Dining date: 5/30/11
Served just once every two weeks at Ad Hoc in Yountville, it’s not something I can enjoy with any regularity. It is possible to make it in the convenience of one’s own home, but the whole process takes a while and is pretty labor intensive. While the results are delicious, I don’t think I’m making it again anytime soon.
Given all this, I was super excited to hear that Bouchon Beverly Hills would be serving this very chicken on Memorial Day. Served family-style, the chicken came with a few sides (biscuits & gravy, collard greens, and macaroni & cheese). This was their first time serving it here, but given its popularity, I have a feeling it won’t be the last.
French Onion Soup
The soup was very rich, almost syrupy at times. The flavors were deep and beefy with a nice sweetness from the onions. I would’ve preferred this to be a little lighter though, for a starter.
The fried chicken arrived just as it does at Ad Hoc, in a stainless steel serving platter covered with fried herbs. A beautiful sight. The dark golden crust is the same as I remembered, light yet very crispy. The meat was flavorful, though I remember it being a little more moist. Not that it was dry at all, but previous experiences have yielded a surprisingly juicy bird. Still, excellent fried chicken – some of the best I’ve had in the city.
Macaroni & Cheese
The macaroni pasta was still slightly al dente, which I enjoyed, while the cheese sauce was good. I thought this singular side was kind of small to share family style for six people, though.
Braised Collard Greens
As expected, the collard greens were cooked to the point that there was no resistance. I think there was some bacon or ham in here too, adding some saltiness and subtle pork flavor. Again, also rather small to share with six people.
N.Y. Cheddar Biscuits & Gravy
The biscuit was a little more dense than I would’ve liked, but the flavor was there. Especially with the rich and meaty gravy, these were a hit.
We passed on dessert at Bouchon, instead opting to drop by a local ice cream shop for some ice cream as they were closing.
Beer Floats brown bread ice cream, vanilla bean ice cream, almond mocha ice cream
I had some Young’s Double Chocolate Stout on hand, which would pair nicely as a beer float – here with three different ice cream flavors (vanilla bean, almond mocha, brown bread). All three of these worked pretty well, with the classic vanilla bean combo being my favorite.
Service-wise, there was a large disconnect on this night between what we ordered and what actually came out of the kitchen. I’ve been here a number of times without a hitch, so I think that was just a fluke. I’ve been a fan of Bouchon since it opened, and the fried chicken just gives another reason to come back. In fact, I think it definitely proves worthy of a return trip alone. Of course, that’s only if they bring it back as a recurring special, but my hunch is that we haven’t seen the last of Ad Hoc’s fried chicken here.