It may be the only place on Earth you can have fresh guacamole, sushi and a 2003 St. Emilion bordeaux. Upstairs at Bouley seems a little like David Bouley’s play kitchen. He wanted burgers, roast chicken, and sashimi, so he made it happen, installing a sushi bar across from the open kitchen. Maybe the night I went the kitchen was craving guacamole, so they made some up and put it on the specials board. Pay no mind that there is nothing else remotely Mexican on the menu. Upstairs at Bouley is about having fun, well-priced fun that was quite good. Sit upstairs and you can watch the traffic pass on the Tribeca streets below as you eat your sashimi and wait for your Bouley burger.
My friend Gihan and I tasted several plates, but hands down the most memorable dish of the night is the wild mushroom salad. Earthy, meaty, silky mushrooms- various varietals- were sauteed and served over a bed of spicy arugula and covered with nutty slivers of parmesan. It was spectacular, so good that I tried to mimick it at home the following evening- good, but having great mushrooms is key. That, along with the beautifully smooth bottle of Bordeaux, and we were happy. Next to us, a couple happily picked up their cheeseburgers. To each his own, and next time, I might have to try that burger.
Upstairs at Bouley, 130 W. Broadway, 212-219-1011. To see the menus and check out David Bouley’s other restaurants, visit davidbouley.com