Monday, October 14, 2013

Napa Valley: Bouchon

Steak in front of the Bouchon Bistro patio
I have anticipated Bouchon and built it up in my mind for many months since discovering the restaurant was located in Yountville, is attached to a bakery that makes French macarons and is owned my Thomas Keller. When I found out Bouchon had availability for brunch on Saturday morning, the morning we happened to be driving up to Napa for a wine pick-up, I was elated. Unfortunately, Steak and I had a rough morning battling traffic (and admittedly I was running late to begin with), so we ended up being 20 minutes late to our reservation, 5 minutes past the grace period. I had come to peace with possibly losing our reservation, but entered the restaurant with a sliver of hope. And, to my surprise, we were immediately seated, by the window, no less! The staff couldn't have been nicer or more gracious and didn't even mention my tardiness. 

Our window-side table adorned with my French 98,
the French pastry basket and Steak's fresh-squeezed orange juice.
The service during our meal was impeccable. Our waiter was delighted to take my drink order, a French 98, a nod to the classic French 75, but named after the year Bouchon opened. Steak ordered a glass of orange juice, which was served freshly squeezed with a beautiful orange wedge on the lip. We had to order the basket of French pastries, which was served on beautiful Bouchon China, on a typical oyster rack, over butter and fresh jam. The pastries du jour were a good morning bun, a banana nut muffin, a raison brioche, and a classic croissant. All were divine and the raison brioche and banana nut muffin made an appearance at Sunday breakfast as well.

Half of the classic croissant and good morning bun.
For our main course, I ordered the special, a Dungeness crab omelet with crab imported fresh from Oregon. Steak had the Boudin Blanc & Oeuf off of the brunch menu. Both entrees satisfied, but may have been the least exciting part of the meal. Eggs just can't compare to homemade pastries and the French bistro ambience only made better by a Champagne cocktail. The salad that came with my omelet was the star! The dressing and lightly peppered spinach leaves were just what I needed to balance the sugar of the pastries and the decadent sauce on my omelet.

Our server gets a gold medal for picking up on my passion for French macarons and bringing out the bakery menu alongside the dessert menu. Steak and I had been eying the line at the bakery and were not looking forward to waiting with the masses to get a taste of the sought after cookies. Fortunately, we were able to order a 9 pack of the macrons from the luxury of our window-side table. When we saw the price of the 9 macarons, $30, we were stunned. These were going to be some of the most expensive macarons we had ever tasted, aside from Laduree in NYC & Paris. What we didn't know is that Bouchon Bakery makes some of the biggest macarons I have ever seen (but not quite as big as the macaron I had at the Bellagio in Las Vegas)! We were pleasantly surprised.

Happy with the generously-sized macaron cookie.
Surprised and delighted definitely describes our mutual feeling of our overall experience at Bouchon. It's rare to be surprised by a much-anticipated restaurant, but always a pleasure. Thankfully Bouchon lived up to, and even surpassed, all of my expectations.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Going Away Party

My wonderfully thoughtful sister and her roommate, my good friend and former bridesmaid, hosted a fabulous fĂȘte in my honor. They bought macarons from Sweet Lobby, purchased and made several kinds of dip and bought many bottles of Prosecco. Basically, they had everything I love most in live, including great friends and family. 

The best part of the party was having all five of my bridesmaids from my July wedding in one place. I couldn't be more grateful to have those wonderful women in my life. I will miss them dearly.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Legs' Transition to San Francisco

Life currently feels a bit surreal. My move to San Francisco was looming for the past three months. For a month and a half, Steak and I prepared for the move together. Steak spent four weeks getting his affairs in order at his office in DC and then he had two weeks to pack a few things, say goodbye to friends and fly to San Francisco to start his new position. All the while I stayed in DC at my current job. Nothing in my life seemed to change. I still had my volunteer shifts, I still had dance class, I still had my friends, my job and my apartment. The only thing missing was Steak.

Four weeks into our separation, we flew to Albuquerque, NM for Steak's cousin's wedding. For the first time in a month I saw my husband. When the plane landed in the desert it was hard to wrap my mind around my current situation. I was living in DC, moving to San Francisco and visiting my husband in New Mexico. I felt like I was living in a dream world, a universe that was not my own.

Now that I'm finally in San Francisco, after another two week separation from Steak, I'm starting to settle back into reality. California doesn't quite feel like home yet, but at least it feels more stable than the last three months of moving preparation and bi-coastal apartment rental. I'm taking a week off of work to settle into my new surroundings and starting on Monday I'm back to work in my same position, for the same team, just from a new office. I'm crossing my fingers for a smooth transition.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Le Diplomate

My best friend and I tried Le Diplomate on 14th Street for the first time tonight and it lived up to the hype. I sipped a Roland Garros cocktail and dined on Moules Frites and a milk chocolate pot de creme. 

It's hard to believe I only have five weeks left in DC. I'm trying to savor every moment.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Steak & Legs move to...

San Francisco!

Steak and I are currently a bi-costal couple. We have an apartment in Arlington, VA and an apartment in San Francisco, CA! Starting in June we will be full-time California residents. 

It's going to be very hard to leave the East coast and my favorite city, Washington, DC. It's going to be especially hard to leave my sister. But I do look forward to a fresh start, cool weather, being 2 blocks from the Bay and all the amazing food and wine San Francisco has to offer.

It's been awhile since Steak and I updated this blog. We both found fulfilling jobs, planned a wedding, got married and traveled quite a bit. But now that our newest adventure is taking us far away from our family and friends, we thought it was time to bring back Steak and Legs. 

We look forward to sharing our adventures with you once again!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

May your year be filled with Champagne, celebrations and family.