Thomas Keller’s Bouchon (Napa)

by Kristina Sloggett

in restaurants

Remember our road trip to Napa in May? I forgot to share one of our favorite parts, dinner at Bouchon. We had attempted a reservation at French Laundry, but it was not possible (two months out, and even then you need luck on your side!). We will keep trying, and in the meantime, we enjoyed wonderful meals at both Ad Hoc and again at Bouchon on this trip…

Bread, butter, and a delicious bean spread.

and wine.

Salt cod fritters with tomato confit and fried sage

These were amazing. Absolutely delicious.

I chose the daily special – soft shell crab. This was great, just… high maintenance.

Jason also chose a daily special, the brisket.

He loved it. I loved the presentation.

The dessert I ordered was fantastic – a trio of fudgy brownies, pistachio ice cream, candied ginger.

Jason had his favorite, the ice cream and sorbet.

Once again, a lovely experience. We sat next to a fun couple and had great conversation with them! They live near Napa and gave us many insider tips – their favorite wineries and restaurants – like well-kept secrets. We made a list and plan to return to Napa, hopefully soon.

For us, Bouchon will always be on that list.


Bouchon on Urbanspoon

 

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty July 15, 2011 at 5:34 am

You guys are such foodies!! This meal (as always) looks incredible!!

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2 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

oh, it was incredible. as much as I LOVE cooking and creating, we also LOVE to experience great restaurants!

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3 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 15, 2011 at 5:36 am

I would LOVE to go to any of T.K.’s restaurants as I’ve mentioned to you before.

I love your review post….a little vicarious action :)

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4 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:29 am

Jason and I both love Thomas Keller… we’re slowly working our way through all of them, and hopefully one day will secure a coveted spot at TFL !

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5 brandi July 15, 2011 at 5:57 am

ugh, so jealous :) Eating there is one of my life food goals!

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6 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:28 am

same here… next up? French Laundry!! :D

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7 Heather (Where's the Beach) July 15, 2011 at 6:00 am

Awesome. Your restaurant review pics put mine to shame LOL. I am so bad with my point and shoot. Must figure that sucker out.

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8 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:28 am

your photos looked great, Heather!! made ME want to eat there…

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9 Cookin' Canuck July 15, 2011 at 6:50 am

I have some serious meal envy right now. Everything looks so good, particularly the fritters and the soft shell crab.

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10 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

the salt cod – OH MY – one of the BEST things I’ve eaten this year, truly. I could have ordered another plate of those and a salad and been just as happy! :D

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11 Stephanie @ extremebalance.net/blog July 15, 2011 at 7:29 am

That’s some nice lookin’ photography, there, Kristina. The food looks good, too… ;)

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12 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

thanks, Stephanie! it’s more difficult in restaurants, because I want to take it and eat… I only get a couple at most and don’t pay too much attention… I want to put my huge camera back down before I cause a scene ;) the food was GREAT – I am still thinking about those salt cod fritters…

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13 lynn @ the actor's diet July 15, 2011 at 7:51 am

oh bouchon! i fell in love in vegas, and lucky for me one opened in beverly hills!

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14 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:24 am

our first Bouchon experience was in Vegas too… STILL our favorite one – every aspect of that visit – the food – amazing, our server – friendly, attentive, fun! the sommelier was awesome too. this visit in Napa was good, we liked our server but didn’t get to the “fun” level we usually do ;)

we’ll have to get to the BH location one of these days…

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15 Jess July 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

Um. I need to add this place to my list – we’re hoping to get to Napa on one of the days we’re in wine country this fall (staying in Sonoma mainly). Looks delicious!!

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16 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

YES – either here or Ad Hoc, his other one… they were both excellent. even if it’s for lunch! I cannot wait to get back to Napa.

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17 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food July 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

Those dishes look amazing! I am especially intrigued with the cod fritters! :-)

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18 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

the fritters were by far the best part of this visit. SO good.

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19 lindsay July 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

i love how intricate his flavors are. amazing! I adore sage as well.

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20 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

I do too – you know I love to play with flavor, and it’s great to experience someone who actually knows what they’re doing with them! :D and sage – I love it! some day I’ll have to tell you about the spa I built – it was called Sage Springs! I created a product line and among the products – a sage body wash and a sage scrub! Mmm.

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21 Roz@weightingfor50 July 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

I think I may have just drooled on my keyboard as I looked at these photos! :) Have a great Friday, thanks for sharing the lovely pictures!

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22 spabettie July 15, 2011 at 10:49 am

I know, Roz, I was doing the same last night while going through these photos – revisiting a fantastic meal! happy weekend to you!

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23 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

Everything looks SO delicious! You had me at the bread + bean spread, but I drooled a little as I kept scrolling down. Dustin LOVES soft shell crab, so I think he’d be more than happy to try that. And those cod fritters… that and the bread, I’d be in carby heaven. :D

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24 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm

that bean spread is SO good, and I love their little bread loaves they just set on the table. the soft shell crab was DELICIOUS, just a bit difficult to eat. ;) the cod fritters were one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. if we are lucky enough to return and those are on the menu? they WILL be on my table!

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25 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) July 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Wow! Beautiful and delicious. How could you ask for more really?

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26 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm

ahh, I cannot. it really was amazing. :D

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27 Kath (My Funny Little Life) July 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Aww, this looks totally wonderful again! Love the pics!

Are those tiny tiny potatoes on Jason’s plate? :D

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28 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm

yes, tiny and tasty potatoes! :D

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29 Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel July 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

the pistachio ice cream has a little edible hat hehe <3

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30 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:27 pm

wasn’t that cute? :)

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31 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com July 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Aaahh! Napa, a foodies galore. Tarun and I can’t wait to get an opportunity some day, to explore Napa. Gorgeous photos dear :)

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32 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:26 pm

thank you, Kiran! I hope you and Tarun can go, and soon! :) we loved every bit of that trip, and cannot wait to return!

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33 eva @5fruitsNveggies July 15, 2011 at 8:08 pm

we were just in napa over 4th of july weekend…we are lucky we live close by…we’ve been to french laundry once before….bouchon several times and bistro jeanty–which is down the street (not a thomas keller)….i used to love these restaurants when i was a meat eater–having steak tatare was something i looked forward to…but now i avoid….
next time to get to napa go to ubunto vegetarian restaurant–fabulous…we also ate at morimotos–they make tofu tableside, quite the experience….i still eat fish…i loved the rest. Go Fish which is the same owner as Mustards…ps this is all fresh in y mind…3 nights in napa…will be going every 4th of july from now on…plus our weekend in the fall…btw, food at bouchon & french laundry is still wonderful, just a challenge to find a veggie dish there for me….oh yeah, and bottega was solid too!…geeze, i can go on and on and on!….

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34 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:26 pm

ooh, thank you!! the couple we talked to during this meal, the one giving us all the “insider” places? they told us to go to Bistro Jeanty. we were going to have lunch there the next day (on our way out of town) but we had a late breakfast – it’s now on the list for next trip! thanks for the other recommendations – I will definitely visit ubunto!

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35 lindsay July 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Oh wow, so jealous! I have a few TK books and I would LOVE to go to one of his restaurants someday! What a dream! I dated a fine dining executive chef for several years and all he ever talked about was Thomas Keller. hehe. That man has mad such a name for himself.

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36 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:23 pm

TK’s books are all awesome too! we are so excited each time we go to one of his restaurants – TFL is my BIG dream! :D

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37 Kris @Krazy_Kris July 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm

LMAO! Melville is one of our members from Santa Barbara county – ha! Sooooooo – I think that means you must travel further south :)
**I’m an unapologetic vixen**

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38 Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) July 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm

What do you mean “members”? I’m a huge Melville fan and we have bought cases of the stuff from the winery. We’re LONG overdue for a SB wine tasting trip!!

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39 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

okay, let’s all go! we LOVED that wine and would LOVE a wine tasting with BOTH of you!! :D

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40 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm

yes, Yes, YES I need to travel south and drink wine with you!!

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41 Gillian July 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

YUM! Gorgeous food, beautiful photos.
I”m going to The French Laundry in 3 weeks for my brother’s graduation dinner and am prepared for it to be the pinnacle of my foodie life!

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42 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm

ooh, I am SO excited for you!! I hope you will be recapping each and every detail?? :D have a great time, and congrats to your brother and his graduation!

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43 Alisa Fleming July 16, 2011 at 8:47 am

I haven’t been to the one in Napa, but Bouchon is our favorite restaurant in Las Vegas. The quality is always spot on.

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44 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:13 pm

the Vegas Bouchon was our first Thomas Keller restaurant experience – we got hooked!

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45 dana @ my little celebration July 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

oh my gosh JEALOUS!

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46 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm

hi Dana! just going through these photos and reliving it, I was jealous of whoever is enjoying dinner there right now! :D

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47 DessertForTwo July 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Tell me you went next door to the Bouchon bakery and ate macarons?! :)
Love Bouchon! I don’t get over the hills enough to visit, but I really want to soon!

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48 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm

oh, no, we DIDN’T! :D both times we went by the bakery, there was a line down the street! I would have definitely gotten in the line and waited, BUT the Inn where we were staying delivered FRESH Bouchon Bakery breads and pastries to our door each morning!! :) we enjoyed them anyway! When we stayed at the Venetian in Vegas last year, we went to the Bouchon Bakery there. Mmm!

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49 Neyal @ Looking Up While Slimming Down July 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Everything looked so good! What great presentation!

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50 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:08 pm

we loved it – I hope we can return!

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51 Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) July 17, 2011 at 9:35 pm

French laundry de-virginized me to foie gras. Oh good lord I never looked back. I’ve been to ad hoc and enjoyed it, but FL was amazing.

Another funny aside: I also buy wine from a fabulous wine maker in Novato california called Brian Heslip. YOu’ve never heard of him, but he’s a pot-smoking/growing hippie chiropractor who was best friends with Thomas Keller- I think they may still be tight. But I always thought it was funny b/c I don’t think of TK like that! :-)

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52 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:05 pm

my second foie was at bouchon (not this visit) and it was… WOW. :) I wonder if your friend Brian could help us get reservations for TFL when we return to Napa?? We really want to go… :D I like the connection – doesn’t REALLY surprise me, though I’m from Oregon. ;)

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53 Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) July 17, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I should be more precise: We used to buy wine from Brian- haven’t in about three years. We bought so much that we are still working through the cases (tough job but someone’s gotta do it?!) He couldn’t help us when we went before unfortunately. I know though how you feel though- it’s like the holy grail of cuisine. I’ll be honest. The part I remember most was the foie.

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54 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm

*dang* ;) just thought I’d ask. completely understandable, it must be exhausting to say you are a friend of someone like TK – that would be all you hear!! :) we WILL get there some day. I have found websites dedicated to tips and tricks to getting TFL reservations!!

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55 Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) July 17, 2011 at 9:36 pm

PS PHotos are stunning!

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56 spabettie July 17, 2011 at 10:01 pm

thank you :D

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57 sophia July 18, 2011 at 12:15 am

OMG. How could you have forgotten Bouchon?!!! It’s a place I can only dream of visiting! Why, I wouldn’t even mind working as a bus(girl) in here.

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58 spabettie July 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm

you mean the bakery? we didn’t forget, but we were getting Bouchon Bakery delivered each morning to our cottage! :D

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59 Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons July 18, 2011 at 9:08 am

haha crab is indeed high maint… but man is it worth it! =)

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60 spabettie July 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm

oh, YES it was!! Mmm…

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61 (what runs) Lori July 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

Um…

I think I just died and went to FOOD heaven.

Pass the soft shell crab, please!

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62 spabettie July 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

I know – it is always so amazing. I want this all again, Right Now!!

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63 Lenore July 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm

This meal looks AMAZING, everything about it! This is on my list of restaurants to “try before I die,” for sure :)

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64 spabettie July 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

hi Lenore! it was on my “big list” too… now that we’ve experienced this one (and hope to return!) the one that has taken it’s place is The French Laundry… :D

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