so they should. This dish sneaks up on you and just keeps getting better. The flan is at the bottom of a little cup, the crabmeat is in a rich broth, and the flavors and textures make you very sad to be finished.

We pressed on: a palate cleanser and then, although there were many choices, we had both ordered the venison. Venison is my default choice when I'm having trouble my mind, even as my (weekend) shrubbery is the local deer population's default choice when they don't feel like foraging further. This was New Zealand White Fallow Venison with Black Truffle Gnocchi, Blue Kale, Brussels Sprout Leaves and a prune embellishing the plate. Only the presence of the prune kept me from licking the plate. Lovely.

Dessert was a copious assortment called a "chocolate frivolous." I almost couldn't; he sure could.

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