Following the Micheline Guide for San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country, we visited the recipient for 2011, Bouchon restaurant in Yountville. Thomas Keller created Bouchon as a traditional Parisian bistro, a more casual version from the French Laundry. With two other locations in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, Bouchon offers French classics as well as a raw bar.
As we walked in the restaurant, it was lively, crowded and noisy. It was much too hectic and we were asked to choose between squeezing cheek to cheek at the bar, or burn in the sun outside on the patio. I decided to sit out on the patio and bask in the sun instead. The weather was nice, it was more calm and serene. I couldn't help but admire the beauty of fall foliage coupled with a nice sunny weather.
The house made French knots were served with fresh butter. The knots were served warm with chewy doughy inside. The crust was still pretty hard to bite into.
The soup of the day was sunchoke soup. It was fresh though there wasn't much flavour. It was thick and creamy on its own and became too heavy with the added creme fraiche. It wasn't so bad after I dunked the French knots in the soup and let them bathe in the bowl. The bread soaked up the creamy soup quite nicely.
The beef tongue salad was quite delightful and turned out to be more pleasant than I imagined. Tender thin slices of beef tongue with added crisp had executed flavours. There were sweetness from beets, tart from berries, and fluffy creme fraiche. It was a fairly sophisticated dish and I didn't feel like I was eating beef tongue.
The roasted lamb leg with lamb jus was a rustic dish. For medium rare, the lamb a bit over-cooked, and quite bland. The jus has a concentrated onion flavour, but it could've been more rich with lamb flavour. It was a dish that had so much potential, but didn't go very far.
I was a bit disappointed with the soup and entree as they were only mediocre, and the fact that the most impressive dish was the salad. It was good, but not great enough to book one month in advance or obsess over. In my opinion, you can find much better value with comparable quality and at lower price elsewhere.