Monday, August 1, 2011


I was not thinking of Thomas Keller or French Laundry when I went to have lunch at Bouchon. 

All I wanted was a delicously satisfying lunch to match the perfectly beautiful sunny day in Yountville where my girlfriends and I went for our twice a year wine-tasting day trip.

It is so easy to romanticize Bouchon's decor. This French Bistro is classy and definitely Parisian. Red leather booths, handsome brass/heavy wood bar filled with crushed ice for seafood. The color combination is pale and earthy with a shock of burgundy.

Service was impeccable, very attentive, polite yet relaxed. Our server was very knowledgeable and did  not falter in his recitations of that day's specials which were quite lenghty. We felt adequately taken care of while dining at Bouchon.

We started off our lunch with a glass of wine and cocktails. I chose the NACIONALE: A fruity refreshing cocktail that is slightly sweet.

We ordered a couple of starters which my girlfriends and I shared. We had the:

SALADE D' HOMARD ET MELON: Maine lobster, garden melons,
pickled shallots, mustard greens & piquillo pepper vinaigrette $14.50

This is more of an appetizer than a leafy salad. Very fresh sweet lobster meat on melons. A tiny dessert that has a big punch of flavors. This dish was almost too beautiful to eat. It is also great as an amuse bouche to cleanse your palate.

MOULES: Cold mussels deliciously served with mustard and cocktail sauce $7.00 / 1 doz

I chose the TARTINE DU JOUR: open-faced sandwich on toasted levain
served with French fries $17.95

I am not a sandwich person but somehow I was craving a hearty sandwich that day for lunch. The open-faced sandwich of the day  was grilled lamb sausage sliced crosswise in half. It was topped with onions and capers. A great combination of salty and tangy flavors. It came with  generous servings of fries and side of cornichons.  The lamb sausage was very juicy with nice flavors of the lamb but not gamey. Delicious with Bouchon's mustard!

For dessert, we shared THE BOUCHON: 3 small squares of brownies, which peach compote and ice cream. There was nothing spectacular about our dessert but it was a sweet way to end a beautiful lunch.

My girlfriends' orders included CRABE à CARAPACE MOLLE: crispy soft shell crab, wild mushrooms à la grecque  mâche with sauce grenobloise $14.00 and a FULL VEGAN COURSE.
I did not taste the above but just like me they really enjoyed their meals. My gf ordered the soft-shell as a main course instead of an appetizer. My vegan friend called in advance and told them to suprise her with a full vegan meal and she was very happy with what the chef has prepared for her.

Our tab was $159 including tax and 20 % tip ($53 pp)

I found Bouchon to be reasonably priced considering the ambiance, the well-executed dishes and being a Thomas Keller establisment. It deserves it Michelin star and its place as one of Bay Area's Top 100 Restaurants.

My lunch at Bouchon might not have been "soul-satisfying" but it was definitely very enjoyable. Everything we had was delicious and comforting.  What stood out were the details--a light, fresh-tasting mustard packed with flavors. I never thought I will ever rave about a mustard but I could have eaten Bouchon's out of the crockpot!  Our braided bread was also crusty and freshly baked. The french fries were perfectly fried and not greasy.

Bouchon is a great place to spend a have an "almost perfect" lunch on a perfect day in the Wine Country. We were full, happy and ready for more wine tastings! An hour of champagne tasting at Chandon before lunch at Bouchon. V Sattui, Castello di Amorosa--next!!!!

Foodie Girl's Rating: 4.5 Stars

0 Star: Never again!!! These people should not be in business.
1 Star: Chalk it to bad experience. Live and learn.
2 Stars: Some are good. Some are okay. Some are bad.
3 Stars: Like! I will return!
4 Stars: Love! I will be dreaming of you at night!
5 Stars: Perfection (or close to!)

Bouchon on Urbanspoon



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