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Bouchon

Number 5 on our list of Best New Restaurants of 2009

Photograph by Lisa Romerein

Thomas Keller’s Beverly Hills outpost (he has Bouchons in Vegas and Yountville, too) sits in a spanking-new development, but its brasserie look is so achieved—the zinc bar and beer taps so evocative of institutions burnished by Gauloises smoke—that you are practically beamed to Paris with your first sip of soupe à l’oignon. Keller, a man known for his understated precision, seems liberated by the bold brasserie style, and in Rory Herrmann, who leads the kitchen, he has found a kindred spirit. Bouchon’s food is forthright without sacrificing elegance. A boudin noir plays the sweetness of caramelized apples against the airiness of pureed potatoes and the earthiness of plump blood sausage. Gnocchi à la parisienne are flawlessly pan seared. The short ribs are tender, the sauce—a broth that suggests the home kitchen—as considered as a well-turned epigram.


Go Ahead: Load Up on the Bread
Bouchon pastry chef Scott Wheatfill on his crusty carb creations

 

 

bread1

Pain de Campagne
“The name means ‘country loaf,’ and it’s a very complex, rustic dough. We use the same base to make our cheese bread, adding either walnut or cranberries.”

 

 

bread2

Brioche
 “This rich bread comes from Normandy, a French region with particularly good dairy and beautiful butter. Our recipe is 50 percent fat or higher—it’s so buttery.”

 

 

bread3

Epi
“It’s in the shape of a wheat stalk. We hand-cut baguette dough with scissors to make the leaves. Just tear it, get some butter—you’re good to go.”

 

»235 North Canon Drive // Beverly Hills // 310-271-991 or bouchonbistro.com