It’s a bad sign that neither Ms. Hipster nor I can really remember what we ate at Bouley despite dropping a couple paychecks on a meal on our anniversary. I hardly ever remember what I eat, but the Ms. H not only remembers what she ate but what I eat as well. For shame David Bouley for providing a meal so utterly devoid of flair, panache and pizzazz that a mere nine months later we have no recollection of what the hell we stuffed in our pie holes on a Wednesday night so special that we decided to celebrate our nuptials with a bunch of freaks so willing to throw down serious coin on a mid-week meal so opulent and ridiculous that we felt like total douchebags tourists or kids on daddy’s dime. After all, we’re folks who wonder if it makes sense to order in local Indian bonanza that tops out at like $40 and here we are with people willing to lay down some serious coin on opulent French food on what was for them a random weeknight. What I don’t remember about the food I do recall about the room and the kind of weird, crappy space we were stuck in. There’s this front room that looks kind of like a cantilevered version of my grandma’s old condo in Florida, or what my grandma would think a nice restaurant should look like–and that was the nice space. We were through this Alice in Wonderland door in the back of the restaurant where the nice vaulted ceiling gave way to a lower overhead and what looked like a hand painted Asian screen from the eighties, which gave little cover to the silverware and crap hidden behind it. Apparently this is like high-class stuff, but to me it felt like a doddering version of what fancy is supposed to be. But, again, I’m the guy who thinks those crackers that come in the container that separate the round and square biscuits with plastic are super special. That aside, we both do recall the bread being pretty damn good (and plentiful) and the service, while not all that on top of it, friendly and mostly in understandable English. I do remember that we ordered some sort of tasting menu and that I had porcini flan, which tastes much better than it sounds. There was some other stuff that I believe was fish, but wasn’t in any way remarkable. The desert, by the time that rolled around, was ridiculously long and drawn out and was probably more food than the rest of the meal combined (due to its sheer size and chocolateyness). I can’t say why but the whole place felt cocky and haughty in a way it didn’t really have the right to be. More like tired, over-priced and going through the motions. Sorry, I like to get what I pay for, and this joint was a big ol’ fail in that department. [MF]

163 Duane St.