Pint-sized reviews of some favorite dining experiences in New York. Planning a trip? You should also check out our full-fledged reviews of Perilla, wd~50, The Spotted Pig, and Apotheke.

Bouchon… Ladies Who Lunch In the Mall
NYC Trip 056I can count on a single hand the chefs whose name and reputation could bring me to utter the phrase “let’s get lunch in the mall,” with Robin Scherbatsky-style exuberance.  Yet here I was, on a beautiful Saturday afternooon in Manhattan, leaving Central Park and heading into the Time Warner Center for lunch at Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s casual bistro located only one floor below the hallowed (or not, if recent reviews are to be believed) Per Se. The space itself was surprising. The 60-seat cafe is plopped right in the middle of the 3rd floor, making up for its open exposure with a flood of natural light from the six-story front window of the building. A counterfront bakery is down the hall, not quite adjacent but within eyesight, so you can take some of Keller’s baked goods home with you to devour later.

I’ve never dined at a Keller restaurant before so my expectations were fairly open. I was hoping to see a nice mix of NYC Trip 059California and French cuisine, with a heavy focus on seasonal ingredients. I wasn’t disappointed. The menu is honest and simple with standard bistro fare turned up a notch by better-than-average ingredients. My wagyu beef reuben, served with cheese and wilted arugula on a crusty bread, was rich and decadent for a lunchtime sandwich. However, it was my companion (and soon-to-be-tour-guide) Amanda’s quiche that had my full attention. I had order envy as soon as it was placed in front of us. The quiche was creamy with a perfectly scorched top layer, served with glistening fresh greens. Simple, rich, delightful. I don’t know if I’ll make a beeline for Bouchon on my next visit to New York but it was a great spot for a hearty, flavorful lunch before powering through the rest of our day. It is absolutely worth a visit if you find yourself hungry in the middle of  Central Park.

Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Cir
New York, NY 10019
Bouchon Bakery on Urbanspoon 

Cookies, Custard and Sunday brunch after the jump! (more…)