Roast Duck Breast

Dining

Restaurant Review: Bouchon 1314

A new North Oak Cliff bistro overcomplicates its dishes.

The name—the French word for cork, and its street number on Davis—suggests a neighborhood bistro, which is what I would love Bouchon 1314 to be, with its robust wine collection and graceful curves of art nouveau design. But a bistro probably would not have blackened mahi mahi with mango salsa as a special. The menu is centered on classics, like pork Normandy and rack of lamb Provençale, and we couldn’t have asked for a more nicely rendered version of white wine-poached salmon over creamy polenta with a light Dijon mustard sauce and fresh-snipped tarragon. But more often, elegance was replaced by distraction and empty showmanship. Roast duck breast came with simple grilled asparagus, but also mango salsa. Rustic potatoes Lyonnaise were stacked into a stiff square. Tarte Tatin—the apples just right, the pastry soggy—came overzealously plated with strawberry coulis and spun burnt sugar. And maybe the poulet roti had once been a juicy bird with crispy roasted skin, but it was hard to tell from the ho-hum breast ostentatiously sauced and served over ratatouille with very little soulfulness. Meanwhile, my brain tried not to register calamari with Mandarin wasabi cream. Bouchon is clearly trying. I would trade all the trappings for a good roast chicken.

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