With the proliferation of French restaurants opening this year (Chez Nous, Bougnat, Annie's Bistro, Brasserie Gigi, and Bistro Toulouse), there's no lack of chances to dine on mussels or steak frites in town. This week, critic Robert Moss reviews Bougnat Restaurant, located in Belle Station shopping center.
Moss finds fine examples of comfort food, but nothing really wows him until he tries the chicken.
There's nothing forgettable about the coq au vin ($20) though. By itself, it justifies a visit to Bougnat Restaurant. You get half a chicken — a breast and a leg/thigh quarter — in a white bowl, with lardons and mushrooms layered across the top. The chicken is marinated for five days in red wine before being slow simmered in the oven, and it's served atop an exquisitely dark, rich sauce reduced down from the braising liquid — a testament to the miracle of what time can do to something as ordinary as a chicken. If the bird alone is not enough, there are tasty cauliflower florets and tiny, tender pearl onions served alongside, too.
He concludes that if you're in the area, Bougnat is worth a try.