Thomas Keller’s Bouchon (Napa)

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



    • spabettie says

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

    • spabettie says

      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 !

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      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 πŸ˜‰ the food was GREAT – I am still thinking about those salt cod fritters…

    • spabettie says

      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 πŸ˜‰

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

  1. says

    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!!

    • spabettie says

      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.

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜€ 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.

    • spabettie says

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

  2. says

    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. πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      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. πŸ˜‰ 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!

    • spabettie says

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

  3. eva @5fruitsNveggies says

    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!….

    • spabettie says

      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!

  4. says

    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.

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜€

  5. says

    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!

    • spabettie says

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

    • spabettie says

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

    • spabettie says

      oh, no, we DIDN’T! πŸ˜€ 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!

  6. says

    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! :-)

    • spabettie says

      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… πŸ˜€ I like the connection – doesn’t REALLY surprise me, though I’m from Oregon. πŸ˜‰

      • says

        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.

        • spabettie says

          *dang* πŸ˜‰ 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!!

  7. says

    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.

    • spabettie says

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

    • spabettie says

      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… πŸ˜€

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