Restaurants & Bars 6

Bouchon, Yountville (long)

Limster | Mar 31, 2002 04:16 PM

One of my friends had cravings for the delicious blood sausage (boudain noir) at Bouchon (nice dark flavors, somewhat moist, and served with roasted apples and mashed potatoes) and dragged a little group up there for lunch yesterday. (I was going to root for Jeanty, but since I just ate at their SF outpost, curiosity made me go with the flow, just to see what Bouchon was like.)

Classy, charming but laid-back ambiance, although not exactly like the heartfelt settings that real bouchons (little eateries in Lyon) offer. This kind of delicate but not overly frilly decor would be more at home in Paris than Lyon. The menu isn't tailored to what a bouchon might make, but instead offers a survey of French fare with quite a bit of California edited away. It's somewhat ironic that a typical bouchon dish, quenelles, are offered at Jeanty but not Bouchon. Perhaps it's an inside joke of some kind. What's in a name anyway?

Beignets with cod were very light and fluffy, and served with a nice touch of thyme and a thick juicy slice of roasted tomato.

Assiette de charcuterie was decent. Good flavors on the pate, but its texture was rather grainy.

I had a boudain blanc for contrast -- it was also an exceptional sausage. Very tender, almost silky on the inside, very moist and paired perfectly with the stewed prunes bearing deep but not overly intense fruit flavors.

Also caught a bite of the roast chicken - a fairly moist, generous portion, but not out of this world.

Dessert reflected the restaurant's finer cultivation on the service side of things. The wonderful chocolate sauce drizzled over the well crafted profiteroles only at the table to prevent sogginess. A simple gesture that shows thoughtfulness on the restaurant's part.

4 of us shared the profiteroles. As reflected on the check, the waiter added an extra profiterole to the plate so that we got 4 instead of the normal 3 -- this is the kind of service that I really appreciate. Yet another thoughtful gesture.

On the whole, a good but not great lunch of country cooking for $115 (tax no tip) -- this included 2 appetizers, 1 glass of wine, 3 mains, 1 salad and 1 dessert. Not super cheap by any means, but not bad.

I liked my dinner at Jeanty at Jack's more, and I certainly prefer Jeanty's broader repeitoire of classic French dishes.

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