Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yountville, CA - Unrealville

Following lunch at Etiole on Thursday, we headed straight to Bouchon Bakery, about a mile away in downtown Yountville.   There converged all the other travelers in town too, in that tiny little space. But this tourist magnet is equipped with a friendly army of young, trim servers (who clearly do not make a habit of eating the bakery's products).  Though tiny, the place is densely packed with gorgeous sweets (cookies, muffins, coffee cakes, granola, puddings), breads and sandwiches.  It also has a basic coffee menu, and the iced coffee is strong and excellent. 
A rare occasion when no customers were blocking the counter!
French macaroons: hazelnut and pistachio (the latter is a best seller).
The first time I had these macaroons were at the Bouchon Bakery in New York. My culinary-trained friend highly recommended them.  I am glad I don't have to go to New York to get these!  By the way, at $3 a piece, these are some of the biggest macaroons I have seen. With pressure, they crack on the surface. On the inside they are chewy, and almost raw-tasting (imagine the consistency of cookie dough).  The center is like buttah.  

This was my first visit to Yountville.  The tiny town is spotless. Imagine a Walk of Fame of restaurants and tasting rooms--Washington Street has them lined up one after the other.  In terms of pure looks, the town did not appeal to me as I prefer buildings that look like they took blood, sweat and tears to build...or are a little worn around the edges.  At many points, I felt as if I were in a scene from a Jim Carrey movie, where everything is so perfect that it's creepy.  On this day, the sky was robin's egg blue, the temps were in the mid-70s, and there was a breeze.  
Yet another one of Thomas Keller's eaties...
Oh but that will not keep me away. I want to try Bouchon (the restaurant) for sure, which has a lovely French feel to it (I poked my head in)...and I want consumate my fantasies of eating at French Laundry.

There are also Redd, Ad Hoc, Bistro Jeanty, Bottega...

Ah, someday.

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