Foodie on the Loose: We Tried Boucherie Union Square, Here's What We Thought
French cuisine is known globally as the gold standard of cooking. It’s basic tenets of using world class ingredients, cooking methods that don’t skip steps, and extreme care in pairings are famous. It’s a kind of cuisine that even major foodies have difficulty replicating, even when enjoyment is fairly easy.
Finding a French restaurant isn’t easy, unless you’re in a major metropolitan city. Even then, it’s hard to find a restaurant that really sticks to traditional cuisine. When I took a trip to Union Square’s Boucherie, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The restaurant is one of three located in the New York City area, and each is known for its “joie de vivre” approach to dining. For the French, cooking is equal to living. If your dining time isn’t good, your life isn’t good.
So, can Boucherie hold up to its philosophy? My husband and I decided to trek out to the location to find out.
When we first entered Boucherie, the ambiance and decor immediately set a tone. The cream-hued arches, French show posters, and quiet noise level made it an amazingly intimate place to eat. Having been to France, I can also tell you that it has a very specific Southern France vibe to it.
Though we were there for lunch, it became very apparent that this venue is a seriously hot date night spot as well as a popular foodie spot. Boucherie is about the experience, especially the experience it offers your tastebuds. For date night and gourmet outings, this is wonderful news. Casual diners, on the other hand, might be a bit overwhelmed.
Keeping in line with classic French attitudes, the service at Boucherie was stellar. Every staff member knew the menu like the back of their hand, and also had an impressive grasp of drink pairings for every dish on the menu.
At the time of our visit, we had two people waiting on us. Both offered insight on which wines paired well with our meals, as well as insider information on which desserts would work as the best transition for our dishes. The advice they offered had no bearing on price, but rather, was about the experience we could have with the dishes.
The food was really what made me fall in love with Boucherie, and not just because of the presentation, either. The food they offered was legitimate French cuisine, ranging from escargots, to foie gras, to Beef Bourguignon.
To ensure that less adventurous diners were pleased too, Boucherie offered a series of gourmet burgers featuring French ingredients. Overall, the menu had something for everyone. Even my picky eater spouse found a burger he loved!
The food itself was incredible. We tried the foie gras and the steak tartare appetizers, which offered up the rich, umami-filled taste fine French cooking was known for. Both my spouse’s burger and my Beef Bourguignon offered up a very satisfying kick of flavor.
My dish, in particular, shocked me. I’ve never had a smokier, more tender Beef Bourguignon. It almost tasted like pulled beef, with a red wine reduction. My foie gras was equally creamy and flavor filled. Fans of melt-in-your-mouth goodness need to go here, if only for their command of meat.
Their dessert menu isn’t to be missed either. Between the Instagram-worthy presentation and the amazing flavors they blend together, it’s an experience all its own.
Though I stay sober for the most part, I made an exception. French food is known for being a totally different experience when accompanied by a wine pairing. And, let’s face it, a good red wine with Beef Bourguignon really does complete the dish.
What I really loved about Boucherie’s staff was how well they knew the art of wine pairings. Our server was able to pick out the perfect red for my dish, and also offer up some valuable insight on cocktails.
By the way, if you love artisan cocktails, you’re going to adore the bar here. Boucherie goes so far as to use handcrafted, exotic ingredients in their mixes. Needless to say, you’re in for a rare treat if you go here!
Boucherie is not the kind of venue you go to when you want to find quick, casual cuisine. This is the kind of place you go to when you want to experiment with flavors, tradition, and presentation for several hours at a time. This is a venue that encourages joie de vivre in every morsel of food they make.
Cover image via Trip Advisor