Bouchon capte la fête du Beaujolais Nouveau dans le menu à prix fixe

By James Edward Sved on November 22, 2013

BEVERLY2013-11-21_20-19-36_820 HILLS (Herald de Paris) —  One of the great perks to being the publisher of this newspaper is that, when the urge strikes me, I can write an article about something particularly worthwhile.  Such occasion arose this evening, at the opportunity to visit Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, in Beverly Hills.  The occasion?  A traditional south-central France country celebration known as Beaujolais Nouveau.  Slated after the last harvest and before the Christmas holidays in a part of the world with no Thanksgiving, Beaujolais Nouveau celebrates the first taste of the 2013 wines.

A word about Chef Keller.  Like most great artists, at the core he is really a storyteller, and the Prix Fixe menu for Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 is no exception.  Through the menu selections, Keller and his kitchen staff tell the full story of late fall in the French countryside.  The overall effect is the inimitable feeling of a remembered place, sun setting early, and a cool chill blowing leaves down quiet streets.  Inside a French farm family gathers to sample the Beaujolais Nouveau.  The family patriarch reaches for his trusty Laguiole, and he pulls the first cork of 2013 from the bottle, and shares it with the entire family, followed by une grande fête.

This is not a menu for the mall salad crowd.  This is hearty French fare with no apologies, and while Keller puts his own unique spin on each course, make no mistake that nary a forkful strays from the overall story.  Doubles Oeufs, Salmon Roulet, Saucisson à l’ail En Brioche, and Joue de Boeuf Bourguinion, all exquisitely seasoned and paired with Jean Folliard’s first offering of this year’s youngest wine, a wine so young it sat just a few weeks in the oak barrels, making it a light accompaniment to the hearty fare.  Is this a refined glass of wine?  No.  But it has all the innocent charm of an afternoon with an ingenue – it shows its potential without the wisdom of experience.

You’ll have to hurry, for Bouchon is only telling this tale for one week.  Be prepared not just for a dinner but for vivid story you will remember for a lifetime.





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