17 March 2008

Lunch at Bouchon, Napa, CA

Thomas Keller has a bistro in Yountville just up the street from his world famous destination restaurant, the French Laundry. It’s called Bouchon. During an afternoon of touring Napa wineries, my wife and I decided to give it a try.

We didn’t have reservations. Fortunately for us, it was a Wednesday afternoon in early March. The hordes of visitors hadn’t begun to descend on the Napa Valley yet, and we were able to get a table.

When they designed Bouchon, they spared no expense on making it look and feel like a French bistro. Everything – the lights, the wall tiles, the bar, the brass rails – conjures images of a casual restaurant that serves simply prepared, delicious food. Which is, of course, what a bistro is.

We’d just come from a winery and planned to visit more after lunch. So we decided not to have a glass of wine at lunch. Instead, I had iced tea and Linda just had water. Our server brought some French bread and a small pot of butter that we enjoyed as we perused the menu.

Lunch at Bouchon can be anything from a multi-course feast to a simple sandwich, quiche, or soup. It’s hard to choose. The menu tempts you with many appealing alternatives. Since we planned to have a full dinner later that evening, we decided to keep it simple at lunch.

I had the ‘tartine du jour.’ It was tuna salad with Nicoise olives. It was generously piled on a piece of toasted levain and artfully arranged with a row of sliced hard boiled egg, each piece of egg topped with a paper-thin slice of radish. It was served with a side of pomme frites. The sandwich was very flavorful and ample for lunch. The fries were crisp and light.

Linda had the daily quiche. Our server said it was prepared in the style of a custard. As we waited for it to be served, we wondered what that would mean. It turned out to be a rich, creamy mixture inside the pastry and wonderful, crusty, buttery top. It was served with a mixture of greens and a light vinaigrette which Linda asked be served on the side.

It was a wonderful dining experience all the effort to create an authentic bistro experience comes at a price - $35 for a tuna salad sandwich, a slice of quiche, and a glass of iced tea, no wine, no dessert, no coffee.

1 comment:

Home Theater said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Home Theater, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://home-theater-brasil.blogspot.com. A hug.