Haute Dining: Bouchon Napa Valley

Bouchon restaurant in Yountville, California serves up classic French Bistro fare with a modern sensibility at moderate prices. Step inside the cozy room and you are temporarily transported to France. The atmosphere is warm and familiar. The service is friendly and attentive. The food is deeply satisfying and in some cases a bit sinful. The Croque Madame is over the top, slathered in Mornay sauce and topped off with a perfectly prepared egg. Bouchon excels at bistro standards such as, Moulle Fritttes, Coquille St. Jacques au Homard, and Boudin Noir (if you dare!). The Poulet Roti is outstanding. There are lots of small dishes to share and let’s not forget the raw bar, which is stocked with beautiful oysters, clams, shrimps and mussels.

Bouchon opened in 1998 as the second effort from uber chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame. Keller has jokingly said that his goal was to provide himself with a place to go after work at the French Laundry. The success of Bouchon Bistro has spawned sister restaurants in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills as well as Bouchon Bakery. So if you’re in Napa, head over to Bouchon, which is about as close to a real French Bistro as you, will find in the USA.

I suppose any review of Bouchon Bistro should be accompanied by a review of Bouchon Bakery, which is conveniently located next door. Three words come to my mind when thinking of Bouchon Bakery…Oh my god! If you like pastries, fresh breads, cookies, tarts, muffins and good coffee this is the place. Every morning fresh baked goods roll out like clockwork. If you are considering committing “carbocide” there is no more enjoyable venue. Beautiful croissant, chocolate éclairs, banana nut muffins, cinnamon buns, quiche, chocolate bouchons and chocolate tarts will tempt your resolve. They also have great sandwiches, soups and salads! Fantastic!You can find Bouchon Bakery in Napa, Las Vegas and New York city. Bouchon staff has assured me that Los Angeles will soon be graced with this heavenly patisserie. If you are in the vicinity of a Bouchon Bakery give it a try, and then head over to the gym!

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