Last night Dish Gal ended up at a business dinner at Bouchee on Newbury Street, which I was excited about as that restaurant has been on my “to-visit” list for a very long time.
Descending the steps down from Newbury St, and maneuvering through the patio tables, I was taken aback when I walked into the large and grand restaurant. What a beautiful space! An impressive staircase flanked one wall, leading up to a second floor. A large but cozy bar lined the other wall. Typical tile-and-wood French brasserie décor rules here.
We were seated upstairs by the window overlooking Newbury St, and some of the open windows let in the cool October breeze. Our waiter was quite gregarious—loved chatting but also knew when to stay away when we were deep in discussion or still deciding on our meal.
I started with the baked raclette with poached pear (I apologize for the lack of photos—sort of awkward pulling the camera out during a business dinner!). It came with thinly-sliced baguette toasts, which I generously smothered with the oozy and tart cheese. This was decadence at its best—a pot of cheese with bread! I can certainly picture myself stopping by the bar for a glass of red wine and this appetizer on certain cold winter nights.
Next I ordered the braised short rib with pommes puree and onion ring garnish. The onion rings were massive—this onion must have been the size of a basketball!—and generously fried. The short rib was very tender, and the meat slipped off the massive and commanding bone without needing a knife. The mashed potatoes—I'm sorry, pommes puree!—were just like Mom's.
Finally we all shared the profiteroles as a dessert. As you may remember, profiteroles are one of Dish Gal’s absolute favorite foods (I know, mashed potatoes and profiteroles at one meal—it was like heaven!), and while these did not disappoint, they were a bit different than others. The ice cream was not encased in the pastry; rather, the pastry was like a little hat on top. The pastry was a bit hard to cut into (I almost wished I had a knife) but still, profiteroles are delicious nonetheless.
So how does Bouchee rank and/or stand out from other brasseries in Boston? Not as loud or trendy as Gaslight (though more expensive) and less crowded than Eastern Standard. And what about its neighbor on Newbury St, La Voile? Though its not as authentically French as La Voile, for some this could even be a positive. English “subtitles” make the menu very accessible to non-French speakers, and approachable and friendly waiters make the experience less daunting for those nervous to flub up French pronunciations. If you go in knowing it’s been a bit Americanized, Bouchee can definitely deliver a great overall experience.
PS Dish Mom and I like to rate restaurant bathrooms—this one gets an A+ !