Napa: Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery Pecan Sticky Bun

I am in 2 minds about hype as it pertains to food.  On the one hand, it facilitates the search, guarantees a certain level of quality, (though not always...).  On the other, it can be misleading, and almost always, time consuming, as these days, hype generally equates long queues...  And, in my humble opinion, the best places are very often found off the beaten paths. 

Nevertheless, that said, sometimes queuing for the best this, that and the other, is simply part of the experience.  Such can be said for Bouchon Bakery, in Yountville (Napa), California.  Founded and owned by the famed Michelin-starred chef, Thomas Keller, if you are headed up to Napa, Bouchon is just one of those things you have to do.  And if, like myself, the effort to plan a dinner months in advance is just too great, the Bakery will do just fine. 

 Chocolate Almond Croissant, Bouchon Bakery, Napa

Chocolate Almond Croissant, Bouchon Bakery, Napa

 Pain au Chocolat, Monkey Bread, Vanilla Macaron & TKO, Bouchon Bakery, Napa

Pain au Chocolat, Monkey Bread, Vanilla Macaron & TKO, Bouchon Bakery, Napa

In this particular instance, hype equates the use of quality ingredients, traditional pastry techniques, and beautiful end results.  With high expectations, we couldn't help but be a teensy bit disappointed with one or two of our rather vast pastry selection.  But, yes, the above Pecan Sticky Bun was probably one of the better ones I had ever eaten, the Monkey Bread, Chocolate & Almond Croissant were incredibly more-ish and delicious (all of which I would recommend), and the environment, the perfect pre-Napa-daytrip initiation.

 Chocolate Almond Croissant Beauty Shot - because it was just that good...

Chocolate Almond Croissant Beauty Shot - because it was just that good...

Would I return?  Debatable.  Am I glad we went at 10am to wait in line for 30 minutes just so as to get our hands on as many Thomas-Keller-Bouchon-Bakery Pastries as possible?  100%.