Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rendez-vous at Rendez-vous

The downturn in the economy has reaped unexpected benefits for me and My Beloved - my retirement portfolio may have shrunk by half over the past year but we scored lunch with daughter Katie, who has been furloughed one day per week. Bummer for her, for sure, although she's grateful still to have her job, but we enjoyed a weekday lunch and a catch-up with her, thanks to a miserable economy.

We agreed to meet at a new-to-us restaurant in Albany, a French-style bistro called Rendez-vous that is actually owned and managed by a guy from France. You'd never guess he's French from his appearance - he's very tall and looks quintessentially, clean-cut American, but as soon as he speaks, I'm tempted to break into my schoolgirl French.

My Beloved and I have eaten there twice now, once for dinner and this time for lunch. Both were very pleasant and the food was formidable! This is not haute cuisine but rather my favorite type of French cooking, just good, plain, well-prepared bistro fare. At dinner there, I had steak and frîtes; this time, for lunch I had mussels and frîtes. Both were good, really good. The frîtes were crisp on the outside, melty-creamy on the inside and sprinkled with fresh parsley, rosemary and (I think) thyme. The mussels were plenty of the tiny ones where one need not fear the occasional "pearl," steamed with some wine and onions in the broth. We didn't taste Katie's choice of pissaladière but she ate the whole thing with relish so I think that's a thumbs up. The portions were plentiful without being obscene and the atmosphere is casual.

Both times, I have noticed that we arrived early to a nearly empty restaurant that filled to capacity in the time we were there - clearly, it's a popular spot. It is located near the corner of Solano and San Pablo Avenues, right next to a movie theater that shows artsy films. I expect a number of customers come for dinner and a show.

The prices are reasonable, too, another bonus in this sour economy. We enjoyed the chance to have lunch with Katie and to hear about her doings - we'll be sure to schedule additional future rendez-vous(es) at Rendez-vous!

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Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Aha! It does sound lovely. Let's have an afternoon lunch (past noon, fergodsake), sort of bohemian. We can argue Camus. (Does anybody argue Camus?)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, maybe Ionesco vs. Camus - will we have to drink rough red wine?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Love the sound of those mussels.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, they were terrific!

Thursday, August 06, 2009  
Blogger Anna Haight said...

Did you save some mussel shells for Cookiecrumb? This looks like a fabulous meal!

Thursday, August 06, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Anna, I thought about her but didn't know what size she needs.

Friday, August 07, 2009  

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