The Bistro Next Door: Taking over the space once occupied by Mrs Pound, Bouillon is a cozy neighborhood joint inspired by the casual bistros you see on every street corner in France.
Look & Feel: In the style of a casual French bistro, Bouillon keeps things simple. It’s a small space with just a couple of tables and a vaguely Roccoco design feel. Red banquette seating, gilded mirrors and soothing greens amp up the aesthetics, while the central bar offers a convivial space to pop in for a casual drink and bite. In the back of the restaurant, footage of Paris and French culinary icons play on a loop, while visual displays of bottles underline the fact that wine is a staple here.
On the Menu: Bouillon is all about simple, classic bistro fare. The menu includes plenty of shared plates and expected items – think foie gras and steak – alongside heftier mains like duck confit ($198) and beef bourguignon ($248).
We started with basics – the beef tartare ($188) was perfectly put together and came with a side of incredibly moreish fries, while the tuna tartare ($148) was light and fresh. We also sampled the onion tart ($128) – which was a well-balanced blend of sweet and salty – and escargots (that’s snails, for the uninitiated, $88) which were soaked in a delicious garlic butter, though their coming deshelled kind of ruins the fun of eating them. The rice pudding ($88) dessert was delicious, though not exactly something I expected to find at a French bistro.
Overall the food is exactly what it’s supposed to be – simple, classic, and delicious. There’s also a surprisingly extensive wine list, but these are only available by the bottle. If you’re just looking for a glass, you’ll want to check out the chalkboard above the bar – I ordered a Beaujolais ($118) at the sommelier’s suggestion, and while it was a good foil for the food, it was also the most expensive by-the-glass wine available.
Jeng: This is French comfort food done right. You can’t go wrong with well-executed dishes, some good wine, and a relaxed vibe.
Not So Jeng: Bouillon feels very much like a place exclusively for French people (or at least those who have native language proficiency). While the service was adequate and done with a smile, it was clear that those parler-ing French got more attention and more genuine service. There was also some confusion over our order and billing – our foie gras never showed up, and we were charged for the tuna tartare that we’d been told was compliments of the chef – but I’m willing to chalk this up to the fact that they’d only been open four days and we’d gone in on a typhoon night.
Meet the Chef: Bouillon’s menu is masterminded by Johan Ducroquet, who was formerly at Le Bistro Winebeast.
Great For: Small groups and casual dinners.
FYI: Bouillon offers a solid happy hour on Tuesdays-Fridays, 2pm-7pm.
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This writeup was based on an anonymous dining experience that was fully paid for by the author. See our editorial policy here.