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Bouchee?

Ernie Diamond Jul 14, 2006 11:17 PM

The Back Bay group is apparently opening up a new place on Newbury St. called Bouchee. Does anyone know anything about this? Any buzz?

  1. t
    twentyoystahs Oct 25, 2006 06:58 PM

    Because, many new restaurants have an adjustment period where service suffers and they need to work out the kinks. In addition, this particular venture is associated with Tim Partridge, who happens to be a great local chef, so that just gives folks another reason to give it another chance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: twentyoystahs
      tatamagouche Oct 25, 2006 10:16 PM

      My only experience thus far, at lunchtime, was quite nice. Not, granted, spectacular--but my salad w/ lardons was good and my service (I sat at the bar) was very good. So I'll definitely go back, but I do share others' suspicions that Tim Partridge won't be there very long given the lack of opportunity for his brand of creativity. Which is okay--at a (quasi-)classic brasserie I'd rather have a solid cook who's enthusiastic about turning out the same classic brasserie fare every day then a super-creative one who's unhappy. (I'm just speculating here, BTW! I could be totally wrong, for all I know he's overjoyed.)

    2. yumyum Oct 25, 2006 06:13 PM

      Riddle me this... from these reports it seems not good in any way. Food just ok, service poor. Why do people say they're gonna go back? Are the options in the nabe really that limited or am I missing something?

      1 Reply
      1. re: yumyum
        w
        wontonton Oct 25, 2006 07:12 PM

        Frankly, yes, the options in the area are limited. Believe me I'm not in any rush to hurry back, but I'll probably return at some point, whether it's with GF's parents or as a visit to the bar, which IMO, is the best part about the place at this time. I guess another thing going for it is that the prices are fairly reasonable. If it were overpriced to boot, yeah, once would be enough.

      2. C. Hamster Oct 25, 2006 04:45 PM

        Three of us from work went there for lunch the other day and had the opposite thing happen: they tried to serve us our sandwiches only 2 or 3 sips into our soup! They served the soup (which I would rate a 5 on a scale of 10), then about 90 seconds later our (hot) sandwiches arrived. The server hovered with the tray and said nothing, just stared at us as though he wanted us to clear space for him. When told the obvious (we're not ready to eat those yet), he took them back to the kitchen. It took a long time to get them back and when they fianlly arrived, they were cold and less than appetizing. The waiter had no clue about the cheeses in the cheese course -- basically wanted us to order it without knowing what they were, then grudgingly went to kitchen to ask and came back with names but no descriptions. Waiter insisted that the 2-cheese grilled cheese sandwich was made with Gruyere and "Parmesan," which it clearly was not. Grilled cheese was 2 3/4 slices of nice hearty bread with a razor-thin amount of cheese. Crocques were better. Salad ok, if uninspired. Frites ok. We'll probably go back, but I was less than impressed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: C. Hamster
          w
          wontonton Oct 25, 2006 05:06 PM

          It seems the main weakness of this place from my experience and what I've read here is the service. The food was ok in my opinion (only been once for dinner) and the bar staff I interacted with were fine, but the food servers, while generally friendly, don't seem to have a high level of training, or the abilty to think on their feet when there's a problem. Maybe it's just a matter of time since it's still fairly new, but I hope things smooth themselves out eventually.

        2. w
          whiskeyonmybreath Oct 25, 2006 01:23 PM

          I went there for the second time on Sunday night. Our server was very very slow, partially because another table of his was monopolizing his time, but he ignored us for a good portion of the meal. One of my DCs ordered the flatbread, an entree, and a side of mashed potatoes. The server asked her, "How hungry are you because that is a lot of food." She said, "I'm pretty hungry sir." He then explained that one of his prior tables had complained that they were not warned how much food that they were actually getting so he decided that he wasn't going to let that happen again. His tone was very critical and although we all knew that he wasn't trying to be rude, he did a very bad job of trying to inform his diner that the portions were rather large.

          Second, I ordered the Bouchee Burder which I'd had last time and really enjoyed. I was brought a plain burger and when I told our server, he began to argue with me. He said that he wrote down something else and that's what he put in the kitchen. When I said that I had not ordered what I was being served, he said I was wrong and that I had said the other item. My DCs both said that I had indeed ordered the Bouchee burger. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't being given one thing and being charged for another, but our server was so combative.

          After that we waited about 20 min for the server to return to the table after giving us dessert menus. Overall the dinner took two hours, one of which was from when we first sat down to when we finally received our appetizers. The service was way too slow, the server was very rude and the dinner was ok, but definitely not worth going back there for.

          1. u
            upton1039 Oct 2, 2006 08:06 PM

            Had a pleasant luncheon on the patio! A fine Cote du Luberon ($30). Escagot ($10) untraditional, but good. Croque Madame ($12)rich and tasty. Friend had Brown Butter Trout ($13)moist and delicious. Creme Brulee ($7) and Tart Tatin ($8) both delicious. Service prompt and friendly. Will return.

            1. sailormouth Oct 2, 2006 04:31 PM

              Had dinner there on Friday, food was decent, but share the opinion of StephenEdward about the abysmal quality of the frites. I liked the raclette appetizer very much.

              Service was okay BUT I order a '98 Margaux off the list and they brought me a '99. I sent it back and the sommelier, who did not identify himself as such, came back with the '99 and said they didn't have any '98's, said it was a typo or some such. When the bill came I was charged the list price for the '98. When I spoke to the manager he said they are obliged to charge the list price, but when I pointed out that they served an off-list wine he offered me dessert, as my DC was already outside smoking a cigarette and I had my jacket on I declined and left. Why hadn't they offered that at the table? Will not be back until they get a manager and a sommelier who, at the very least, can blow enough smoke up my ass to not make leave unhappy because of something like that.

              Overall, the price was decent. Fine for suburbanites without expectations.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sailormouth
                w
                Wineack Oct 2, 2006 07:52 PM

                I would not be too pissed about the incorrect listing of the vintage on the Margaux. 1999 is considered to be a better vintage in the region. I agree that they should be more careful about proofreading the wine menu, but at least they were not substituting a lesser quality and/or less expensive vintage.

                1. re: Wineack
                  sailormouth Oct 2, 2006 08:40 PM

                  I kinda knew in the back of my mind that the '99 was probably the better vintage (glad to get confirmation of it though!). I wasn't irked about the substitution or the wine itself, (which was quite nice for the price, $63.00), I really felt like I was treated like some jerk though.

              2. MC Slim JB Sep 30, 2006 06:49 PM

                Their wine list is online:

                http://www.bbrginc.com/Bouchee/images...

                French-leaning, not too scarily priced, with some good rosés, sparklers and dessert wines (a half of '99 Chateau d'Yquem for $195, only ~2X retail!) It lists some interesting cocktails (only one is a nasty kiddie concoction made with "Creme Brulee Cream Liqueur") and a decent selection of draft and bottled beers. They're also doing lunch M-Sa.

                Bouchée won't have to try very hard to be one of the better offerings on Newbury Street (yes, that's faint praise). Partridge is probably better suited to a tightly-managed corporate environment where he can stick to cheffing and let someone else run the business side of things.

                Though I hate most BBRG outlets (Charley's, Papa Razzi, Joe's), I'm curious to try this one.

                1. s
                  StephenEdward Sep 30, 2006 01:04 PM

                  Tried it last night, what an extreme disappointment. The menu is classic French Bistro but the food is TGI Fridays. Steak Frites was a big sirloin which wasn't entirely bad, but was more reminiscent of mid-level steak house quality than a true steak frites. Frites were average, not surved hot. Service? What service? It took us 3 hours for dinner! Service was slow every step of the way, even later in the evening when the crowd died down, finding our server was chore. When we finally go the bill they overcharged us for the 2 bottles of wine we ordered, and after we identified the mistake they brought back another check and charged us for a 3rd bottle we didn't even order! Why would anyone bother to go here?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: StephenEdward
                    j
                    Jenhma Oct 9, 2006 12:14 AM

                    I second that disappointment. Ate there last night. Had the beet salad (average at best) and the steak au poivre (mediocre). The frites were horrible - definitely not double fried as bistro fries should be. The tarte tatin was not a tarte tatin, but a pile of apple slices on a 'pastry'. Service was dismal - we always had to flag our waiter down, he never once refilled our wine glasses, and was downright arrogant. So sad that Tim Partridge is associated with this cookie-cutter, chain-wannabe restaurant.

                  2. w
                    wontonton Sep 20, 2006 06:37 PM

                    The place looks to be up and running. Any takers yet?

                    1. tatamagouche Jul 16, 2006 05:33 PM

                      Sorry, Upton, but I beg to differ. Abe & Louie's has its moments, but in my experience Papa Razzi does not distinguish itself in any way.

                      But I also agree w/ Rubee that if they've hired Tim Partridge, Bouchee will probably worth at least a try

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tatamagouche
                        u
                        upton1039 Jul 16, 2006 07:20 PM

                        I happen to like their wine list, which is above average for Italian restaurants of this level, the beef capaccio (sic), and the bifsteca balsamico. I can always get a seat, and the service is not offensive. I'm only referencing the Darmouth Street original, not the mall clones.

                      2. g
                        Gabatta Jul 16, 2006 04:35 AM

                        This is in the old Du Barry space and looks to be a ways off from opening.

                        1. p
                          PennyC Jul 15, 2006 02:12 AM

                          If it's from the Back Bay Group it will be a food factory not a restaurant. I avoid all their facilities. One of the problems trying to find places to dine in the Back Bay is that so many of the cookie-cutter, food-factories here are run by them.

                          It's just not the kind of company I would support with my patronage.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: PennyC
                            Ernie Diamond Jul 15, 2006 02:25 PM

                            That's what I was thinking. It's so lazy that they named it (and presumably will style it) after Bouchon. Aah well.

                            1. re: Ernie Diamond
                              limster Jul 16, 2006 03:13 AM

                              As you know, bouchons are a type of family run restaurant that's common in Lyon. Think of it as a bistrot with many wines by the glass. It wasn't a name invented by Keller.

                              According to dictionary.com, bouchee is "shell of puff paste."

                            2. re: PennyC
                              u
                              upton1039 Jul 16, 2006 03:03 AM

                              Come on, Penny, Abe & Louie's and Papa Razzi on Dartmouth do rise above their more pedestrian product! Let's give Tom a chance! Maybe Charlie and company will do it right!

                              1. re: upton1039
                                Rubee Jul 16, 2006 04:20 AM

                                I would actually think that on Chowhound, if you felt that way, maybe say "I might not have gone to a BBRG restaurant before, but since it's about food - if Tim Partridge is there..." : )

                                Tim Partridge was the chef at two great CH favorites in the past, the original Ten Tables, and Perdix.

                                1. re: Rubee
                                  u
                                  upton1039 Jul 16, 2006 05:03 AM

                                  Why would I say other than what I said? Abe & Louie's and Papa Razzi on Dartmouth are good restaurants, compared to other BBRG restaurants. I'm sure Tim will elevate this new restaurant as well!

                                  1. re: upton1039
                                    Rubee Jul 16, 2006 10:49 PM

                                    Sorry Upton - I was replying to the posters who said that they had already decided not to try it...

                            3. limster Jul 14, 2006 11:34 PM

                              Isn't Tim Partridge going to be the chef there?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: limster
                                Rubee Jul 15, 2006 02:39 AM

                                That's what I had heard also - that Tim Patridge will be chef and that they're going for a French brasserie feel. I'm a huge fan of his, even though I never did get to Perdix as often as I should have....

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