REVIEW

Bouchon

Washington Street in Yountville has a high concentration of excellent restaurants:  Redd, Redd Wood, Ad Hoc, Bottega Ristorante, Bistro Jeanty, Hurley's and, of course, The French Laundry.  Bouchon, Thomas Keller's more casual French bistro, offers the best value of any of them.  Michelin starred, with superb cuisine, it is surprisingly affordable given its overall quality and consistency.

It is also deceptively informal: On the table is a folded paper menu (functioning as a napkin ring) that looks like it was made from a crumpled brown paper bag; the dress code is casual; and when the bread arrives, it is placed directly onto the paper tablecloth, not in a bread basket.  And yet – the room has lovely proportions and details, with crown molding, striking tile floors and a zinc bar.  And the kitchen turns out dishes that are remarkable in their freshness and execution:  a perfectly cooked duck confit, falling apart at the slightest touch; a crispy yet juicy poulet roti; a croquet madame for the ages.  Bouchon serves simply outstanding bread, as you would expect given the proximity of Bouchon Bakery, a country-style boulangerie that serves traditional French breads and pastries, directly next door. 

A bouchon is a type of Lyonnaise bistro specializing in regional country cuisine, such as pâtés, offal and sausages, and where conviviality and informality is particularly prized.  When dining at Bouchon in the late afternoon, a breeze fluttering in through the open doors and an order of steak frites and red wine awaiting, one can be startled at the authentic reification Keller has wrought.  And grateful. 

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INFORMATION

Yountville
6534 Washington St.
(707) 944-8037
Mon-Sun, 11am-midnight
    Thomas Keller, Chef
    Michael Sandoval, Chef de Cuisine
    Janine Weismann, Pastry Chef
    Erik Johnson, Head Sommelier
    Adam Tihany, Designer

    TAGS

    • San Francisco
    • French
    • Al Fresco
    • Best Bars
    • Best Decor
    • Best Value
    • Private Dining Room Courtyard: 15-20 seated Patio: 12-15 seated

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