One Last Dinner at Cafe Bouchon

Last night, we tackled item #4 on the list and went to Cafe Bouchon with Bernat, Peter, Ian and Gyula. We drank Ian’s favorite wine there — which is very good, and I’d call it our favorite there, too, but Ian is the one who found it first, I believe — he also bought a case to take home. The restaurant was decorated for Christmas. Nothing too over-the-top or anything, but it was festive. And Gyula brought all of us CDs of Hungarian Christmas music from one of his favorite bands.

We had the standard fare. Salad and the grilled mixed cheese plate for me, which was a bit light on the veggies and had walnuts and cashews in it this time. And everyone else had spicy goulash and potato croquettes.

The piece de resistance, though, was dessert. Evan and I ordered the crepe Suzette again, and our favorite waiter in Budapest came to serve it. He warmed up a glass of brandy (maybe? maybe Grand Marnier or something? It was in a brandy snifter, so I just immediately thought brandy) by gently rolling it over the candle at our table, then suddenly, a flame whooshed out of the glass. He poured the flaming liquid all over our crepe and kept the mesmerizing blue fire going for about a minute by spooning it around. It was absolutely amazing. And it totally made the dish. Last time we had it, it was good, this time it was something to really be remembered. The combo of the semi-bitter orange taste with the crepe and the cream inside was just perfect.

And of course I can’t just throw out that favorite waiter title without explaining a bit more. Cafe Bouchon has a waiter (I wish I knew his name), who is absolutely fantastic. He knows his wines. He knows his food. He’ll suggest things not on the menu. He’ll chat, but not in an overbearing way. His English is great. Basically, in a country where it can be hard to communicate and waiters aren’t always as service-minded as they could be, our waiter friend is really top notch. He would be great anywhere, really, not just here.

We finished dinner with our fortune cookies — another fun, quirky touch Bouchon adds to the dining experience. These fortune cookies are particularly funny and confusing because a good deal of the fortunes are sourced from “Internet Graffiti” — and cited as such. They aren’t wonton-like cookies, either–they’re flat, cinnamon wafer cookies with one side coated in chocolate. It’s always fun to see what you’ll get.

And we got an additional cookie to take home with us — some sort of white cookie with powdered sugar on top — as a little Christmas gift. I’ll definitely miss that place.

We also took a group photo. Or, well, I took a photo of the rest of the group. And we had a weird guy sitting at the table behind us who managed to make very weird faces right in the middle of the photos. Intentionally of course. I’ll try to post it soon.

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