A few years ago I visited Bouchon Bakery in New York City, and had a hot chocolate there . Today I had the chance to visit the original Bouchon Bakery, opened by Chef Thomas Keller in 2003 in Yountville in Napa Valley. The Bakery is just a block away from his very famous restaurant, The French Laundry, and originally the bakery was opened to provide beautiful bread for his restaurant but it unsurprisingly took on a life of its own.
This one is clearly on all visitors to the area’s list of things to do, as the line up went out the door and down the street. I wanted a hot chocolate so we waited and then ordered a selection of goodies to accompany our drinks. Everything looks gorgeous. My hot chocolate and everything we ate was very nice, expensive, but very nice and worth the stop (especially because we found a nice table to sit on outside on the terrace). They use milk, dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and mix that with heavy cream and whole milk. After filling up with all that sugar, I’d recommend taking a short walk from here along the main street to The French Laundry. There is a sculpture walk along the way with a range of colourful modern sculptures and then you can either choose to eat at The French Laundry or admire their large vegetable garden across the street where they grow much of what they serve.
The Bakery is situated right in the middle of Napa Valley, a beautiful valley dotted with vineyards producing wine that the Americans are very proud of. We stayed in neighbouring Sonoma valley, a bit more relaxed with a beautiful town square worth lingering on. And then of course, don’t forget to try some wine.
Verdict: A treat. Next time I need to pair this with a meal at The French Laundry to get the complete Keller experience. Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, California, USA