Rendezvous Bistro, 514 4th Street, Santa Rosa
I heard that Rendezvous Bistro opened up last week but decided to wait until the hubbub had died down before checking it out (I also wanted to give them some time to work out the kinks). So I waited a whole six days before going!
Now my disclaimer is that I don’t really like French food, I didn’t realize that that was their category until minutes before I arrived. I figured I’d check out the menu and make a decision then. I found a few items that I thought I’d like and was seated in the main dining room.
First and foremost, the front and rear dining rooms were both packed and stayed that way throughout our meal, which is a good sign. The decor is really lovely but a tad contrived, kind of like a Disneyland version of a French bistro. But it was beautiful with rich colors. The tables are very small and I felt like (in the words of Chris Farley) “a fat man in a tiny coat”. I actually gave my server back my regular water because I needed the real estate and I’d ordered a bottled water and it would’ve just been duplication.
My friend and I both ordered the steak and frites. It was absolutely lovely. I don’t claim to be a restaurant critic but I know a good meal when I scarf it. The steak was tender, well garnished, with a dollop of spinach (thank you!) and I ate every last bite.
Dessert was another matter. We ordered the special but there may have been some kind of kitchen mishap and it took awhile to learn that they were going to give us a dessert on the house to make up for it. When I told them we were trying to make a showtime, they stepped up the speed. They served us a crepe with, I believe, rum drizzled over the top, it was set aflame and in front of me. Needless to say, I did not bend over the plate until it had extinguished itself. Unfortunately, the alcohol didn’t really burn off and after two bites I had to retire my fork. I felt I was breathing fumes of ethanol out of my nose, it was so strong.
Our server, Manuel, was not only excellent but well spoken and very helpful (cute too!). The owner, Justin, met us at the door and escorted us out. I couldn’t help but mention the note I had on the crepe. He was very open to suggestion and lovely to talk to.
I look forward to sitting at their bar, enjoying an espresso or a drink with my friends. I know all whom venture downtown are happy to have the wonderful location up and running again.
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