9 W Victoria St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Why did we dine here? – Bouchon, no relation to Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, is a top restaurant in Santa Barbara. We were here for one night and decided to give this legendary restaurant a try.
This small restaurant, run by chef Greg Murphy, is extremely cozy and has a homey atmosphere. The open kitchen is not very big and is located right next to the dining area.
Insider Tip – Be sure to visit the new Santa Barbara farmer’s market, which is located a block away.
Cuisine – California – French
Location – Santa Barbara downtown
Opened – 1998
Service – Bouchon had service that was friendly and helpful. They helped us order and we had no issues with refills and the like.
Verdict – Bouchon is definitely a top spot in Santa Barbara. The quality of the food was high and surprisingly their portion size is extremely liberal.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Maybe.
Bouchon Signature Dishes – Ragout, Seabass, Duck.
Bouchon’s Menu changes from season to season. Their is a special’s menu along with a seasonal menu. A couple of options for vegetarians.
Bouchon Food Picks:
Tamai Farms Summer Squash Purée basil oil, parmesan-tomato bruschetta ($8) this soup was on the special’s menu. Creamy, good squash essence, and very smooth. Be sure to use their bread to sop it all up.
Grilled Avila Farms Peach Salad dressed wild arugula, lemon-scented burrata, crisp brioche, prosciutto, aged balsamic ($14) was great during this summer evening. Fruity, high quality cheese, along with a light dressing.
Mustard-Glazed Local White Sea Bass (Medium) Yukon gold potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, pickled carrots Dominguez Farms Rainbow chard & rock shrimp ($28) is a signature dish and we understand why. Fresh fish from the Santa Barbara Channel was cooked perfectly. Frankly, it tasted better than it looked. Lots of cubed vegetables rounded out this dish.
Maple-Glazed Duck Breast & Confit of Thigh (Medium) succotash of sweet corn, fava beans, applewood-smoked bacon and Windrose Farms butternut squash, port-thyme demi-glace ($28) is also a signature dish. We asked for medium rare but they said they only served it medium. It was cooked to medium rare anyway, in our judgement. A huge portion of duck, making for enough food for two. Nice crispy skin and perfectly cooked confit of duck. Extremely good vegetable combination.
Grilled Wagyu Flat Iron Steak (Medium-Rare) fingerling potatoes ‘boulangère’, Earthtrine Farms baby turnips, bacon lardons, Pt. Reyes blue cheese compound butter, sauce bordelaise ($34) was cooked to a perfect medium rare and was also a huge portion. Robust angus flavor and tenderness, makes this a no brainer. This also had excellent veggies on the side.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Forest Mushroom Ragout roasted tomatoes, baby spinach, black truffle mini-panino, pan jus ($18) was a beautiful dish but a little bit too green and slightly bitter. Lots of nice mini mushrooms though.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?