Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bouchee, Boston

The other day I met up with an old friend to have lunch, and do a little shopping, so we thought, where better to eat, and shop, than Newbury Street in Boston? We decided to dine at Bouchee, a fairly new French "brasserie". Aesthetically, I find Bouchee to evoke those true French undertones- slightly mysterious, rather ornate, and of course beautifully romantic. It is a place that I can picture on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, looking out over l'arc de triomphe.

I had dined here once before, and of course had gotten their mussels, so I was determined to not order them again. I decided instead to order their Nicoise Tuna Salade with a glass of their Pierre Sparr Riesling. My salad was comprised of romaine lettuce, frisee, olives, haricots verts, potatoes, and tomatoes, tossed with a light vinaigrette. This was all topped with three pieces of slightly seared, heavily spiced, sashimi grade tuna. Nicoise salad is a perfect choice when you're looking for a light meal, but that is full of varying flavors and textures, and is slightly exotic with its basically rare tuna. Bouchee accomplished the varying textures and flavors. The dressing was light and flavorful without overpowering the delicate individual flavors of the haricots verts, and the frisee. The potatoes sufficed for a creaminess against the acidity of the dressing and the saltiness of the olives. The tuna definitely added a spice from the outside coating, however, I found that it had been seared just a bit too long, and the white color signifying "cooked" was far too deep. The middle was absolutely still a vibrant red as it should have been, but just a few seconds shorter on the sear would have made it perfect. Together, I really enjoyed the balance of the textures and flavors that Bouchee was able to put together, and my glass of Riesling was a perfect compliment to the meal.

I have one question and one note on my meal though. I have found that with several different types of Riesling, you often end up with crystals floating at the bottom of your glass. Does anyone know why this would happen? Is this just a signifier of a bad wine?

Id also like to note that my salad included hard boiled egg as well, however I asked for mine to be served without this item.

My friend got their Apple Salade that combined granny smith apples with walnuts, blue cheese, dried cranberries and bibb lettuce with a yogurt vinaigrette. She enjoyed this salad very much, and found that the flavors were very good all together, however from looking at her plate, it appeared that there were about three whole apples sliced onto her plate. Even once she finished the salad there were mounds of apples left behind. So while it was well flavored, she would have preferred to have had more actual salad, and less apple.


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