Bouchon - Santa Barbara

Suggestions, Reviews, Info on places to eat around the Santa Barbara, Los Olivos, Solvang, Lompoc area.

Bouchon - Santa Barbara

Postby Steve Anderson » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:34 pm

I've seen debates on other boards as to whether Bouchon is overrated or worth the price, but we had a great dinner during our visit to Santa Barbara. I'd score it a solid "A" overall with A- for food, A for Service and A for wine/wine service.

Easy reservation on line through Open Table - booked a day ahead for Sunday dinner.

Food - Misuk ordered the Salad Lyonnaise and Local Sea Bass, while I had the Heirloom Tomato Napoleon and Grilled Chicken Breast. The Tomato app was excellent, with Sourdough Croutons (Bruschetta size) topped with Purple Haze goat cheese (A). The Lyonnaise was baby spinach with Reyes Pt blue cheese, with applewood bacon vinagarette and top with a poached egg (A-). The Local Wild Sea Bass was a generous portion and done just right and was accompanied by caramelized sweet onion faro barley, sweet yellow corn, fresh market basil, Santa Barbara Channel rock shrimp, and basil pistou. (A) The Pan-grilled Chicken breast was also good, with herb & goat cheese risotto, summer squash puree, arugula and house-made tomato-basil jam (A-). Knocked this down a half point as the chicken was just slightly overdone. We had snacked a bit late in the afternoon, so didn't have room for dessert.

Wine/Wine Service - Wine list is excellent and built around Santa Barbara County. There is a separate short list of non-SB wines, but the main book is all SB. Mark ups were standard, but there were good, reasonable bottles like the Storm Sauv Blanc at $38. We decided to go "by the glass" to try a couple of different items. Each of the apps had a suggested wine pairing, and I went with the suggested 2010 Foxen Old Vine Ernest Wickenden Chenin Blanc with the Heirloom tomato app. It was a great match. The suggested match for Misuk's Salad Lyonnaise was the J. Wilkes Block Q Santa Maria Pinot Noir. She wasn't looking for a red, so ordered a glass of the 2009 Jaffurs Viognier for her. With the main course I ordered a glass of the 2010 Diatom Kazaoto Chardonnay. This was excellent, but needed more time. The bottle was opened at our table, so didn't have a lot of time to breathe. Wine service was excellent. Our server was very familiar with the wine list and based on his conversation with the table next to us, knew whether the Chards were oaked or steel, etc. Rather than the wines by the glass being brought to us, they were poured from bottle at the table. The first two (Foxen and Jaffurs) were poured by the Manager/Sommelier, John Loewen, who told us about the wines. I would not be surprised if we had ordered a bottle, but this was the first time we had "by the glass" service like this. The second glass (Diatom) was served by our Server Byron, who brought a an additional new glass for Misuk and poured a taste for her in addition to my glass. Really couldn't ask for better wine service.

Service - Overall service was excellent all around.

We will definitely go back the next time we are in Santa Barbara.

Cheers,

Steve
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Re: Bouchon - Santa Barbara

Postby Phil_Carpenter » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:17 pm

alright...we'll be checking this out for sure...

LOVE the by glass being poured at table. great practice!
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