Boucherie, a French word for “butcher” is a traditional French restaurant chain that specializes in dry-aged steaks, absinthe driven cocktails, and plenty of phenomenal French dishes and wines with Executive chef Jerome Dihui.
All Boucherie owned restaurants except one lie in quaint West Village – and that’s Boucherie Park in Gramercy Park. Among all Boucherie locations that I’ve been invited to dine at: Boucherie, Boucherie Park, Olio Piu, and Petit Boucherie (formerly Dominique Bistro), Petit Boucherie has become O’s and my personal favorite and proved to me that traditional, comfort French food with a romantic touch is still discoverable in New York City.
After dining at all other Boucherie restaurants since December, Miki the manager from Macedonia, invited me to dine with O in July. I was surprised, yet pleased that it was nested at a corner and that Miki recognized me with a nod and smile. When I came in again, he even recognized that I’m an architect transitioning into UX Design. His warm voice, humble and calm character reflects the overall mood and pleasant experience. He happily sat me down at the elegant cool copper bar, and told me to prepare for some Boucherie history 101 as if it were a legend in West village.
He taught me how Petit Boucherie began, how it used to be a lively coffee shop called “Why Not,” that the oomakase room byTatsuya underneath was a jazz bar that bursted with jazz. He explained to me how the signature dishes like Escargots a L’ail et au Beurre (buttery escargots drenched in garlic, parsley, and lemon) are permanent, but they also offer seasonal menu items that change with time, like Salade D’artichaut (Artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, haricots verts, tomato, parmesan & Dijon mustard). I vividly recall Olio e Piu’s halibut being served with beans in winter but noticed that my halibut was served with fennel recently now that it’s summer. From my most recent visit, I highly recommend the Escargots de Bourgogne for the intense depth of flavor and texture, O’s Lenguine Neri (Squid ink linguine perfectly balanced with a garlic cream sauce of shrimp, crab, and chilis), my Moules Frites (PEI Mussels with white wine, shallots, herbs, and French fries). Although they don’t have the quintessential French dessert: Profiteroles (French choux pastry with custard, vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with chocolate) that the larger Boucherie locations serve, their Apple Tatin was a great alternative, as it was a French’s equivalent yet more delicate version of America’s warm apple pie, with a thinner, moist crust and sliver of chocolate.
While Miki reminisced to me about tourists eagerly entering Petit Boucherie after it was listed as one of Tripadvisor’s top New York City restaurants., I wondered if Petit Boucherie was too hidden for the attention it deserves. But I’m also (selfishly) happy to know that this can be the perfect spot for intimate dates and meaningful friendships amongst Manhattan restaurants.
14 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014, USA.
Mon – Thu 9:00 am – 12:00 am
Fri & Sat 9:00 am – 1:00 am
Sun 9:00 am – 12:00 am
I began my first day in LA in one of LA’s hottest new restaurants-the Otium. Situated adjacent to the Broad Museum, the restaurant makes a perfect choice for a break before/after looking at the Broad’s contemporary artwork. Otium is yet distinctive for its casual, warm-modern, industrial-chic interior, designed by South Pasadena based interior designer House of Honey and creative, electic menu by Chef Timothy Hollingworth- previous chef de cuisine of French Laundry.
R and I enjoyed their pork belly kimchi fried rice and an off-menu item: smoked french toast cubes with bacon bits, served over coal with a side of fruit sauce for dipping. Killer presentation that fulfilled both sweet and savory taste buds. (Thank you again R for reserving well in advance.)
During my adventures dining through LA, my (first and only DSLR) NikonD3100 unfortunately broke. With even more tragic iPhone/technical difficulties, I couldn’t shoot the colossal carnitas sandwich I devoured at R+D Kitchen, Abricott’s spicy pork belly sandwich (my local favorite), nor Bacao Mercat’s Toron/oxtail hash sandwich and Mussels soaked in Sriracha and Feta for NYE. Yet, I’m thankful that I was able to borrow my brother’s SonyRx1 to shoot my last brunch at Bottega Louie.
If you’re living in Los Angeles, you know that Bottega Louie doesn’t need any introduction. Yet if you’re like me – a sucker for clean, crisp white interiors, high ceilings, sharp packaging, Italian food and French pastries, then Bottega will probably fulfill all your fantasies and cravings. Surely the cost of poor acoustic design + high ceilings + long queues on weekends = people yelling over the table and across the room. Although this makes it a poor choice for a quality first date, my last brunch here with some fine company on Saturday afternoon with stellar food made it all worthwhile- a fine brunch for a double date. (Sorry, I ate the portobello fries and burrata pizza so fast that it was too late to shoot photos.)