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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Le Bouchon du Grove

     I challenge anyone who has traveled to Europe to deny that upon returning, you begin a lifelong search for moments that will in some way take you back to your days on the Continent.This minuscule place in the Coconut Grove area of Miami does an excellent job of replicating the cafes that line the streets of Paris.
     There isn't one inch of Le Bouchon du Grove that is not covered with bottles, pictures, lamps and knickknacks, and the gap between the tables is so small, a great deal of skill is necessary on the part of the waiters to weave in and out while serving dishes. But the chaos is charmingly French, and had it been a slightly cooler day, sitting under the frame of the French doors right on the sidewalk would have been the perfect European experience.

      My brunch companion that Saturday morning was my friend Michele. She ordered the banana pancakes, and I wanted a rendezvous with my old friend Croque Monsieur. Michele loved her pancakes. I, on the other hand, was stood up. Monsieur never showed. What did arrive was the best French baguette ham and cheese sandwich I've had in my life, but it was definitely missing some Croque Monsieur elements. There was no melted cheese topping and no sweetness in the bread. It was such a good sandwich, though, I didn't miss my Monsieur that much.
     Our waiter was efficient, tall and handsome, but had an arrogance about him that could only be charming if he had at least pretended to have a French accent. Without that touch, the haughtiness was just off-putting.
     The company you keep during a meal is critical to the overall experience, and my company was excellent. That alone made for a lovely morning. Le Bouchon, however, didn't do its part. It didn't offer the richness I seek in a brunch event. I left with a sense of incompleteness, like I had missed something. We made a quick exit and ran to the gelato café down the street. More on that in the next post.

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  1. Cool post and you are right, after returning from Europe I often miss out on the cafe's there. It's really cool that you have a place to go near you.

    1. Miami has many great places, but somehow they can only be consolation while missing the real thing. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Hey Bobbie, The french baguette sounds good to me. I hope your gelato was authentic and good. :)

    1. Barbara, I was just reading through your blog and found it cool that we're both Barbaras and both married to Johns. I saved some of your recipes for experimentation. Thanks for visiting my blog.