Bouchon Bakery

06. May 2006 American, Midtown 0

3rd floor of the Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle at 60th Street
$64 for two, without drinks, with tip
♥ ♥ ♥

It’s in the mall, but it has Thomas Keller’s name on it, so how can anyone say no to Bouchon Bakery even though it’s just really a bunch of tables and chairs outside the Samsung store on the third floor of the Time Warner building? Bouchon Bakery is for those who can’t score a table at Per Se on the fourth floor or don’t have the $200 to feed themselves. It also serves lunch to the corporate employees around the area during the day from a take-away counter.

We started by splitting the haricot vert soup. Creamy but oh-so-light, we just couldn’t figure out how it was done. The peekytoe crab meat, poached scallops, shrimp and squid fruits de mer tasted so fresh. The sweet and sour dressing was so refreshing, you can absolutely taste the fresh herbs used. The tuna sandwich is made to look like a tartine, topped with eggs like a niçoise.

The service is Thomas Keller all the way: a waitress asking us to pardon her reach when she would offer us freshly cracked pepper, a waiter knowing what exactly was in the dessert when asked, another waitress refilling our water glasses without intruding. It’s a great place to have a simple brunch and to experience a tiny part of the Thomas Keller enterprise without paying more than $30 for a dish. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything good at a food court until Bouchon Bakery.