Aug 5, 2020, 4:35 pm

As soon as it became certain that we were spending two nights in Napa Valley, Oyen right away planned on buying bread from Bouchon Bakery and dining at Bouchon Bistro in the charming Yountville.

Post-lockdown, establishments adjusted their business hours, restaurants included. All have shortened their operating hours and they close earlier than during pre-covid times. But not Bouchon. They are open till 12 am, beat that!

Seats are limited because only outdoor dining is allowed and who wants to dine inside enclosed spaces nowadays? Ah ah, not me. I think even if indoor dining will open, I will still prefer to be outdoors. Can’t be too complacent and confident. Mahirap na.

Thomas Keller’s One Star Michelin Bouchon Bistro is a mini Paris with its plush red velvet upholstery but no indoor dining yet. Will try their indoor dining when the coast is clear, God knows, hopefully next year.

Our table was tucked away in a corner which was really private and safer from any wandering virus.

I like restaurants with one-page menu. Bouchon offers a range of delectable dishes that fit in one page. At first glance, I already knew that I would like this restaurant.

I haven’t decided yet if I wanted to have oysters but the minute Edmund saw the oysters on the menu he ordered it right away for me, not for him. He doesn’t like oysters as much kasi he’s afraid to have a bad tummy.

I am happy in a way, we are stuck together. Soon, Oyen will be back in Manila and I am going to miss her a lot. Even when I go home, she will be busy with her work, husband, dogs, fitness. I will require her to have a mother-daughter time with me/ once a week. We will choose a different destination each week. Her bedroom, next week mine, kitchen, sala, deck, great room, and the cycle continues.

I miss my son, I wish he is present in all our meals, and simple family adventures. After the three of us go back to Manila, we have no way of knowing when we will be able to come back due to the travel restrictions and virus situation. Maybe after a year. I will miss him. Well, I always miss him. Isipin ko pa lang naiiyak na ako. Hay buhay.

Edmund ordered this fish. He happily shared the string beans with me.

Truite Amandine – sauteed Idaho rainbow trout with haricots verts, toasted almonds and beurre noisette

Steak Bouchon – pan-seared rib eye with Bearnaise sauce

Instead of sweets, we had cheese plate to cap our meal.

I keep receipts of anything and everything. This is posted for memento’s sake.

After our meal, we walked around a little enjoying the gorgeous weather and this very charming, small but affluent town of Yountville.

6:07 pm We went to French Laundry but only outside. This is another world-famous restaurant owned by Chef Thomas Keller, same owner of Bouchon. You need to budget $500 per person to dine here. If you will equate that amount of money with your expectation of grandness of their building, they don’t equal. The old house is very quaint and looks more like a provincial vacation home. But that contributes to French Laundry’s uniqueness and ambience. It’s very charming and romantic. You come here for the total package. This French restaurant is considered one of the best in the world in terms of luxury dining. Dining here is a dream of many which makes reserving a table somewhat difficult.

Chef Tomas Keller’s extraordinary dishes are supported by his own private vegetable garden located just across the street from French Laundry.


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