Bouli Bar: All The Loveliness Of Boulettes Larder, In A New Guise

All the loveliness of Boulettes Larder, in a new guise

Bouli Bar, Amaryll Schwertner and Lori Regis' new Ferry Building restaurant, is not Boulettes Larder.

We're fine with that.

While Boulettes remains on the surgical table until later this week, its core clientele, ladies who lunch, have reassembled next door at Bouli Bar. In its dim, dove-gray interior, they sit tightly packed at communal tables, peering into the wood-fired oven or inspecting their neighbors' plates. (You'll do the same.)

Here, Schwertner's dishes are more casually composed, and pizzas make up a third of the menu. The most welcome change: The Eastern Mediterranean flavors that once flickered through her food now glow steadily.

Tart-sweet dried barberries and pomegranate reduction animate an Eastern Mediterranean salad ($18) of purslane leaves, finely chopped ricotta salata and freekeh (green wheat). Thin sheets of flatbread absorb the juices of a plate of roasted pioppino and trumpet mushrooms ($20) dressed with sherry vinegar and fresh thyme.

If there's a destination dish, it's the day's mezze plate ($18). Using puffy wedges of just-baked pita as scoops, we devoured a chunky relish of roasted carrots, raisins and walnuts; a smoky eggplant purée torqued with a precise twist of lemon juice; and lesco, a satiny ragout of roasted peppers and tomatoes.

It's a lunch that demands a glass of rosé. Even if you're heading back to work.