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Le Bouchon or Le Sardine?

twodales Nov 14, 2007 06:38 PM

We are taking friends out this weekend to either Le Bouchon or Le Sardine. We have not been to either place but have heard good reports regarding both of these places. Same owner and maybe same menu (?) but one is roomier and a bit quieter...that is all that I know. These friends have done us many a favor and we would like to treat them to a pleasant evening.

I did not see many good comments recently at Metromix, but then again M'Mix seems to be a favorite place for complainers.

Has anyone been to Le B or Le S recently? Any thoughts? Thanks for any input.

  1. g
    gleam Nov 14, 2007 07:46 PM

    Sure, I was at La Sardine within the last 6 weeks and had a decent bistro meal, as always. Not outstanding, but solid. I had gnocchi with oxtail ragout, a sauteed skate wing, and the always lovely chocolate souffle. I also tasted a few of the appetizers and the sweetbreads. The one noteworthy disappointment was the salade de chevre chaud. What chevre was there was definitely not chaud.

    Anyway, they're both good, there isn't too much difference in my experience. Any reason those two specifically? I'd consider Bistro Campagne or Brasserie Jo or something, also.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gleam
      twodales Nov 16, 2007 10:52 AM

      I'd like to try BrassJo and Bistro C sometime in the future. Le B and Le S have been on my list for a while and thought this planned dinner would be a good opportunity to try one of these places. I'm a bit worried about Le B in that it might just be too noisy to talk. In which case we could try Le S or maybe Bistro Campagne or even Brasserie Jo. Any thoughts?

      1. re: twodales
        w
        wak Nov 16, 2007 06:12 PM

        If you are worried about crowdedness or loudness, I would choose La Sardine.

        BTW, its LA Sardine (feminine) not LE Sardine (masculine). But it is LE Bouchon.

        1. re: wak
          twodales Nov 17, 2007 09:37 AM

          Thanks for the info and yes I realised my mistake after I had posted. I've never taken French lessons but noticed the difference from their web sites.

    2. w
      wak Nov 14, 2007 07:52 PM

      I think you hit the nail on the head. The menus are very similar. Bouchon is much homier and cozy, or crowded and stifiling, depending on your viewpoint. Sardine has more of a standard Bistro look - tile floors, long bar along one wall, etc, with more well spaced tables. Some might find it a little dowdy, and it does seem to attract an older and less hip crowd, but I prefer Sardine anyway. You will find fans of both. I consider Sardine and Brasserie Jo the best French style Bistros in town.

      1. a
        aliselara Nov 16, 2007 12:17 PM

        I really enjoy La Sardine over Bouchon. The pre-fixe is an excellent deal and the souffles are to die for. I recommend going on Thursday for pre-fixe or Monday nights for half price bottle of wine night. It can get loud in there so go for an off week night.

        1. twodales Nov 18, 2007 02:41 PM

          We chose La Sardine for our dinner last night. We ordered the following: 1 butternut squash soup, 1 onion soup, 2 leg of lamb, rosemary au jus, with spinach and flagelots. 1 steak frites, 1 boullaibaise w/ croute dipped in lovely mustard. For dessert, 1 creme brulee and 1 Grand Marnier souffle w/ a raspberry sauce. Oh, and a very nice Bordeaux from Pauillac. All in all a lovely evening. There was a nice buzz to the place but it wasn't too loud to talk. Good service. The appetizers were appealing but I'm glad that I didn't indulge in them. Also, glad I skipped the greens. I felt sated but not overly full just with my meal and the dessert (which we shared).

          My criticism: 1) The wine list is on the high side, not much under $40. 2) The plates could have been warmer. Will definitely return.

          1 Reply
          1. re: twodales
            twodales Nov 18, 2007 05:59 PM

            Forgot to say that it cost about $235 for 4 people including tip.

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