The family arrived and it was so good to see everybody after four days! We got ready and walked over the restaurant. Everybody wanted to sit outside given the unseasonably warm day so we settled into a comfortable table at the front of the restaurant. Connor loves raw oysters so we opted to start off with eight of those in addition to half a dozen shrimp. This was accompanied by one of the epi loaves that I at least saw go into the oven a little earlier in the day if not cut myself.
The kids were famished and the food had soon disappeared seemingly before I turned back around! We asked the wait staff if we were going to be able to order or if the kitchen had their own plans. They said we could order if we wanted to but that yes the kitchen had some thoughts… We surrendered into their capable hands and boy did they ever deliver!
I had oohed and ahhed over the idea of the idea of arancini earlier in the week and sure enough that was next on deck. The good news is the kids skipped this one :). They were just unreal. Then came a full on appetizer assault fries, kids mac and cheese, escargot in mushroom sauce, a plate of charcuterie (pork rillettes, pate, and salami with pickled vegetables). Then came the consomme with vegetables and pasta that I worked with Chef S on the previous day though likely a new batch. It was around this time that the kids started complaining of being full. They had foolishly consumed far too much bread and fries despite our warnings. Next was the main course or should I saw four main courses. Emily got the pan roasted trout, Annabelle got a croque-monsieur that was practically bigger than her head, Connor got the roast chicken with asparagus and I got the lamb with chick peas. Everything was just out of this world and I ate far too much because the kids had already hit the wall. The staff graciously asked if we wanted dessert or whether we might want to take it home instead. Everybody cheered that we were in fact up to the challenge and they kitchen answered with a lemon tart, chocolate bouchons with ice cream, the silkiest creme caramel I’ve ever had, and for me profiteroles with coffee ice cream and chocolate sauce ready to pour. Pure heaven all around and I have to say not much was left.
After we were done we asked if we could visit the kitchen to thank them. The kids were getting tired but I was anxious to show everybody where Daddy had been. We walked through the doors and Connor cried out “look they have sous vide.” The entire kitchen erupted into laughter at this. Definitely proof he is my son after all. Chef B was just an amazing host!! He took the entire family through an extensive tour of not just the Bouchon kitchen but then over to the Bouchon Bakery! Wow, thank you Chef B!! The family got a taste of what it was like in the heart of a busy kitchen and everybody in the bakery was just tickled by the kids. Somehow after all that food they found a way to down a fresh macaroon courtesy of Chef M.
I sent the family on their way and approached the Maitre D about the bill. “Your money is no good here” was all he said with a smile. Wow! What a night! What a week! The entire staff was just so warm and welcoming to not just me but my entire family. I learned so much and gained a lot of confidence by rising to this challenge. I definitely felt that a new chapter to my life had begun. What a difference a week makes. I walked back to the hotel without touching the ground.