BunRabs Home Yummy Chow Home

6534 Washington St.
Yountville, CA

2005 bunrab.com Best Bistro award

What kind of xenophobic antisentualist doesn’t like a great Bistro? Not me. The folks at Bouchon allow you to die happy.

A gorgeous room with a zinc bar and Parisian Bistro feel. Diners wear everything from suits to jeans.
If you want to save the airfare to Paris, hop over to Bouchon. Come for an early weekday dinner to avoid the crowds.
Arrive early and pop by the bakery to purchase some of their rustic loaves of bread, chocolate chip, “oreo” or “nutter butter” cookies, madelines, macaroons… you get the idea.

To be fair, this is a bistro. It’s not supposed to be high fallutin’. The service overall was very good…
But to be picky, picky, picky:

These are modern times. Make sure you aren’t making assumptions about who pays the bill based on gender (hey, I don’t wanna get stuck payin’ all the time.)

Coffee cups should be placed on the table with handles in the 4 o’clock position for righties and 8 o’clock for lefties, not willy-nilly (I told you I was being picky.)

Bottles of Champagne should be kept on ice at all times.

Information about the cheeses (aside from the animal of origin) was unavailable from the waiter.

The waiter indicated that he would pass on questions to the kitchen (but forgot twice.)

Enough with the critical spiral
. This isn’t the French Laundry, after all, even if it is owned by the same fellow.
If you want to have a Bouchon picnic, grab a ham and cheese on baguette or their version of a pb+j (with cashew butter). They have a cooler with drinks. Grab one of their little pastries while you are at it.

A selection of oysters ($15 for a half dozen):
I asked for the shucking guy to pick a variety of oysters that adhered to the following guidelines: plump, non-metallic and briny. He sent over this icey platter of goodness.

Had a half bottle of Billecart Salmon with the bivalves, then moved on to a nice 2002 Franciscan Cabernet.

Steak Frites ($26.50):
Requested rare, served rare. This meat was flavorful and tender. I think that these cows must have been kissed to death. This prime flatiron (shoulder area cut) was served with maitre d’hotel butter (butter with shallots and parsley.) The waiter suggested that we wanted to sub out another side dish for the frites since we had another entrée and each had enough frites to satisfy two adults. We asked for sautéed spinach. The deep green leaves were studded with whole cloves of olive oil poached garlic. Perfect.

Croque Madame ($14.95):
Two pieces of brioche encase thin slices of ham and gruyere. A fried egg enrobed in a cheesy béchamel crowns this delectable sandwich. Cut through this baby and the yolk runs down to create a pool of yellow sauce through which I drag bits of hammy goodness. The frites have crispy, salty (good salty, not bad salty), greaseless exteriors that surrender their moist potato interiors with the perfect amount of protest.


Cheese selection ($14.25 for 3):

Montbriac – blue ash coated, cow’s milk – not a brash blue, creamy and sleek.

Gariotin – goat - a tangy, sassy, delectable cheese

Chaource – cow milk - creamy like a camembert. Made me regret not ordering one hard cheese to balance out the plate.


Lemon Tart ($7.50):
Suspiciously perfect looking. I cut past it’s tangy, tartly sweet curd to it’s crisp and crumbly pastry. The buttery crust, the lemon curd, it was tart heaven. It was a surprisingly large portion too.


They make their own breads in their bakery next door.
A warm epi (wheat stalk shaped baguette) is placed on the paper covered table with a ramekin of butter. It has a lovely crust and texture.
The thinly sliced nut and fruit breads that accompany the cheese selection are a tasty complement to the fromages.

My special coffee story:
The brewed coffee was just dandy, but my double espresso arrived with NO crema (you know, that lovely layer of brown foam on the top that says “I’m really strong and delicious”) I drank it all and sat in a stupor. Then I tried some of the regular coffee and realized that it was similar in strength to my doppio. I paid the bill and decided I needed to do my civic duty and inform the waiter so no other innocent victims would suffer. He was supercool and quickly brought me an espresso that was perfecto!

Overall Rating:

Overall: Three and a half carrots out of four! Legend has it that Thomas Keller built this place so that he'd have somewhere close by to go after a hard day at The French Laundry. I believe it.

Summing it up: If you don’t like this place you are insane.


Bouchon Bathroom Rating

Spotlessly clean and well stocked. They obviously straighten them up frequently. Fun and modern design. More red paint than your average loo.

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