Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >
Aug 25, 2010 08:41 AM

Bar Bouchon, Madison

I just found some reviews of this recently opened bistro on another site (mostly positive), and wondered if any chowhound has been there yet. One source said it was an outpost of the Union League Cafe, under chef Jean Pierre Vuillermet, which sounds promising.

I cannot find a website but did locate a menu, which includes many appetizers and 3 sandwiches: a fois gras burger, and croque monsieur & madame. Entree's (in the $20+ range) are Entrecote-frites, hanger steak, Trout meuniere, Cod brandade fritters, Roast chicken, Beef provencale and summer veggie couscous.

Union League Cafe
1032 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm guessing the website will eventually be which is currently under construction.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. There was a long dixcussion of Bar Bouchon today, September 25, 2010 on NPR Radio, Food Schmooz with Faith Middleton.
        It was that discussion that prompted me to look for this bistro and hopefully my wife and I will go there in the near future. The comments by Faith and her guests were all most complimentary, It would appear this will be a good choice. She talked about the Escargout, a Chicken dish and a dessert of a puff pastry with ice cream, chocalate sauce and toasted almonds. So far, what's not to like?

        Bar Bouchon
        8 Scotland Ave., Madison, CT 06443

        4 Replies
        1. re: immparts

          I enjoyed this place. Burger with foie gras and shiitakes on Brioche bun. Pricey, but quite delicious.

          1. re: foodieandy

            This restaurants reservation policy leaves much to be desired. I called a couple of weeks ago for a reservation in two weeks and was told I could only make a reservation one week in advance. I was also told that they only start taking reservations at 4PM. at the stroke of 4, I called for a reservation in one week and was told that they could not seat me at 7 PM but could at a later time. I asked how that could be, as I called at the precise hour of 4 and had been told previously that they only began taking reservations at 4. I was then told that they had other reservations. They can keep their reservations and food. There are many other fine establishments in the area that please and respect guests. Hello...this is not New York City.

            1. re: jdgall

              Bricco come to mind by any chance, wacky reservation tics? I still look forward to trying both and will do so regardless of their incoherent reservation games. And you're right, it's not New York!


              1. re: jdgall

                I heard that if you call one week ahead @ precisely 3:00pm for the next week that you can get the reservation. It is not complicated and needn't be a problem. BB is new. It is popular. Relax. The poor people of Madison have not had too many exciting choices. That said, I love Elizabeth's Cafe or whatever the name is now.

                The food is prepared very well and the staff is excellent. But, heck, if you are that troubled, please do us all a favor and don't visit. Negative people will always find something to complain about. Give it a try.

                Bar Bouchon
                8 Scotland Ave., Madison, CT 06443

          2. We made it!!! And the food is fantastic! I had the chicken which was crusted with a savory blend of spices crisped to a "T" and jucy on the inside. Deb had the beef bourgion with small round onions and a thick brown reduction that made you purr!
            Excellent wine nicely designed and layout for a small place very friendly. The bar looked like a must do on a whim i.e. with no reservation! Could be a problem Tuesday at 8pm and it was hopping! One draw back, very LOUD. With the small space, close seating and hard flat surfaces talking to your diner mate can be a challenge. But bring a note pad the food's to good to miss!

            1. Having concluded a chowhoundish tour of St. Augustine just in time to get back for a record snowfall, when we dug out we decided to reward ourselves with a movie (The King's Speech--good!) in Madison. Feeling hungry when we got out at 4:30 we called Bar Bouchon, and wonder of wonders, they had a table which had been reserved for 6:30 and could fit us in if we arrived promptly.

              Although the name is derived from a type of French neighborhood cafe, the decor looks a bit more upscale than that. Decorated in tasteful browns with a gold embossed wallpaper (imported, they said), there are about 22 seats at high tables in front of comfortable leatherette banquettes facing high chairs with convenient rungs for your feet. Most of the tables filled rapidly, as did the additional seats at the bar, so reservations are definitely in order, even on weekdays. It was amusing to watch the kitchen activity through their open pass-through.

              The food was excellent. My dieting wife had a pureed mushroom soup plus the grilled chicken sausages (there is a wide range of charcuterie and appetizers so small eaters should not be discouraged). I almost opted for the hanger steak, but the special, veal sweetbreads over diced potatoes with a celeriac-mushroom ragout sounded so interesting I went with that, and it was delicious. There is a fairly extensive wine list, with many by the glass, and we were quite happy with a nice pinot noir and a smooth Beaujolais. The dessert menu looked so tempting that my wife fell, no, plunged off her diet with a layered chocolate concoction, while I had a very sweet and filling chocolate-hazelnut noisette.

              The efficient waitress (and her trainee assistant) was very pleasant and helpful, and seemed to be enjoying her work, and the hostess went out of her way to thank us as we left. All in all, an enjoyable dining experience. The noise level got a little high as the cafe filled up, and the prices of the wine and dessert were a little higher than in other local restaurants, but we both left with smiles on our faces and contented digestive systems. (And erichole, if you are still cooking there, the kitchen looked too busy for us to bother you on the way out, but thanks a lot--we appreciated your efforts!)

              Bar Bouchon
              8 Scotland Ave., Madison, CT 06443

              3 Replies
              1. re: DonShirer

                And I just heard that Thomas Keller, who owns a bar with the same name in California, is forcing them to change their name. As soon as the menus and signs are updated, it will be Bar Bouchee.

                1. re: DonShirer

                  I was waiting for that shoe to drop.

                  1. re: steve h.

                    Hard to believe that was coincidental :)