We’ve been to Bouchon in Las Vegas — but that was for brunch on a Sunday morning. This was our chance to test Keller’s Napa version for a true dinner. We made reservations 2 months in advance to make sure we got in during our Napa vacation. Afterward, we walked away pleasantly content after a delicious multi-course meal and a polished French dining experience.
True to Vegas style, our original experience with Bouchon/Las Vegas was with a much larger restaurant with endless tables and surrounded by the massive illusions of the Venetian Resort facade. This version in Yountville is much smaller and cozier, and in our opinion, much preferable to the Vegas hyperbole.
Bouchon is tightly packed with maybe a dozen or so tables, and a few more placed just outside the front windows. It’s an intimate, cozy ambience, with throwback Jazz music bumbling along in the background. Not long after we were seated, we couldn’t spot a spare table anywhere in sight, and this was on a Tuesday night.
The food was delectable. Starting off with bread from Bouchon’s bakery set the bar high. A mixed green salad with warm goat cheese had my husband glowing with satisfaction. My onion soup was good, but average. It was extremely hot, and as is typical of onion soup, covered in a layer of bubbly, melted cheese that made it difficult to eat. My husband finished the soup for me without problem.
For our main dishes, I had the tartine du jour, an open-faced sandwich on toasted bread with sliced steak and Roquefort cheese, accompanied by always-yummy frites. My husband had the poached salmon with fingerling potatoes, applewood smoked bacon, and artichokes. The salmon was poached in olive oil, so it was extra delicate and light.
For dessert, we didn’t mess around. OMG, the profiteroles with vanilla ice cream came with chocolate sauce that they drizzle over right there at the table. These were awesome, and a perfect ending to our Bouchon experience.
The only minor annoyance was the table of 4 tourists next to us. All four of them ordered the steak + frites, most likely because that was the only thing they recognized on the menu that sounded appealing to them. But such is the dining experience in just about any place in Napa… tourists who have no idea what a gem they’ve just found.
We would return to Bouchon in a heartbeat. We just might have to wait behind lots of other anticipating patrons that want to eat here too.
6534 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599