Bouchon vs Ad Hoc: The incredible gastronomic taste-off
The last few weeks of the year are always an incredible time of good food. First of all there is Thanksgiving swiftly followed by my anniversary, Christmas, New Years, and then my Birthday in January. Needless to say there are a lot of reasons to eat well. This year in lieu of gifts my husband and I decided to try a restaurant here in Napa that we had never been to before. Unbeknownst to us, his sister Katie (of ) and her Boyfriend, Victor, had a similar idea to treat us for our special day. We chose Bouchon. They chose Ad Hoc. Both dinners were the Prix Fixe. The following are the dishes, wines, and my impressions overall.
For those, like myself who have never been to Bouchon, the interior looks as though you have stepped into a classic restaurant in Paris complete with high, elaborately decorated ceilings and cozy tables to easily chat with neighbors (should you decide to do so). We decided on the Prix fixe with the wine pairings here. My thoughts were that these dishes would be the best the house had to offer to introduce us to the style.
We started with a glass each of vintage 2010 Cremant de Limoux Brut by Gerard Bertrand. It was a lovely easy to drink Light and Bubbly offering and the perfect way to start the meal. There were two offerings for each course so Brian and I split the list so we could sample a bit of everything. The menu was inspired by the Terroir du Perigord and leaned heavily on Truffle influence. I have a confession. I LOVE truffles. I rarely indulge but given my wedding anniversary falls during truffle season one must celebrate to the fullest when one can.
The first course was Soupe Garbure aux Truffles, a cabbage stew with ham, bacon, duck sausage and garden vegetables with truffle essence paired with a 2001 Savennieres from Domaine des Baumard (Savory). All I can say a out this was WOW! I would eat this every winter night if I could figure out how to reproduce the stock. So delicious. Brian started with a Terrine de Gibier, terrine of wild game, confit gizzards, black truffles, tasted pistachios and Brioche with apple marmalade paired with a Gewürztraminer from Alsace. The Cuvée de l’Ours from Beck-Hartweg 2007. This was equally excellent. Intact the starters were our favorite dishes of the night. I can’t pick a winner.