The building at the corner of Tache Avenue and Marion Street in St. Boniface has gone through many incarnations. I remember it being Mekong Restaurant—which was a pretty decent if memory serves—and a flea market/antique/bookstore kind of place. But this latest evolution is by far the prettiest. The room boasts a wall of windows facing Marion Street, with benches and tables all lined up in a row. The open kitchen gives nearly every table in the house a view of what’s going on as plates come together. And it’s impossible not to notice that tiled post near the bar that lends a Parisian bistro flare to the space.
What You Should Order
Bouchee Boucher is one of the few—if not the only—restaurants in town with a menu that changes monthly (sometimes weekly). And that takes a bit of getting used to. Arguably, most restaurant patrons head to a certain establishment for a specific entrée. “I’m craving the mussels in tequila sauce from Restaurant X.” or “I would kill for that pistachio pasta I had a Bistro Y”. There’s none of that at Bouchee Boucher. If you fell in love with the ribeye you had last week, get over it, because you may not see it on your next visit.
But what you will get at Bouchee Boucher is unmatched quality ingredients transformed into creative dishes. Delicious creative dishes.
The lunch menu includes salads, sandwiches (served with soup, salad or fries) and a few choice entrees including a quiche, linguine and the popular omelette of the day.
At dinner, the menu kicks off with small plates. They are appetizers of sorts, perfect for one person, but better if you order several and share among two or three people. The latest offerings include olives marinated in citrus, herbs, garlic; roasted corn with creme fraiche, jalapeño chutney, sunflower seeds; and charred local shishito peppers in sherry vinegar, feta, dried olives and parsley.
Next on the menu is sharing plates. They’re intended to be shared among two to four people but can also serve as an individual entrée. A recent menu featured grilled shrimp, slow cooked cherry tomatoes, basil, chili oil, garlic and lemon; a pork sirloin, marinated and grilled, with roasted kohlrabi, mustard, herbs, crispy kale and charmoula; and roasted spiced pumpkin, maple mascarpone, walnuts, marinated kale, quinoa and sesame.
And finally, a few larger plates round out the menu. These are a nod to family-style dinning and include a whole roasted half chicken served green beans, roasted potatoes and chicken gravy ($40) and a roasted boneless marinated leg of lamb with local roasted vegetables, chimichurri and jus ($60).
For two diners, I suggest ordering two small plates and one sharing plate, which a plan to leave room for dessert. If you’re not into the sweet stuff, order another sharing plate (and you’ll likely leave with a take-out box). For a larger table (five or six people), order a couple of larger plates, round it out with a few small and sharing plates, and enjoy dinner family style.
Out of Pocket
Dinner for two will run about $100 for a spectacular meal with drinks and a shared dessert. You can certainly cut that bill down by omitting the alcohol and dispensing with dessert, then ordering one of the larger plates ($40) and a couple of smaller ones ($28 for two). But a restaurant like this probably isn’t the place to pinch pennies. You’ll want to take a cruise around the menu, sampling the seasonal fare and creative execution.
What I love
I’m a big fan of sampling many textures and flavours in one meal (tapas style, really), so Bouchee Boucher’s menu featuring small plates suits me perfectly. It also pulls me out of the meat/potato/veggie on a plate rut and forces me to spread my culinary experiences a little. For example, one of the menu’s small plates recently included a dish featuring local melons, basil, mint, ginger, lime, fennel and pernod. That’s a far cry from meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas and carrots on the side. Plus, Bouchee Boucher had Barnhammer’s Le Sneak Belgique wheat beer on tap, which happens to be my favourite these days.