Sunday, July 17, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bouchon

I really ate well for my birthday this year. It has been really amazing, since food has become our hobby, how much my tastes in birthday restaurants have changed. The first time I took the husband out to dinner for his birthday, we went to the Outback (that was his 30th birthday, so while we were at the restaurant, our roommate was getting the house ready for his surprise party, since I was too young to buy the beer!). I recently went through all our gift cards and found that we have 3 different Outback gift cards that we haven't used because we just aren't interested in that kind of food anymore. So this year, for my birthday, I enjoyed a small birthday lunch (stupid sales conference means that 2/3 of my office is always out on my birthday) at Olio Pizzeria, a fairly new and very authentic Italian pizzeria. All 4 girls at our table finished our entire meals, which is very unusual for our group, it was just so tasty! But the highlight of the day was definitely Bouchon. After much deliberation, I chose Bouchon for my dinner date with my husband the night of my birthday. We were pleased to find out that Bouchon was owned by the same team that runs Wine Cask, another of our favorite uber-fancy restaurants. Bouchon has many of the same aspects that we love about Wine Cask - fantastic wine list, unique menu items, knowledgable servers, and especially, their locally sourced ingredients. We started with the local crab cakes (no picture, but the menu describes them as being served with: "charred corn and microgreens salad, red bell pepper coulis, basil aioli and local avocado." These were delicious and fresh, with lovely completary tastes with the fresh items on the plate.

Now to the fun stuff with pictures:

My husband enjoyed a sea bass with carrot risotto and a fresh pea sauce. This dish was so intriguing. If you were to take a bite of the fish by itself, it would have been too salty to enjoy. But enjoying a bite with the risotto or the pea sauce, it was perfectly balanced. The texture of the fish was great, too - nice and crispy crust, but a soft velvety texture inside.

I had the grilled rack of lamb, which is lately all I have eyes for when I'm out at a nice restaurant. I believe that this was served over braised kale and a lentil pilaf with house made bacon, but the menu has changed, so I'm not sure of the exact details. This was just delicious. I love the rich earthy flavor of lamb - it is like beef has been kicked up with twice as much flavor. The only trouble with ordering lamb at fancy restaurants is that I have to avoid picking up the bones and picking every last little bit of meat off them like I do ribs at a barbeque - finger foods tend to be frowned upon a bit at these sorts of restaurants. Thankfully, I'm pretty skilled at using a knife & fork to get every last scrap! I also enjoyed the lentil pilaf and I'm going to start using lentils at home a bit.

Since we had cupcakes waiting for us at home, we didn't order dessert here. The restaurant instead comped both of my glasses of wine in honor of my birthday. We were really impressed with the service here and both of us agree that we like the ambiance even better than Wine Cask. We will be back for more special occassions, I'm sure!

1 comment:

  1. All my friends who have eaten at Bouchon rave about it
    I've only stopped in for coffee and pastries.