Bordeaux, France: Le Bouchon Bordelais
How would you go about choosing where to go for dinner in Bordeaux, a city where good food and wine is everywhere….
The answer? With much difficulty.
Le Bouchon Bordelais is tucked up in a side street right in the centre of town, so quaint and hidden, if you didn’t know about it you wouldn’t be able to find it. After a bit of an extensive research into the best places to eat in Bordeaux, I chose this one. Why? Comments about good food and buzzy atmosphere adorned fellow food blogs and review sites, and for value for money, this placed looked good on paper. A surprise tasting menu for 50 Euros pp? No brainer.
This restaurant has one sitting per night. 8pm sharp, we turn up alongside other diners gathering inside this cozy dining room. It feels homely, it feels unpretentious, it feels like they value you as part of their family for the night.
There is an a la carte menu, which we didn’t even read into as the surprise tasting menu caught our eye, and as it was our first night in Bordeaux, we had wanted a great introduction and acclimatisation into French food through what Le Bouchon Bordelais had to offer. And boy, we got that. We completely trusted our waiter in the wine selection, and they were gooood, every single glass a different one, and the smoothest, richest of reds that Bordeaux is truly famous for.
As often tends to be the case with me, I am the first to arrive and the last to leave.
What I was surprised at was that it was a mixed crowd that night. Mixture of larger group of elderly old friends, middle-aged couples, late-30s couples, probably all French people… and then there was us. Maybe it was because not all young people can afford to dine here. I thought the menus were very well priced for what we got. I was more surprised to look around to see no one else had the tasting menu. Was it only us? Why wouldn’t you go for the tasting menu? 8-10 courses (I lost count!) plus around 10 glasses of wine between two people came to 175 Euros. That is a lot of wine by the way. Also that was a lot of food. As the courses kept on coming, close to the end, I was almost exacerbating “Is that it yet, becauseI don’t think I can eat anymore!” So I would say it was pretty fair.
What’s the verdict?
Food – delicious little nice surprises, heavy and rich tasting, good portions despite it being a tasting menu, hearty and filled-with-love homely cooking.
Drink – seriously great well-priced wine, you are safe in the good hands of the waiter on this front.
Ambience – cozy, comfortable, relaxed, not clean but rustic cute, that you’d forgive the fact that there is only one bathroom and that the small kitchen is exposed, and that you have to walk up to pay at the till.
Would I recommend it? Yes – for a true French feel and local cooking this place is pretty spot on.
Would I come back? Probably, if I don’t have the time to research into other restaurants to check out.
Would I think it offers value for money? Yes absolutely, don’t bother on the a la carte, go for the tasting menu. Everything on it the chef decides on the day, the waiter doesn’t even know what’s coming next. Let’s hope for your sake that the snails and beef is on the menu.