“For those who love European cuisine and ambiance, there’s no better destination than La Boniche…”
This statement gives the perfect setting for this restaurant. La Boniche, nestled in the heart of downtown Lowell is an excellent spot for that “something different” experience you are looking for. Here, they are serving up classic cuisine dishes cooked to perfection.
Walking into La Boniche you are transformed from Downtown Lowell to Old World Europe. The ambiance is intimate and quaint but doesn’t feel crowded. You instantly have a warm and inviting feeling. The restaurant is divided into a small bar area and a seating area for dining. The few pictures on the walls are from local artists, which plays more into the comforting feeling. When weather permits, there is outdoor seating available. This would have been my preferred seating if the weather were nicer. There are not too many days in New England where you can sit outside and enjoy the weather so when they are here, you want to take full advantage. Even though outdoor seating wasn’t available, we were lucky enough to score a window seat.
To start things off, we were given French bread with a side dish of hummus. This was a pleasant surprise and different from just the normal butter. If the little you receive with the bread isn’t enough, they do offer hummus as an appetizer plate.
I had the soup special which was a type of mussel bisque with shrimp, carrots, celery, and potatoes. It was a good choice, I was very pleased. My partner-in-crime tried his hands at the Escargot. When asked if he liked it, his response was:
“Instead of the traditional method of roasting with garlic and herbs, they poach the snails in a light Dijon cream sauce with sliced seasonal vegetables. Everything was cooked perfectly. The vegetables were al dente and the escargot was tender. This was a great dish.”
For the main course I had the Veal with Shrimp. It had roasted tomato, fresh asparagus, roasted potatoes, in a rosemary butter sauce. Again this dish was good. The veal was cooked good and not over done; the asparagus and potatoes were spot on. I wasn’t a huge fan of the rosemary sauce at first but after a little while the taste grew on me.
My counterpart had the Pan Roasted Trout with mushroom, roasted brussel sprouts, garlic, basil, sherry butter, and roasted potato. His take:
“The pan-roasted trout was awesome. They take a whole trout minus the head and pan roast it in traditional French fashion in butter and sherry wine. Then roast the trout until it is flaky. They finish the dish by taking the remaining sherry wine and butter in the pan throw in some cherry tomatoes and pour it over the fish. They serve it with roasted wild mushrooms and baked Yukon potato wedges. It was an excellent dish.”
As for desert, it was a torn decision between bread pudding and crème brulee. Since we couldn’t decide, we turned to our waitress for some advice. We asked if the crème brulee was made fresh and she informed us that a baker comes in every morning and makes the crème brulee in house. We were sold and it was delicious.
Overall, I was so pleased and impressed with my experience. Our waitress was excellent. She was very knowledgeable of the menu and the restaurant. If you are worried about the pricing, I think it was well worth it. For the service provided and the dishes, this is what I would expect. But if you are concerned regarding prices, there are ways to help. La Boniche offers a prix fixe menu during the week for only $20.00. You can also purchase a restaurant.com gift certificate for the amount of $10 or $25 for only a few dollars.
Another great tidbit is La Boniche offers cooking classes about twice a month. Classes are held on Sundays from 3pm-5pm and are $50.00 per person. Check out their website to find a listing of upcoming classes. This could possibly be a great date idea! 😉