Ad Hoc is the name of Thomas Keller's comfort-food restaurant in Yountville, California, just down the street from Keller's other restaurants, French Laundry and Bouchon. The restaurant opened about six months ago with the intention of providing a "Sunday dinner atmosphere" to diners, with a focus on seasonal ingredients and comfort foods, as opposed to the seasonal by upscale offerings at the French Laundry. It offers only one fixed price menu and everything is served family style. When it opened, Keller declared that the restaurant would be temporary, as he really wanted to open a burger restaurant in the location and needed something to occupy the space while the plans for that upscale fast food venture were ironed out. Ad Hoc has become so popular, both with diners and with staff, that Keller has decided to lengthen its stay. Permanently.He is not, however, giving up on his "burgers and bottles" idea of a gourmet fast food restaurant that complements its offerings with high quality wines from the surrounding vineyards. He is simply looking for yet another location in which it can be realized. For the time being, Keller says that he might add a burger to the menu at Ad Hoc just to get the ball on the idea - which Keller has been keeping on the back burner for 15 years - rolling.
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Thomas Keller's new restaurant, which we first mentioned in passing when it was still just a rumor, is not officially going to open until July and the venture may be only a temporary one. Named Ad Hoc, the restaurant will serve a fixed price, four course menu each night it is open (Thursday-Monday) with a casual, Sunday dinner atmosphere. The food will be comfortable and homey, not as upscale as the French Laundry down the street, and will focus heavily on seasonal ingredients and foods that Keller says are some of his favorites, like fried chicken and beef stroganoff.
Ultimately, Keller plans to turn the space into either a burger restaurant or a sushi restaurant, so Ad Hoc might not be around all that long. They will not take reservations, so plan a trip through Yountville, CA to check it out before it's gone.
[via Food Section]
According to the SF Chronicle, chef Thomas Keller is planning to expand. Mr. Keller is in the process of opening a butcher shop in the town of Yountville, CA, where his restaurants Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery and the world-renowned French Laundry are located. The shop will be called Bouchon Boucherie and is slated to open later this year. Not only will it sell the same cuts of meat that are available in Keller's restaurants, but it will centralize the production for them, as they currently butcher their own meats. "'Don't expect 99-cent ground chuck here,' says Keller."
Food and Wine magazine also reported that Keller is considering opening his own burger joint in Northern California, similar in style to In-N-Out Burger but more upscale, serving wine alongside juicy beef burgers.