I haven’t anticipated the opening of a restaurant in a long time, as much as I’ve anticipated the opening of Bouchee Boucher. First off, it’s the handiwork of Alex Svenne and Danielle Carignan Svenne, formerly of Bistro 71/4. I really enjoyed both the food there and the events they hosted such as School Nights. Second, it’s right down the street from St. Philip’s where I’m the priest.
Bouchee Boucher is divided into sections. The restaurant proper which you enter right of the corner of Marion and Tache, and the butcher shop with it’s entry off of Tache. The two areas are connected by a short hallway.
The Boucher in Bouchee Boucher
I was a little surprised when I went into the butcher’s shop portion, at the variety of products that were available. Like so many of the newer restaurants and coffee shops in Winnipeg, Bouchee-Boucher not only works with local ingredients, but also supports local producers by carrying their products in store.
Among those represented are Smak Dab, Dogwood Coffee Co, Cornell Creme Ice Cream, and Crampton’s, Flora & Farmer, just to name a few. If you’re a local producer that they carry and I missed you, just leave your info in the comments below. I’ll be happy to add you.
In addition there are in-house products such as coleslaw that Bouchee-Boucher produces. The smaller containers make for a great single serving at lunch time.
I’ve already taken the opportunity to pick up a couple of meat items from the butcher’s shop. The first was the Angry Jonas sausage. The anger in the sausage comes from Mitmita, an Ethiopian spice used to make Kitfo. If you haven’t tried Kitfo, I recommend you visit Kokeb.
I also picked up a beef pie from out of the cooler. I took it back to the church with me and cooked it up in the oven there. The pastry on top is nice and flaky, and yet not too thick. The best part of the dish is that it is loaded with beef. There are a few peas, but beef is definitely the star of this pie. It is tender, falling apart with a fork and then melts in you mouth when you eat it. This definitely qualifies as the best Beef Pie I’ve ever had.
The staff, particularly the butchers are knowledgeable. They will be able to give you the help you need to make sure you have the right cuts to serve to your family and friends. They can also help you choose the right set of ingredients to serve with your proteins.
Of course, Bouchee-Boucher is also a restaurant. The room itself is long and narrow, with a very homey feel when you enter. In addition to the tables there are two counter service areas. One just inside the door, and the other, a chef’s table at the far end of the room.
Both times I’ve been for a meal, I’ve wound up at the chef’s table, which I quite enjoy. On my first visit, it was at the end of the lunch service, so there weren’t many people in the restaurant or many orders to watch being prepared.
I ordered the Mac and Cheese, with a starter of Broccoli and Cheddar soup. Both were excellent. Broccolli can often be somewhat overpowering in it’s flavour, but in this soup that characteristic had been smoothed out. I also liked the use of old white cheddar for the cheese.
Then came the Mac and Cheese. Filled with house made bacon, cherry tomatoes and peas. This was everything that Mac and Cheese should be. This is comfort food in the truest sense. Not simply food that creates warm feelings, but food that actually gives strength (con forte, with strength being the root of comfort).
When I returned later in the week, I ordered the Tolouse Sausage served on a bed of lentils with a soft-boiled egg. This too was a delightful dish. The seasonings in this dish are a little more subtle than in something like the Mac and Cheese, but are every bit as delicious. This dish definitely qualifies as a protein lovers dream.
The service here is friendly and efficient. The sort of restaurant where it is everyone’s responsibility to make the diner feel welcome, whether they are directly serving them or not.