Bouchéry is a medium sized place with signs on the street but an entrance hidden around the edge of the building. Inside dining is spread over a couple rooms all with small, closely packed marble top tables and decorations of wood and rope hanging from the ceiling. Seating is with benches along the walls and stiff straw chairs on the other side. Unfortunately with the full rooms it was impossible for the service people not to knock into my chair when they entered and exited the room. It would seem they could benefit from some study of their traffic flow. They offer a 6 or 8 course surprise tasting menu and optional wine pairings that are a pretty good deal.
During the week they also offer a 4 course option. Before ordering no menu or pricing information was given. Their concentration is on using locally grown vegetables and they do a good job with that but their service is spotty. Pacing is varied (mostly slow) and attention is spotty, however they were all friendly even with some limited English, it was just uneven service.
We started with a gin and tonic which would get us through the snacks until our 8 course tasting with wine pairings started. A fennel seed, ground elderflower and chickpea puree was on a soft cracker. It had a nice flavor.
A tofu tartlet with cauliflower was a little tart but had a nice thin crust. It was not as strongly flavored as the first bite.
Radish with garlic butter was topped with crispy bread. The bread had a nice crisp but not a lot of other flavors were in the bite.
White asparagus were served with cream, egg yolk and Espelette pepper and topped with grated cheese. The asparagus were barely cooked and mixed nicely with the other ingredients. Not a hint of bitterness to these asparagus.
Smoked beef with beetroot was served in nice, tender, and thin slices of beef mixed with puree of beet. It had a good taste and the beets had no earthiness, more sweetness.
A dark house made bread was served with smoked butter.
The tasting started with turnip, seaweed and rice. It was a little sweet with the seaweed being quite mild and the sharpness of the turnip making a good contrast. Rice was too gummy for my husband but I found it appealing, almost like sushi rice.
Chard and rhubarb were served in a white butter sauce with beer poached broccoli rabé. It was really tart and the very rich sauce blended nicely it. I particularly liked the wine pairing here, it made it a fun dish.
The third wine had a bit of effervescence to go with the leeks and white potatoes in a horseradish emulsion. This was a course you would have missed on the 6 course tasting. The horseradish was a very subtle flavor and overall the dish didn’t meld together as well as the others had.
Artichokes, morels, peas and onions blended nicely. The morels seemed almost meaty along with the artichokes. The peas were barely cooked and tasted very fresh. There was a bit too much creamy sauce for me but overall this dish was a winner.
Onions and sprouts were combined with house made ham in a roasted onion broth for the next course. The ham was a nice strong flavor but the sprouts were just okay. Even though it was on the salty side the broth was good.
Carrots were plated with pork raised near Brussels. The dish contained some greens that I never could get the name of other than “white plant”. The pork was quite tasty but the greens were bitter. This time the pork could have used a touch of salt to move it to perfect.
The first dessert was apple mixed with sorrel leaves. There was crispy apple, apple sauce and pound cake. It was a great combination of flavors and textures. The cake was buttery and wonderful. The apple sauce cream blended with the caramelized apple slice and the apple cider was a perfect wine pairing. A success.
The second dessert was egg whites with yogurt mousse, meringue and tree ice cream. The mousse was very light and sweet as was the meringue. The ice cream was a bit too grassy for me and the wine pairing here did not blend at all with the dish.
Final treats were lemon and corn meal, blueberry with cream cheese on a cracker and a roasted marshmallow s’more.