Friday, March 16, 2012

Eat Here-Bouchon Bistro in Yountville

Greetings from a tiny town in central California that is pretending to have a cool day by sprinkling a few raindrops here and there, but really belongs somewhere in Florida with its moisture-laden,  too-warm weather. I have been living in the land of low-carb for the last few days, and with another three weeks to go I am about to eat my shirt. I was looking at deb's knish recipe over here, seriously reconsidering any sort of a meal-plan that restricts carbs. I mean, really....what kind of an existence is that? And is it really worth it if I am going to make up for it as soon as this segment is over, by eating every carb-laden  item that has been simmering in the back of my mind for weeks on end? I don't know. Maybe I should just change my blog to "fat chef" and leave it at that.

So, anyway. Enough of that. Pardon me while I take a sip of my super-disgusting smoothie made with some sort of off-brand vanilla powder smoothie.
Ok, I'm back now. I wanted to tell you about a restaurant I ate at while I was in Napa. You're going to be jealous. But, just think about how not jealous you are that I am on this ridiculous diet, and the two should cancel themselves out.
We ate at Thomas Keller's restaurant, Bouchon Bistro. It is nestled between Napa and Calistoga, off the highway in a small town called  Yountville. There are also Bouchon Bistros in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas. He actually, apparently, has quite a few restaurants in the Napa Valley area, including Addendum (closed for the winter), Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc, and The French Laundry. I wish I could have eaten at them all, but alas, my stomach can only hold so much.
We ate at Bouchon Bistro on a Thursday night in February. The first seating we could get that night was for 9:30 PM. Not bad for your fifth restaurant in an area, right?
The room had loud jazz giving just the right tone to the room. Rich dark wood and brightly colored flooring completed the scene. There was a paper menu surrounding the napkin, and our waitress promptly arrived, closely followed by some fresh french bread, shaped like a tree branch. The bread was accompanied by soft butter and a small dish of pistachios. A pet peeve of mine, which I don't think I have mentioned before, is when butter arrives hard as a rock. There is no sense in eating a fresh, warm piece of bread, torn to pieces by a solid bit of butter.
My coffee showed up next. I can't remember what happened with my husband's drink, but I am sure it was also prompt. The coffee was piping hot, and good and strong. It came with all the necessary accompaniments, another thing that many people overlook. There is nothing so frustrating as sitting around while your coffee gets cold, trying to flag someone down for some more cream or a spoon. Or real sugar.
Our waitress was very friendly and informative, even chatty. I enjoyed her. We ordered the steak frite, medium-rare, and a side of potato gratin.
The food came out quickly, the steak  topped with maitre'd butter, cooked perfectly and seasoned even better. The large pile of frites were thin and crisp-very delicious.
The potatoes had a delicious chewy crust on them and little bacon lardons, topped with fresh herbs. My husband wasn't crazy about the potatoes, I think it was the type of cheese, which I cannot remember now, but I thought it was amazing.
I wish, I wish I had room for dessert. Profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce were calling my name. But, since we had eaten appetizers at Bottega there was no way I could fit anything else. I will say this, I know where I want my husband to take me the next time we go on a day trip.

Bouchon Bistro

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