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Aug 12, 2006 05:56 AM

Bouchee or L'Auberge Carmel?

mrpea and I will be celebrating our daughter's engagement and our 36th anniversary in a couple of weeks. We've decided it's time to tear ourselves away from Passionfish for a change and take ourselves and the "kids" to Bouchee or L'Auberge Carmel. I've never been to either, and both look great. Any comments on either that will help me choose? FWIW, daughter, future son-in-law, and I are serious chowhounds; mrpea isn't (luckily, he has many other fine qualities, so I overlook this serious flaw). Thanks much.

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  1. Bouchee and L'Auberge have the same owner and chef. I think they are both excellent. L'Auberge is similar to French Laundry in style. Plan to spend 3 hours on a very good, and doable, 12 course meal at L'Auberge. It's not something you'll want to do every week, but you will have a most memorable and delightful meal. Bouchee is more into small plates ala carte, although they do arrange the pricing into a prixe fixe mode with 3 or 4 course offerings. You'll be happy with either one, it just depends how big an event you want to have.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jaweino

      Again I spent my Monterey vacation without visiting either of these places as my local friends said that they were very expensive. I hate to be so money conscious, but what do meals run at both places? How are the wine lists for selection and pricing?


      1. re: Phoo D

        L'Auberge is now up to $110. They have an excellent wine list. I think the wine pairing still costs $85, but I will not do that again. They give you very generous pours of very good wines, but it was too much of a good thing.

        Bouchee is much cheaper, you can get out of there for as little as $35pp before tax and tip and wine. Their wine list is also excellent. They also have a retail wine shop and wine bar.

    2. L'Auberge Carmel was one of the best meals of my life. I literally melted and oozed out the front door. We sat next to the sommelier at Ducasse's Louis XV in Monaco. He seemed to be really enjoying himself. I spent 530 for two tasting menus plus wine pairing, an extra glass of champagne each, tax, and tip. Would do it again in a heartbeat for an anniversary or other occasion. I loved the room, the service, met chef Manzke (incoherently) and toured the kitchen, had a fabulous night.