review

Bouchon

Posted by annie on Jun 28th, 2008

My good friend Richard was kind enough to treat me to dinner at Bouchon, which is a one Michelin star restaurant. For Ratatouille fans out there (like me!), Bouchon was opened by American Chef Thomas Keller, who consulted on the Pixar movie.

Remember the ratatouille that was made at the very end of the movie? That’s actually Thomas Keller’s recipe! So, when I saw ratatouille listed under the a la carte section of the Bouchon menu, I was pretty thrilled.

Our extravagant meal began with a braid of fresh bread (probably baked next door at the Bouchon Bakery) accompanied by hummus and butter. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good photo of this. I’m beginning to realize that food photos are especially difficult to take. Anyone got any good tips?

Next came the appetizers! Richard got a duck confit salad, and I ordered lobster consumme.

For the main course, Richard ordered the roast chicken on top of puff pastry and asparagus, and I had the lamb over cous cous in a mint jus. We also ordered a side of potato puree and ratatouille. The ratatouille turned out to be a different version than what was depicted in the movie. Thomas Keller has many other restaurants, so perhaps he uses several recipes.

roast chicken, potato puree, and ratatouille

lamb over cous cous

For dessert, we shared a chocolate mousse.

All in all, it was quite impressive. My favorites were the ratatouille, the duck confit, and (to be honest) the hummus. I’ve never had ratatouille before but I have to say it’s one of the most satisfying vegetarian choices I’ve ever had. It seems that texture plays a large role in this dish since the tomatoes and eggplant were cooked until soft and supple, but the squash and zucchini remained hearty but tender, which gave the dish a meaty quality.

Duck confit was also surprisingly tasty. I’ve had duck confit before but for some reason, when I had it, the duck was shredded. Perhaps the chef thought confit meant confetti?

Finally, though it was barely an amuse-bouche, I have to give credit to the hummus. This hummus lacked the acidic quality I usually experience with hummus (Trader Joe’s- I am now disappointed in you), but instead was smooth and modest. Mixed with bits of basil and a generous dose of olive oil, I couldn’t help but overload myself with bread.

3 comments

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Thank you for the wonderful review! I want to try the hummus and ratatouille the most.

Vegetable dish with meaty quality?— interesting :)

Yeah, most store-bought hummus I’ve had can’t compete with the stuff I get from my local farmer’s market.

Those plates/dishes look cool. Actually, I like how they presented all the food. That’s a big difference between “fancy” restaurants and meals people cook at home (or buy on the cheap). Food always looks crappy on your own dishes. Gotta step up your plating skills, people!

thanks Marie! do you live near Napa? Because if you ever go to Bouchon, I’d love to know about your dining experience.

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