We had diner at Bouchon in Yountville Dec 22,2009. Had their special all French menu with cassoulet as main entree( 70$). Food was so-so and very salty.
The big surprise came a few hours later.... Both me and my wife spent all night on the toilet... food poisoning. Guess the salt was not enough to kill the germs
Thomas Keller's brasserie is another Y-ville culinary feat.. Although this hard-to-miss scarlet-colored restaurant is owned by French Laundry chef Thomas Keller, it's nothing like that famed temple of gastronomic nirvana. Instead, it's a bustling French brasserie. The dining room--anchored by a towering potted palm--is done in sleek shades of gray and maroon, with a hand-painted tile floor, mohair banquettes beneath gold-framed mirrors, shiny brass fixtures and an always-hopping zinc bar. The parchment-paper menu unfolds to reveal bistro classics such as steak frites, sole meuniere and tarte tatin. Start with the authentic onion soup or the comforting Swiss chard and potato quiche. Tender pink slices of lamb arrive with the classic French accompaniment of pale green flagolet beans, while a side of crispy, salty fries arrive piled high in a paper cone. Being one of the few places in the valley to have a full raw bar, many local chefs drop in just for the pristine, ice-mounded platters of oysters, raw clams, and chilled lobster, crab, mussels and shrimp. Dessert favorites include profiteroles bathed in warm chocolate sauce and tangy lemon tart.
You need to go all-out to have a good experience. We decided to eat here with another couple on a Sunday night as a last-minute thing; no reservations. There weren't any tables inside available but we were able to be seated at the patio. The weather was wonderful and we were served immediately. We started with the Petit Plateau but a whole lobster along with giant prawns and 3 different types of oysters; all amazing. I had the steak frites which was decent if not a bit underwhelming. The fries were some of the best I've ever had anywhere. The wine pairing was pretty good--nothing that blew my mind. I actually really enjoyed dessert: a scoop of vanilla bean and a scoop of honey ice cream which were both excellent. I'm a bit confused as to this place being labeled as the "sister" restaurant to the French Laundry--we ate there a few weeks ago and Bouchon is more like a distant relative who calls you to ask for a personal loan than a sister. Don't get me wrong--this place was pretty good; but it's not even remotely in the same league as French Laundry. $75/person with drinks here.
Feels like France.
Overall I would say the restaurant is very good. Attractive and attentive staff, but it was lunch and busy, but as a customer I had the feeling the staff didn't really want to be there.
The food was what to be expected.. no complaints. I have been to some great restaurants in France, and the steak I ordered seemed prepared more in the American Style than the French Style.
The fries took up most of the plate, I have never seen anything like it. I think such an enormous portion was for affect. My friend, who happens to be American, pointed out that in Europe, one would never see a portion so outrageous. As, i said, I think it was for the affect. The steak was a little rubbery and sitting next to the mountain of fries, appeared a little lonely.
I read another reviewers comment about flies, however this is the Napa Valley, and the restuarant has open windows, and this didn't bother me at all. I was enjoying a wonderful French Meal in the country side.
Excellent all around.
My husband, 21 month old daughter and I all visited Bouchon for lunch over the Holiday break. We'd heard good things about it and had high expectations being that it's sister the French Laundry is world renown. Arrived on time for our reservation, and happy that we had one. There was a long list of walk-ins hoping to get a table. We were seated promptly.
We immediately felt as if we had been transported back to a bistro in France. The interior was inviting and energetic. Our service was attentive and our appetizers were excellent. They also brought out our daughter's meal with our appetizers which was a stroke of genius. My pate was delicious and my husband's duck confit excellent. Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed her buttered pasta made to order ;)
My husband and I ordered the steak and pomme frites (fries) and both were cooked and seasoned perfectly. The french fries were insanely delicious and I would go back in a flash.
We also ordered dessert - I forgot what my husband had because I was in heaven with my profiteroles. Yes we rolled out of there but we were more than satisfied with the excellent experience.
The wine list is not inexpensive nor is the food, but this is not somewhere where you go to pinch pennies. I would recommend this restaurant to any of my friends.
Poor. We had a very poor lunch on a saturday. We had a 1 pm reservation and were not served our very simple lunch until 2 pm. The staff was unattentive and the food was marginal at best. And the restaurant was full of flies. Disappointing. We will not be going back.
as i have never been to french laundry, i really can't say that bouchon is the poor man's version. but i am told that it is. so there.
that being said, bouchon was still somewhat pricey. i really wanted to try the foie - but at $47 for 5 oz, i decided to pass. so instead, i had the pate, which was rich and good.
i also tried a friend's watercress and endive salad, which was crunchy and fresh.
i had the slow cooked pork short ribs with a lot of legumes. the beans, i could do without. but, the pork was tender, soft and definitely tasty.
btw, the names of the dishes were in french but i can't spell in french much less say it properly so i just described the dishes we had using the main ingredients.
i tried my friend's croque madame (ok, so that i know in french) - ham and cheese sandwich (on brioche) with an egg on top. this was definitely rich and delicious and creamy. the fries were good although not the best fries i ever had.
we passed on the dessert and opted to go to the bouchon bakery next door.
if you are in the area, you gotta try bouchon.
BAD EVERYTHING. This restaurant was recommended highly....we were soooo disappointed. I can't tell you about the food because we never got any! After 2 hours of waiting we never got anything but bread. We even ordered a $200.00 bottle of wine as we ate the bread....The service was horrendous. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone.
Not all that it's cracked up to be. Heard of French Laundry, but couldn't make reservations on such short notice (2 days), so looked up and found their sister restaurant, Bouchon. Read some of the reviews and thought it would be worth a try. I did not find anything here anything special. The waiter was very lackluster in service and gave off an air of arrogance. Their lobster/crab salad was $16.00 and almost non-existentn. I don't expect much portion when visiting this type of restaurant, but come on. We had their chicken breast, which was very moist, but salty, and their steak. The steak was hard and chewy and just not very good at all. I ordered medium and it was, but the qualty of meat was not up there. I can see how some people may enjoy going there to enjoy a glass of wine, but their food is not worth the prices. I will not recommend this place to any of my friends and will definitely not be going back there. Maybe French Laundry is good, but Bouchon is not even close.
Fantastic French fries.... Okay, the "pomme-frites" are unsurpassed. I love to go there for a Margarita and a cone of their first class French fries. The rest of the menu is, however, pretentious without being delicious. On my first visit I ordered a skate wing that was murdered by a heavy sauce which would have made a robust cut of beef have to scream for attention. But, if you want a $250 dollar glass of port, this is the place to go.
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