Friday, August 31, 2012

Post 91: Back at Bouchon - Another Fried Chicken Dinner (LA: Beverly Hills)

Bouchon seems to be a great gathering place for friends and family, so we chose to dine at this restaurant once again for a very special occasion... to celebrate the engagement of our friends Grace and Paul.  Because the previous ah hoc chicken dinner was so memorable, we thought it was a good idea to make a reservation for the fried chicken dinner during Bouchon's August Sunday suppers.  It ended up being an awesome choice for two reasons.  First, the restaurant helped us make the occasion extra special by preparing an off-menu item for the night.  And... dining two tables away from us was Neil Patrick Harris and his family! Yes, he was having the fried chicken dinner also.  Celebrity sightings are always exciting, but we made sure not to let NPH steal the thunder that night.

As always, we started off with some fresh oysters, but our attention quickly turned to our fried chicken dinner.  We could smell the aroma of the deep fried poultry before it even arrived at the table.  The crust of the chicken was deep with ridges, nooks and crannies... a sign that biting into the crispy battered shell would result in an earth shattering crunch.  This cacophonously crunchy chicken came with waffles and grits on our previous occasion but was paired with different accompaniments this time... a creamy mac n cheese, a fresh cole slaw, and warm cornbread. 

I enjoyed the cornbread the most because it had a real gritty texture from the ground grain.  Many restaurants that serve cornbread that uses finely ground cornflour rather than cornmeal, which causes it to lack a genuine texture that some people look for.  But if a gritty texture is not what you are looking for, a little bit of Bouchon's honey butter will take care of that problem.

As we feasted on our fried chicken, the server brought out a special serving of the restaurant's also famous fish and chips to the table.  The thick squares of beer battered flounder arrived with tartar sauce in a gravy boat and fries wrapped in newspaper... all of which was placed in an iron skillet.  The fish was steaming hot... soft and flaky on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside... firm to the touch and delicate to the bite.  It was a very homey way of presenting the fish and chips... like we were eating in our own dining rooms.

A celebratory meal cannot go without dessert, and since it was an extra special occasion... we picked three of them from the menu.  The first was the tarte au citron, which is an absolute favorite amongst anyone who has ever tried it.  The second was bread pudding topped off with vanilla ice cream.  And the final dessert of the triple team was a pair of freshly made fruit gelato.  Many at our table enjoyed the bread pudding, but nothing compared to the tarte.  I've ordered the tarte about half a dozen times now, and it is truly defies expectations.  It really is delicious.

Thanks, as always, to Stephen and the team at Bouchon for perpetually providing a charming experience at the restaurant.  My friends and I have been back for the fried chicken dinners four times now, and it has always been a memorable time.

Congratulations to the happy couple, Grace and Paul.  We can't wait for the wedding! Until the next special occasion, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.

ML - 20120826

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