Since opening in November 2007, Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar (519 Main St., Covington, 859-491-7777) has been a small, charming bistro where diners always find great seasonal food and excellent wines. Chef/owner Stephen Williams has been one of the leaders in using fresh, local food on his ever-changing menu. Williams creates a new menu at least five times a year and is currently in the process of drafting a spring version that will be dependent only on what the farmers start bringing in to market. With help from his General Manager Nicole Mersmann, Williams is also enjoying sampling new wines to to pair with his latest culinary creations.
Business is good at Bouquet, so good that Williams is about to embark on a major renovation of the restaurant. The plan is to double the size of the kitchen and add a second level of dining space to more than double the current 42-seat restaurant. The entire project is slated to take about a year for completion. But don’t worry — Williams intends on keeping the restaurant open the whole time.
CityBeat: Where was your last great meal and what was it?
Stephen Williams: La Poste Restaurant in Clifton. Chef Dave Taylor of La Poste is a friend and he sent out a few things that were terrific. The Sopressata Salad is amazing and the bread pudding is to die for.
CB: What is your overall food philosophy?
SW: I’m not trying to do anything cutting edge. I just want to present good flavors from fresh, local stuff. The flavors of local products are just so much better.