When someone asks me where my favorite place to eat in town is, I'll always say La Buvette. I've had so many great experiences there. Valentine's Days, birthdays, celebrations, Sunday afternoon's existence, it's my favorite placed because it's where I feel most like myself.
Now, say what you will about the service, but to be fair this isn't your neighborhood Chili's. There's usually only one waiter on the floor during the lunch and dinner service so if you want to go here, I recommend visiting when you have a few hours to kill. Trust me, after you sit on the patio for 10 minutes, you won't ever want to leave again. Peruse the many bottles of wine that line the walls and snag one that grabs your fancy. Because La Buvette is part grocery, their wine is actually at Wholesale costs so you can find bottles of wine starting at $11. Buvette's does have a corkage fee, I believe it's $4 so factor that in too.
The great thing about Buvette's menu is that it's always changing, literally daily. Their specials run from short ribs to trout to bison carpaccio to mussels. Now, I can almost guarantee they'll be out of 2-3 of their dishes if you make it there for a late dinner, but there's always a great backup. On their regular, everyday menu my favorites include the smoked salmon, Buvette Salad with chickpeas and goat cheese, the mixed cheese plate and the hot grilled sandwich, add salami. I've never had a bad dish at Buvette so that's really saying something.
Cooper actually worked at La Buvette for a few months last fall and he absolutely loved it. The staff is really great and super helpful if you can act like a human being and treat them with the respect of an equal. There was one Sunday where Cooper was working and I saw this woman have a complete breakdown. She sat down at the table catty-corner to me and within five minutes I knew she wasn't going to be happy with her experience. Let's just call her high-maintenance, you know the type, Coach bag on arm, highlighted hair trying to hide her actual age. It's a long story, so to shorten it, two men met her there. One of them was apparently heir to the Rotella's fortune (I know that because I eavesdropped and if she tried to drop his name one more time I was going to lose it). The two men were horrified they had to go get their own beers - yes you have to do that here and no they don't have Bud Light. The woman wanted another glass of wine and needed it immediately so she went inside to ask for it and this is when shit got real. Remember, I'm sitting outside, so I don't get to see her freak out, but according to Cooper it went a little something like this. She asked for another glass of wine, Cooper is reaching for the wine bottle and this lady just looses it talking about how she used to come there all the time ten years ago and couldn't believe how they were treating her now. Another coworker is trying to talk to this woman, but when she starts crying and then called said coworker a bitch, she was cut off and asked to leave. When she said she wouldn't leave, they threatened to call the cops and that's when she went back outside. Here's where I catch up with her. She's laughing and telling the two men she got kicked out which of course pisses Mr. Rotella off (privilege is never really that charming, is it?). The woman goes on and on about how Cooper called her a bitch (not true) and said that he wasn't serving their table because she was sitting with a bunch of dicks (also not true). By this time I'm getting pissed because I know Cooper would NEVER say that to a woman. Mr. Rotella comes back, says he paid the bill and they were leaving and that was pretty much that. Cooper filled me in later that he went in there and apologized saying he hadn't seen this woman in five years. WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS STORY - don't act like a dick and you'll do fine dining at La Buvette.