His & Hers was so pleased to join in the celebrations at the pre-opening bash at Bouchon. Jonathan Poole and Paddy Smith of the Red & Blue Restaurant group really have achieved something special. They have just opened a French bistro in Castle Street, Liverpool, with that mixture of great food, a vibrant bar and a really sociable vibe. The guys whose roots are steeped in French cuisine, have helped to create the Liverpool foodie scene over the last twenty years. Bouchon is in a beautiful location, a glass frontage that opens up with both indoor and outdoor seating, with views of Derby Square and the Baroque Victoria Monument. You can watch the world walk by: though I predict more than a few will be tempted to step inside.
Feature by Jean Hill
There is a history to this launch. For Poole, it is a journey that has come full circle after setting up Chez Jules Chester in 1997which he refers to as “the original Bouchon.”
“I guess I’m best known in trade circles for the Ego brand which was born out of Chez Jules. Twelve restaurants later, and it’s back to my roots.”
“That period of my business life was just a whirlwind. I learned a huge amount about the industry having joint(ly) established the Ego business in 1999 eventually sold to the management team behind La Tasca.
“Critically, I met Paddy in the same year as establishing Ego and genuinely ever since, we’ve been a very solid foundation together as business partners.”
Speaking about their new venture Poole continued: “Bouchon is our latest creation and we’re both very proud of the concept and quietly confident that our existing customers across Bacaro, Salt House Tapas and Hanover Street Social will become fans too.”
“My early career…enabled me to experience (being a chef) in the Caribbean…with five star cuisine right through: latterly to more amenable, inclusive and affordable cuisine. Bouchon is very much that…a French bistro in its truest form…serving comfort food, open continuously morning to night at moderate prices. Housing an active bar where people gather for food, drink and lively conversation.”
Menu highlights at Bouchon will include Oysters, Classic French Onion Soup, Charcuterie boards, Rotisserie Chicken, Sole Meunière to Tarte Tatin and Chocolate Fondant.
The menu signifies classic French cuisine. We started with giant olives: the best I have ever tasted anywhere, and I am a big fan of olives. I chose a prawn dish as my starter, with a delicious sauce. I ate sea bass for my main, with new potatoes steeped in herbs. Absolutely loved it. My all-time favourite dessert is Crème Brûlée, and since it was on the menu…It is timeless and as a very accomplished chef once said to me: ‘don’t mess with a classic’. Just so! It was perfect. Intend going back for the French onion soup and some Charcuterie. The service was great. Thank you to all the staff, who were so welcoming and lovely to be part of a happy throng of people enjoying their evening out.
Bouchon, 55 Castle St, Liverpool L2 9TN.
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