Bouchons French Bistro: Sophisticated Comfort Food in Downtown Kelowna

Bouchons in Kelowna, photo courtesy Tourism Kelowna

Bouchons: a classically French and casually elegant bistro. (Image: Tourism Kelowna)

If, like me, you’re a golfer who also appreciates the genius of a perfect food and wine pairing, then the Thompson-Okanagan region of British Columbia — with its award-winning vineyards and championship courses — is a must-play golf destination. Time your visit in the spring or fall to coincide with one of the Okanagan Wine Festivals in Kelowna, and you’ll have the opportunity to savour the best the region has to offer.

When in Kelowna, one of my favourite places to eat is Bouchons. This cheerful French bistro, tucked into a residential neighbourhood just minutes from the city’s waterfront, welcomes the road-weary traveller with sophisticated comfort food and impeccable service.

Husband-and-wife team and veteran restaurateurs Richard Toussaint and Martine Lefèbvre have created a little bit of Paris in the Okanagan. From the red banquettes and sunflower-yellow walls to the climate-controlled stone wine cellar in the centre of the dining room, the ambiance is classically French and casually elegant.

Executive chef since 2011, Luc Bissonnette studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and Paris, and then rounded out his Parisian training as Chef de Partie at the venerable Prince de Galles Hotel. At Bouchons, he carries on the French tradition of using seasonal and regional ingredients, offering menu items such as British Columbia Fraser Valley rabbit in mustard and tarragon, or soufflé with locally grown Okanagan lavender. The three-course Chef’s Table prix fixe changes weekly, and the regular menu offers hearty bistro favourites: steak and hand cut pommes frites, cassoulet Toulousain, bouillabaisse and duck confit.

The thoughtful wine list features selections from France as well as British Columbia’s Okanagan region — many of which, produced in small lots, sell out quickly and are hard to find. Sommelier Richard Toussaint will guide you through some of the best of the local vineyard offerings, including wines from Road 13, Cedar Creek, Tantalus, Ex Nihilo Vineyards and Burrowing Owl.

A popular dining spot for both locals and visitors, Bouchons can be busy; reservations are always recommended.

Bouchons, 1180 Sunset Drive, Kelowna, BC. (250) 763-6595