Le Boucan owners Benjamin Meurisse and Dana Lelong are young entrepreneurs in the prime of their lives. And they sure do know how to run a restaurant. The bistro in Villeneuve-lès-Béziers is such an energetic place with lots of interesting going on, and many restaurant keepers could learn a lot from them. For starters (forgive the pun), the welcome is warm and always comes with a smile. And then the food, the beautiful food… Well, let’s just say that it’s definitely worth a detour!
Le Boucan is a modestly sized restaurant with an outside terrace, and I highly recommend making a reservation before you go. I recently took my own good advice and booked Chéri and I for the last available table in their tastefully decorated dining room. After a little wait, Dana came to our table with the chalkboard menu and wine list. There was a ‘Chef’s Suggestion’ and an ‘À la carte’ option, with three choices for each course. Well, four for the desserts if you count the cheese plate. And, as all the options looked so tempting, it took a while before Chéri and I could make up our minds…
Purring with happiness
When the starters came to our table, we knew we had made the right choices. Chéri had selected raw salmon cubes served in an Asian broth. In the meantime, I started purring with happiness when my crispy egg in a creamy parmesan sauce arrived. Chéri had changed his main course at the last minute (it really was SO hard to choose) from steak to lamb shank. Until his plate arrived, he was still wondering if he had made the right choice. Of course, he never will know for sure, but the richly braised ‘souris d’agneau’ was comforting enough to keep him quiet. And so was my monkfish medallion, served as a bouillabaisse with a generous portion of heavenly, garlicky rouille.
I had checked Le Boucan out on the internet before we visited (I know, I’m terrible…). That’s how I came across a short film clip of one of their desserts, called the ‘Finger au Chocolat’. And to my delight, this sublime looking dessert was on the menu this evening! So both of us ordered the same dessert without hesitation and didn’t regret it for a minute. It had all I could wish for in a dessert: chocolate inside and out, crunchy bits and a salted caramel sauce. We hadn’t expected such an exquisite meal in such a small restaurant. No wonder so many people speak so highly of them on the big chalkboard they keep under the counter for guest’s comments. We highly agree with all their sweet words!