Monday evening, Michel Baudoin, owner and chef at Bouchon restaurant on Lexington Avenue, announced plans to build a new event venue and a new restaurant in buildings that adjoin his restaurant and open onto Lexington Avenue Courtyard. (The courtyard is owned by the Brown family and the Lantzius trust.)
The event venue will be called RendezVous. The new Creole/Cajun restaurant has been dubbed Lafayette. The whole complex will be branded Asheville French Quarter, Baudoin told me.
It’s all very exciting, especially after the very frightening 2013 collapse of the building that Baudoin was renovating to be the venue/eatery above. Here’s the press release, and note that Mountain Xpress reports that you can get a preview of new Lafayette menu items this week at Bouchon:
Michel Baudouin, Chef/Owner of Bouchon and Crêperie Bouchon, announces the addition of two new ventures on North Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville. Construction begins soon on Lafayette, a new restaurant, and RendezVous, a new event venue.
Named in honor of the French general who delivered essential aid to the Colonies during the American Revolution, Lafayette will feature Cajun and Creole cuisine in the Louisiana tradition, specialties of Executive Chef Tres Hundtermark, recently returned to Asheville from his most recent gig in New Orleans. Chef Tres has been consumer-testing his recipes at Bouchon and Crêperie Bouchon and starting this week, they will be featured on the Bouchon menu each Thursday.
“Reaction to the new menu items has been so positive,” said Hundtermark. “The new dishes are a little off-beat for the two restaurants, but we’ve seen that people are really enjoying the New Orleans influence.”
RendezVous is a mid-sized private space designed to host a variety of events, from meetings to wedding receptions. “So many customers have called me to see if Bouchon is available for private parties. They love Bouchon and think it would be great for their board meeting or small wedding, and I can’t say I disagree!” said Baudouin. “But I have such a loyal local clientele and since we don’t take reservations, I can’t justify closing to the public for even a night,” he contin-ued. “It’s obvious that there is a need downtown for a smaller space other than a hotel ballroom or even a conference room.”
As all four of the enterprises are centered around the romantic Crêperie Bouchon courtyard, Baudouin decided to designate the quartet the “Asheville French Quarter.”
“This beautiful courtyard is reminiscent of what you would find in many European cities, but it’s unique in this part of the country. The only comparison I know of in the United States is the fa-mous French Quarter in New Orleans,” said Baudouin. “The name is a perfect fit for us.”
“The residents of Asheville & the county have been so supportive of Bouchon and the Crêperie. It has been very gratifying,” said Baudouin. “Between the two, there are currently 35 living-wage
jobs, which I’m very proud of. With the two new places, I predict the addition of 40 more jobs, at the same living-wage rates. I’m excited to have the opportunity to expand my operations, and to be in a position to bring these much-needed jobs to my hometown.”
Better buy more microwaves.
Opinions seem to be a bit divided.
So many posters, who to believe?
Zep, don’t get your panties in a wad! There are plenty of hot dog carts downtown. Go get yourself one and be the man you’ve always wanted to be.
Great news. He seems to run a tight ship. I have never had a bad experience at Bouchon, and would expect the new venture to be run just as well. Tip of the hat to Michel.
What ever happened with the legal issues regarding the lack of permits etc. for the construction/renovations that were the cause of the building collapse in the first place…
No support for Michel Baudouin or any of his “ventures” after his blatant and unwarranted opposition to food trucks in Asheville. That and I’ve scraped better muscles off my tube coming out of the French Broad than he serves at his restaurant. All-you-can-eat food specials are gross.
Spelling could enhance your cred.
Do you mean credibility?
I love food trucks, but I also see why someone whose largest overhead expense is rent downtown might oppose them. Far from “unwarranted.”
Did you mean to say “scraped better MUSSELS off my tube..than he serves at his restaurant.” ???
If not…OUCHHH! (scraped muscles hurt) And YECCHH! (probably taste bad, too).
Ha ha! Big Al with the win.