I’m calling this post a Yountville Travel Guide… but really, it’s a review of four out of the five Thomas Keller restaurants! Sam and I first stumbled across Bouchon in Las Vegas, where we were incredibly impressed by the chicken and waffle and delicious apple croissant. When I realized there was a Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery less than two hours north of us up in Yountville, I was super excited! That being said, it’s still a pretty far drive, so it’s something that needed to be planned.
Last year, Sam’s mom came to visit us for Thanksgiving and we decided it would be the perfect time to head up to Yountville. I knew I wanted to go back to Bouchon, but I also made dinner reservations at Ad Hoc on a whim. We were staying in San Ramon, so we were originally planning on going to Yountville for only one day. Instead, due to the rain over Thanksgiving weekend, we ended up scratching a few of the more outdoorsy things off our list and went to Yountville for Addendum and Bouchon Bakery as well.
In the summer, we repeated part of the trip for my birthday, bringing my sister and her husband along with us. We started with lunch at Addendum, followed by a quick trip to Bouchon Bakery before heading up north to the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga for games until dinner back in Yountville at Ad Hoc. We loved the geyser the first time around with Sam’s mom, but I think it was a bit too expensive the second time.
AMAZING fried chicken… but don’t bother getting the coleslaw, haha. We totally got lucky because Thanksgiving weekend was the last weekend Addendum was open. Addendum is only open from 11AM-2PM during the “summer”, which apparently extends into November in California, haha! We also managed to make it just minutes before it closed. I’m so glad we did, because, seriously. Best fried chicken ever. It’s brined in buttermilk and then fried, resulting in an incredible, crispy exterior and juicy, well-seasoned interior.
Addendum is also really cute in general, with lots of string lights, an arch covered with roses, lots of picnic tables with umbrellas for shade and even some lovely redwoods. I could totally see it being a charming location for a small wedding. (Maybe I should put it on my list of wedding venues with redwoods!) On our second trip, it was sunny and beautiful. there was a private dinner party at night and it was pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Bouchon Bakery: 4/5
After we finished up our chicken at Addendum, we headed a few blocks down to Bouchon Bakery. There’s pretty much always a line out the door because the bakery itself is quite small. I love Bouchon’s croissants and macarons, though sometimes the croissants with toppings can be just a little underdone in the middle. My sister got a lemon tart, which was delicious.
Delicious. We went here for brunch and loved the chicken and waffle (as mentioned in the Vegas Travel Guide). They were super nice and went next door to the bakery for the croissant we wanted when it wasn’t on the menu. We also had the french onion soup, which was pretty good… but the star of the show was definitely the chicken and waffle.
Ad Hoc – 4.5/5
The first meal we had at Ad Hoc was out of this world incredible. Sam and I are still dreaming about the “creamy rice”, which was made with creme fraiche, butter and another type of dairy (the waiter wasn’t sure). Fair warning, the food at Ad Hoc is quite heavy. It’s a very hearty meal and you’ll leave /very/ full. The dishes are fairly simple (the restaurant is based off a home-dining experience), but well done. There’s a prix fix menu that is posted every day, so you’re never entirely sure what you’re going to get. There’s always an appetizer/salad course, followed by the main meat course, followed by a cheese course and then a dessert. For my birthday, I was honestly a little disappointed when I saw the dessert was root beer float, because I’ve never really been a fan. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was actually the perfect ending to the meal! It was a bit lighter and the chewy cookies were delicious.