Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bouchon Bakery

Pistachio macaron (left) and espresso (right)

A meal at Thomas Keller's French Laundry may be on my life list, but it is certainly not in the budget. So when we decided to head to Napa Valley for a little R&R (red, and more, that is) I at least had to pay a visit to one of Keller's more accessible Yountville establishments: Bouchon Bakery.

Inspired by the p√Ętisseries and boulangeries of Paris, Bouchon Bakery succeeds at recreating the image of a bustling Parisian bakery, right down to the the cozy quarters and indifferent service. Maybe it was the fact that it was a sleepy Sunday, the last day of our trip, that made our visit to Bouchon Bakery feel so relaxing. But as we sat on their quaint patio -- beneath strands of clear light bulbs that surely sparkle in the night -- I couldn't help but envy the locals, who can stroll in to Bouchon Bakery seven days a week, from 7A to 7P.

Given Keller's law of diminishing returns -- that food should be enjoyed in small portions because the second and third bites will never be as pleasurable as the first -- we were surprised to see the large, sand dollar size macarons. Even I had to break them up into a couple sittings. The pistachio was divine: flavorful but not overpowering, while the espresso was sweet, but a bit bland.

Chocolate-Almond Croissant (left) and Plain Croissant (right)

Given the combination of flavors, I thought the chocolate-almond croissant, with two sticks of chocolate and a thin sliver of almond paste, had just the right level of sweetness. J found the plain croissant to be a little too light and fluffy for his taste.

A couple of baguettes we purchased (not shown) had a perfectly crusty, caramel exterior and moist interior. They worked nicely later that afternoon with a triple cream and handful of slices of sopressata.

- K

Bouchon Bakery Yountville

6528 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599


Blogger Stuart said...

We go to TK's Bouchon in Vegas all the time. I'm generally not a pastry guy, but man alive some of the things I have had there were just out of this world :)


10:07 AM  
Blogger Mackenzie said...

If you are a lover of the donut, you must try Buttercream Bakery across the street from the high school in Napa. Divine!

12:21 PM  

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