Bouchon is based on chef Thomas Keller's memories of the bistros he frequented while traveling in France, where meals were served family style in very small dining rooms. It's really hard to find any flaws with the décor, the service, or practically anything inside — this is the kind of place where you sit down at the table and star moaning over the restaurant's freshly made bread and butter. But you'd better save room for the raw bar, Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard, and Soupe à l'Oignon.
But perhaps the best dish at Bouchon, the best dish I tasted all year, was the Boudin Blanc. Don't mistake me, I expected this to be good. I just didn't expect it to be this good. The casing was thin and sauté-tanned on top and bottom, cradling French prunes and potato purée. You sliced through the casing and inside the sausage was truly beyond description. I don't tend to gush, but I've had one better sausage in my life, and that was in Zurich. Airy, juicy, soft — truly amazing. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.