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Bouchee on Newbury Street

Any reviews?

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    1. Their onion soup is horrendous. Avoid it. I promised never to order it again, but gave it yet another chance today at lunch and it weas worse than ever. Thin and tasteless with zero complexity and way too much bread in it.

      The rest of the food is quite mediocre, as well.

      Try Brasserie Jo or Petit Robert Bistro instead.

      1 Reply
      1. re: C. Hamster

        i very much disagree that it's mediocre. i've eaten there many times and it's good, not great, bistro fare. the duck confit, the mussels, the rillettes, all the salads, the flatbread pizzas, etc. all are good. miles above most of the food in the neighborhood. the portions are generous. a salad and an app are plenty for me. plenty of interesting and reasonably priced wines from off-beat areas. plus they have a raw bar.

      2. I have to second that comment about the onion soup. It is awful. Shouldn't a brasserie know how to make that? Other menu items are decent but perhaps not worth Newbury Street prices. The atmosphere is quite nice.

        1. I would concur on the merde-like status of the onion soup. This is not really very difficult to make. I thought I tasted hints of garlic powder. The rest of the meal average, but unless the bar crowd props it up, or corporate pours money into it, there will be one more for rent sign at which to blow air kisses.

          1 Reply
          1. re: aadesmd

            Really? I thought it had been doing splendidly since it opened. I've had one excellent meal there and a couple mediocre ones. They actually have a damn good burger, and a better filet mignon than Abe and Louie's!

          2. My main problem thus far has been service. Twice I've sat at the bar as a lone woman, and twice I've had to flag down the bartenders for virtually every single thing: a menu; order-taking; the check. It's been a bit of a shock. It also always seems rather hectic around the bar (which is near the kitchen entrance); last time, in the space of the 40 min. I was there, 4 glasses were smashed. Not terribly relaxing.
            But it is a good-looking place and there are some decent dishes, I agree w/ hotoynoodle. I prefer Eastern Standard (today's Full Comp rant notwithstanding) and Brasserie Jo, but this is one of Newbury's better bets, for what that's worth.

            6 Replies
            1. re: tatamagouche

              I was also ignored @ the bar. Had to ask for bread, salt and pepper and water. Had to ask twice for the water. Then got a bill with $20 worth of someone else's food on it and got a mini-argument over it.

              I've had the rillettes and they were good but not great.

              Every salad I have ordered has been almost inedibly bland, esp. the Bouchee salad. You really have to work to make a really fresh and crispy salad taste so unappealing.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                I had a similar bar experience the last time I was there which was months ago. Went today to meet a friend for lunch and sat at the bar just for a drink while I waited for my friend. The bartender came up right away and this time was much better than before. Ended up sitting outside on this gorgeous day. I had the chicken salad sandwich which was a lot of chicken salad on whole wheat bread. I asked for it with salad but they brought fries which could have been more crisp. They did bring me a salad right away when I pointed it out which was lightly dressed greens but a bit over salted. As far as Newbury Street goes, I think it's a decent option.

              2. re: tatamagouche

                i have only sat at the bar, both with a friend or by myself. i agree they seem to be in no hurry to pay attention. pleasant, but no sense of urgency. <<shrugs>> i've had way worse. i also really like tim, the chef, and want him to succeed, even if under the umbrella of bbrg.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  I thought Tim Partridge left a while back?

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Huh. Wonder where I got that. Well, glad to hear he's still around.

              3. I was disappointed to find both food and service mediocre. As a party of four with a lunch reservation, we were left standing in the doorway for at least ten minutes and then waited another ten for a server to approach us.

                1. My friend and I visted Bouchee for dinner; we began with the crispy duck confit and the Salade Bouchee. A leg and a thigh of duck were served over flageolets, chopped carrots, garlic confit and wilted arugula. The duck was cooked well, although the skin could have been crispier and lighter, but the bed of flageolets and carrots were a bit too crunchy and should have been cooked just a bit longer. A distinct Middle Eastern flavor was unexpectedly tasted in the dish. The Salade Bouchee is a rather large salad chock full of romaine, frisee, haricots verts, asparagus, shaved fennel, blistered tomatoes, radishes, lardoons, and pieces of egg tossed in a malt vinaigrette. The malt vinaigrette was slightly bland and hard to differentiate from the traditional French Dijon vinaigrette used on the mixed greens salad.

                  For dinner, we ordered the Chicken Frites, a take-on the traditional steak frites and the moules a la Provencal. The plate of chicken frites was simply overflowing with half a bird and a small mountain of fries. We quickly conquered the mountain, eating our way through the savory frites and occasionally dipping them in the delicious, homemade aioli. We should have stopped there, because the chicken was less than memorable. The nutty taste of truffle oil greatly enhanced the chicken, but sadly it was only skin deep. Perhaps more of the chicken jus was needed?? The moules a la Provencal were also saved by the accompanying fries. The sauce was much too buttery and the taste of the tomatoes and herbs was overpowered.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: csifitgirl

                    I don't mean to belabor things .... but the little cups of aioli that was served with the frites yesterday had a 1/4 inch crust on the top. It had been sitting out for a very, very long time.

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      Wow, that has never happened to me. I love the aoili they serve with the frites.

                      When you consider just what a food wasteland newbury st. is, I am really happy Bouchee is here. It's not as good, and certainly not as cheap, as PRB, but I'm starting to think it may be better than Eastern Standard, which has fallen off a cliff (thought th calimari is still great).

                      1. re: tamerlanenj

                        Really? Do you think Jamie B's departure has really sent it downhill? I haven't been in a bit...

                        1. re: tatamagouche

                          i've been a few times since he left, and haven't noticed a difference. i always am there off-peak hours though, so don't know how they do now when the s*** hits the fan.

                        2. re: tamerlanenj

                          I can only speak from my one time at Bouchee, but damn that duck confit salad was good and I look forward to getting it again. I thought the mussels were good too tho they weren't in my preferred style of broth (give me straight garlic, butter and wine any day). Gotta get back there. Surprised to hear about ES.

                          1. re: Joanie

                            I've been to both in the last two weeks, and I for one have permantently crossed Bouchee off my list. I also have heard rumblings of change afoot at ESK, but my experiences at the bar could not have been light years apart.

                            We were flat out ignored at the bar at Bouchee for a solid five minutes, not even the curtesy "Be right with you!" with a smile (the service bartender in front of us would not make eye contact at all --- I used to work for the back bay restaurant group, and I assumed they told him not to help bar customers or he'd be immediately fired! ha!...have 100s of stories from working for them....another post...back to topic). The bartender gave incorrect drinks to one of my party, did the wine upsell to the most expensive glass (didn't fall for that one), neglected to tell the vegetarian (who had introduced herself as such) that there was BACON in their soup ("I had no idea!" he stated), we never got water, never got the 3rd round of drinks, etc. 2/3 of us are old restaurant people (both bartenders for years) and are very forgiving for mistakes...but...when the line is finally crossed, forget it. We both counted numerous missteps which were amateurish on one end to flat-out rude on the other. For some of you, these may be little things, but for $10+ glasses of wine, we demand more. Too old for that nonsense.

                            Then, again, why were we surprised?? it reeks of back bay restaurant group...and, clearly when we left our seats, three other unsuspecting people quickly snapped them up. As with all of their restaurants, it's about getting the people in and out....cultivating relationships was never a priority (obviously there are many hard working staff members who try very hard...but IMO most do not)

                            Whereas, on the other end of the spectrum, i've been batting 100% (yup, not one misstep) at ESK for the last 2 years. The service could not be better -- even with them being slammed busy. This is the difference from professional servers (most of them have been part of the No. 9 park/Chez Henri/B Side families) and people who have moved up from waiting tables for their first shot at bartending (which is notoriously what the BBRG does).

                            I have heard the food is good --- (the duck confit salad being one), but it's a no brainer for us between it and ESK.

                            1. re: bostonman

                              It does reek of Back Bay restaurant group. However, I've had great service at the bar at Abe and Louie's.

                              1. re: tamerlanenj

                                oh, you got me there. I have too, and a few terrific brunches. Maybe i overgeneralized a bit.............

                    2. 1. Bread served only with tongs - one piece, no butter, no olive oil
                      2. Waiter was beyond pretentious "yums" comments not necessary on ordering and the sometimes British accent was a bit much
                      3. Beet Salad cheaply presented with a huge mound goat cheese, three slices of beets
                      4. Duck confit salad had dry chewy overcooked stringy duck - a total bust unless thats the way its supposed to be since I never had it before. Yucky anyway.
                      5. Asked for 2nd glass of wine; came after the meal was cleared when the coffees came out
                      6. Asked for dessert menu, never got one
                      7. ...and yes the onion soup is an embarrassment for the chef

                      overpriced, pretentious and just plain bad. Lunch for 3 w/o dessert, $75 w/o tip.
                      8. Coffee just pitiful @ 2.25/cup. Bitter, nearly room temp, just absurdly bad one sip and it was not consumable.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ipsofatso

                        beyond my comprehension why any one would go here when La Voile is available, or Pigalle or Petit Robert, all about 100 times better. Packaged pretension and premade food. yuck

                      2. I do find some of the negative reviews of this place over the top. It's much more like mediocre than bad.