Emily M. DeArdo

writer

California Diary: Tuesday Night--Dinner at Bouchon

travelEmily DeArdoComment

OK, so I'm not going to write about Monday/Tuesday on the Jeopardy set--at least, not yet. I am saving all those things for when the episode actually airs in July so I do not risk giving away trade secrets pre episode air. But the episode airs July 18--that's a Monday night--so write it down!

However, I will continue to tell you about our trip--sans Jeopardy.

So Tuesday we had dinner at Bouchon, one of Thomas Keller's restaurants. Even if you're not a "foodie", you know who Thomas Keller is if you watch movies--he was a consultant for Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille and designed the version of the title dish that you see in the film (he was also the voice of a patron). He also worked on Spanglish to create "The world's best sandwich" for Adam Sandler's character. Finally, he's the creator of the insanely popular and acclaimed French Laundry restaurtant in Yountville, CA, as well as other restaurants Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, Per Se, Ad Hoc, and Addendum.

We weren't anywhere close to Yountville--but there is a Bouchon in Beverly Hills, and Mary and I love French bistro food, which is what is served here--and it's reasonably priced (especially for a Thomas Keller restaurant--Dinner at Per Se can be over $1,000, with wine). So we decided that this would be our Tuesday night dinner.

In the Beverly Hills Canon park before dinner 

In the Beverly Hills Canon park before dinner 

The restaurant didn't open until 6, and we were there early, so we went to the connecting Bouchon Bakery for some treats and coffee.

The book is full of exquisite macaroons, which were eaten later ;-) 

The book is full of exquisite macaroons, which were eaten later ;-) 

It was really an exquisite night--just perfect--so when we had the option of eating on Bouchon's patio, which overlooked the park, we jumped at it.

The menu is classically French bistro food, and it was so hard to decide! We started with a three-piece cheese plate, because we need cheese, we love cheese, cheese is a wonderful thing--I can't say enough good things about cheese. 

I felt a lot like Remy in Ratatouille here, saying things like, "Oh! If you combine the cheese with the honey AND the cranberry, it's AMAZING!" And all sorts of those things. I was waiting for the little flavor animations from the movie to pop up.

After the cheese, we ordered our wine (A glass of Cote du Rhone for each of us, please!), and our mains. Mary got the croque madame (a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg, basically), and I ordered the lamb shank special, which was served with ratatouille (I mean, come on! I Had to get it!). 

Our waiter was so attentive, and so fabulous--he was really the creme de la creme of waiters. We had a great meal with him. For dessert, I ordered chocolate ice cream, and Mary ordered profiteroles. The chocolate ice cream was the pinnacle of chocolate ice cream. It's exactly what you want/think chocolate ice cream should be.

When I drink wine, it needs to be documented, because I don't drink it all that often 

When I drink wine, it needs to be documented, because I don't drink it all that often 

The meal was so great, and the atmosphere so relaxing, that neither of us really wanted the meal to end. But end it must--and we were going to Disneyland tomorrow, after all ;-). 

What's the best vacation meal you've ever had?