La Boite en Bois

75 West 68th Street
New York, NY 10023
Tel: (212) 874-2705

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"An old favorite for diners with a curtain to make, this 25-year-old French bistro near Lincoln Center offers delicious meals and attentive service in a postage stamp size space; check out the $44 pre-theater prix fixe, a terrific deal."
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Homemade Wild Mushroom Ravioli

Chef / Owner - Gino Barbuti

Gino Barbuti started his career as a chef’s apprentice in London. He studied at La Coq d’Or where he learned the art of French cuisine.

Moving to New York City, he began working at Georges Rey on West 55th St. It is there that he met Raul Paez. They did not know it at the time, but 30 years later they would be working together again at La Boite en Bois.

After Georges Rey, Gino went on to work at Demarchelier on Lexington Ave. He then moved on to become the sous chef at Regine’s, a popular restaurant and discoteque in NYC. After moving to Long Island with his family, he decided to work closer to home. He was the chef at Rigatoni, an Italian gourmet restaurant in Rockville Centre, when they opened in 1988. Years later, he opened his own restaurant in Great Neck with his brother. Bardi, a Northern Italian restaurant, named after his hometown in Parma, Italy was open for 7 years.

Although he loved celebrating his Italian heritage, he missed using his training in French cuisine. After Bardi was sold, Gino bought La Boite en Bois, which had been established for 20 years. He reunited with Raul, who was the maitre’d there.


Maître ď - Raul Paez

Raul Paez came to New York from Argentina in 1969. He started his career as a busboy at Georges Rey on West 55th Street. Working there for 15 years, he eventually became a captain. When Georges Rey closed in 1985, he went on to the Hotel St. Regis, on 5th Avenue, serving breakfast and lunch. At night, he worked at the Rainbow Room. When the Rainbow Room closed for renovations, Raul began working at La Caravelle, a French restaurant on 55th Street. In 1987, Georges Rey’s wife, Marie Michelle, opened Marie Michelle Restaurant on West 56th Street. She asked Raul to serve as head waiter. Later, Raul moved on to head waiter at Top of the Park, a French restaurant located in what is now the Trump Towers on 59th and Columbus Circle. In 1986, his friend Jean Claude Coutable asked him to join him at La Boite en Bois. He has been at the restaurant ever since. Both he and Gino are happy to have had the opportunity to reconnect and work together again after so many years.