Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like a heart shaped TKO and a macaroon.
AJ (and our friend Kelly) planned a lovely Valentine's Day weekend in Sonoma wine country. AJ and I spent the weekend with two other couples, sipping on wine and eating some lovely meals together. Kelly did an amazing job of planning our wine tours and dinners, so I got to sit back and enjoy the ride. However, I did have one request - a stop at Bouchon Bakery on our drive up.
Bouchon Bakery is the brainchild of Thomas Keller - the reknowned chef of the French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro. Bouchon Bakery was originally built to provide the fresh baked bread for Bouchon Bistro in Yountville. Chef Keller's wonderful pastries find inspiration from the exquisite bakeries of France. After experiencing great success with the original Bouchon Bakery in Yountville he opened up two more bakeries - in Las Vegas and New York City.
We arrived in Yountville just around noon and found a line had already crept outside of the small bakery. As we stepped inside the sweet smells of fresh bread and sweet dough hit our noses. The plethora of treats that lined the glass cases was almost overwhelming. The bakery sells a couple of sandwiches, savory quiches, and some salads in addition to their sweets. I knew that I wanted to try a macaron and their namesake bouchons, but wasn't sure if that was sugar overkill.
Lucky for me, my friend David ended up buying a bag of bouchons to share (score!) I ended up ordering a turkey, brie, and cranberry sandwich on fresh bread and a pistachio macaron. AJ went with the mushroom and cheese sandwich and Thomas Keller Oreo (TKO).
Fresh baked bread - my weakness.
It was a beautiful day in Yountville and we were fortunate enough to snag a table in the sun. The bouchon was too enticing to wait to consume. Dessert before lunch? Don't mind if I do! The bouchons are named for their cork-like shape. They were almost the perfect brownie - moist, chocolatey, and a mix between fudgy and cakey. I stopped myself from filling up on brownies alone and moved on to my sandwich.
Turkey, brie, cranberry sandwich.
The bread on these sandwiches was freshly baked - nicely warm, with a slight crunch on the outside, and soft on the inside. The gooey cheese paired wonderfully with the slightly sweet, tart cranberry sauce, and the tender turkey. I only ate half to save room for my macaron.
The french macaron is quite different from its cousin - the coconut macaroon. The macaron is a meringue-based cookie consisting of egg whites, almond flour and confectioner's sugar. My pistachio macaron was a beautiful pastel green, but the pistachio flavor itself was much more subtle. The cookie was light and crisp, with a chewy interior. The creamy pistachio filling was delightful. AJ's TKO was delicious as well, especially if you are an Oreo fan. But if it were up to me, I would take a whole box of macarons to go!
All smiles at Bouchon Bakery.
Bouchon Bakery was the perfect place to start off our Valentine's Day weekend in Sonoma. This cozy bakery transported me to a French village. I certainly plan on coming back again soon!