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So disapointed in Bouchon- Asheville

caiogirl Apr 17, 2011 11:17 AM

Last night my boyfriend and I went for a romantic dinner at Bouchon. When we arrived it was very crowded as is to be expected on a bustiling Saturday night. We were told the wait would be 20 mins and were sat at around 40 mins. We each had a cocktail while we waited and recieved good bar service considering the crowd.

When we were sat, our waitress was very prompt and had a good wine knowledge. The service remained the only highlight of our experience.

We split 2 small plates, the scallops and the bone marrow. The scallops arrived, vastly overcooked and under seasoned. It seemed as though someone had chopped up scallops,poured cream on top, forgot about it in the oven, then flambe' the top. Seriously, they were the consistency of rubber. My boyfriend's bone marrow was well prepared but very under seasoned. We both thought it was a shame to disrespect beautiful food by not trying to bring out and compliment the flavors.

For entree' I had the Steak Au Poire. The portion size was huge, more than one person could eat. The meat looked to be cooked to the perfect tempature I ask for. However, when I bit into it, the cut of beef was so tough, it took me 5 mins to get through the bite. The sauce tasted like a slightly gelatinious brown gravy, with no hint on pepper or congac. I ate 1/2 of one beef medallion. However my dogs are mighty happy today and seem to be enjoying it. My boyfriend ordered sweetbreads. Again the portion size was huge and well presented. The lemon caper sauce was tasty and had a nice zing. The sweetbreads however were very over cooked. Its hard to eat chewy glands, especially when they should be soft and creamy.

Our total check was around 120 with tax and tip. We wondered if Bouchon was just too crowded from the chefs to be able to pay attention to the food. However, there was no "we are too croweded to pay attention to your food" discount so I have a hard time giving them an excuse.

I am so sad about this as I wanted to love Bouchon. Needless to say, even with the exceptional service, we won't be back.

62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

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    photai RE: caiogirl Apr 17, 2011 05:53 PM

    I wouldn't recommend Bouchon to anyone - certainly the worst meal I've ever had in Asheville (if not the state).

    62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

    1. danna RE: caiogirl Apr 18, 2011 06:16 AM

      That certainly was a well-written and detailed review. Sorry it couldn't have been a positive one. Those over-$100 checks really sting when the meal is not good.

      I've been to Bouchon twice, once i had a bad oyster than kept me from coming back...until I decided to try the creperie on the side. It was merely mediocre. I don't understand the love for this place on CH.

      62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

      7 Replies
      1. re: danna
        JTomWilson RE: danna May 13, 2011 01:59 PM

        I find the bad oyster comment interesting in that we've been going to Bouchon since the day that it opened and there have never been oysters on the menu. I found it so strange that I asked the chef/owner and he confirmed that they have never served oysters at this restaurant. None. Never.

        And if you going to eat raw oysters anywhere, sooner or later you're going to get a bad one, Happened to me on the Eastern Shore of Maryland last fall. It's the sickest I've been for years. Small penalty if like them.It can happen at any restaurant. That is, except at Bouchon in Asheville..

        62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

        1. re: JTomWilson
          danna RE: JTomWilson May 14, 2011 02:32 PM

          you're quite correct. I was thinking "mussel" but typed "oyster". thanks for the catch. it was a bad mussel.

          1. re: danna
            cbjones1943 RE: danna Nov 17, 2011 10:02 PM

            BTW, my "panic attack" friend drowned off the SC coast ~1 yr after wasting ~$75 of my $$; that was neither my nor Bouchon's fault.

          2. re: JTomWilson
            cbjones1943 RE: JTomWilson Nov 17, 2011 09:55 PM

            1. On one of my many visits to The Admiral, considered by most? to be the best restaurant in Avl, I was served a half-doz oysters, room temp.
            2. I generally order escargot appetizer, duck entre @Bouchon. House red is not bad. Without repeating all of my rationales, I consider Bouchon to be the best one is going to find in an Avl food venue.
            3. Rumor has it that Bouchon uses frozen, pre-cut potatos for pommes frites.
            4. IMO Creperie is best of it's kind in Avl...I try v hard not to compare venues here w/any in great food cities. Crepes in some Avl restaurants taste like injera.
            4. I once treated 2 friends to dinner @Bouchon to celebrate the birth of my youngest grandson. The only disappointment for me was that one of my friends ordered tons of food, had a panic attack in the restaurant, & didn't eat more than a couple of escargots.#@#@#

            62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

            1. re: cbjones1943
              cbjones1943 RE: cbjones1943 Nov 18, 2011 09:38 PM

              BTW2 I obviously might have taken my friend's food home; however, on principle, I don't box & carry out food from "good" restaurants...can't bear to do it...can't bear seeing others doing it.

              1. re: cbjones1943
                carolinadawg RE: cbjones1943 Mar 29, 2012 06:01 AM

                And what "principle" is that?

                1. re: carolinadawg
                  LaLa RE: carolinadawg Mar 31, 2012 08:07 AM

                  Yeah...that is a new one on me too...

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          mark RE: caiogirl Apr 18, 2011 07:09 AM

          the all-you-can-eat mussels special (tue-thur) is the only thing i've found worthwhile. not the best-executed mussels i've had but passable, and the value makes up for it. otherwise, bouchon misses the mark.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mark
            miss piggy RE: mark Apr 18, 2011 04:10 PM

            Strange...we were just there two weeks ago with the in-laws and it was very good...we go there a few times a year for a nice night out and have never had a bad meal. Our steaks were perfectly tender, the sauce flavorful, the frites addictive, and I love their beet and goat cheese salad. The bread was fresh and we had about 3 baskets because we were hooked on the French butter. I think their wine prices are fair and the ambiance is so fun, in my opinion. The owner bounced around the room and spent a long time at our table joking around. Our guests loved it and so did we! Sorry you have had bad experiences...or maybe we have just gotten lucky!

          2. Scirocco RE: caiogirl Apr 18, 2011 06:18 PM

            I, too, am sorry to hear about your experience. You certainly tried enough things to give it a good chance. Like Miss Piggy, my husband and I eat there a few times a year. We actually consider it one of our "easy on the wallet" choices but we have stuck to fairly simple menu items. We usually get out of there for easily less than $50 (unless we get drinks). The only bad experience I had was a fish entree that I didn't care for. It didn't taste fresh to me. And I did have some grit in the mussels once.

            I would absolutely have sent those scallops back. They should melt in your mouth. It's like when calamari is overcooked...goes from a beautiful thing to rubber bands. I would send those back too if I ever got them that way.

            I am making a mental note as I write this to avoid seafood items there in the future (except the AYCE mussels)....

            I've never had steak there. Like I said, I've had pretty basic offerings: quiche, salads, chicken, the mussels and my husband is addicted to Le Croque Monsieur Frites (basically a sloppy yummy glorified ham and cheese with bechamel sauce).

            And yes, it is loud and crowded and noisy in there on weekends. But, we sometimes actually CRAVE that coming from the Hendersonville area where they roll up the sidewalks at 5pm!

            and re: the creperie, danna, as I recall, you said the guy didn't make it in front of you? That was weird. I've been twice (once when it was in the alley and once when it moved to the courtyard) and both times, he made the crepes in front of us. I've had some fillings I really loved and some that were just ok (I shared some additional flavors with a friend). But, the crepes themselves were very light. And speaking of crepes, don't ever go to Twisted Crepe if you want something authentic. Theirs are VERY thick and the whole experience reminded me more of a place that did wraps instead of crepes. :-/ It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't crepes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Scirocco
              danna RE: Scirocco Apr 19, 2011 05:21 AM

              yeah, Scirocco, that's right, he pulled out a pre-made crepe to lay on the ...ahem...crepe making machine which I cannot spell...and warmed it there with the fillings. I can see how that would make a difference!

            2. cbjones1943 RE: caiogirl Oct 2, 2011 02:16 PM

              I've commented on these venues elsewhere (am a returning CHder re-learning the ropes). In my 1 or 2 posts here on B & CB I am very precise about why I consider them vg compared to other food venues in Asheville. It very much interests me to read others' posts about their food experiences in and around Avl.

              1. cbjones1943 RE: caiogirl Nov 2, 2011 06:18 AM


                Adam Gopnik in today's NYTimes Also in today's Times Review of AG's new book on French dining experience Gopnik & his family drink OR & CA pinot noires frequently Does any restaurant in Ashville serve a terrific dessert souffle

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                  Burritobreath RE: caiogirl Nov 17, 2011 05:17 PM

                  We ate there a couple of years ago while in Asheville. I had the orange-chocolate duck and it was flawless.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Burritobreath
                    stradt RE: Burritobreath Nov 20, 2011 07:33 PM

                    Never been disappointed. Michele is a wonderful host. I cannot believe the negative reviews. This is one of the best restaurants on the planet. Try it, folks.

                    62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

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