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Au Rendez Vous

Au Rendez Vous is in a small house on Clairmont across from the library. The restaurant is run by a Vietnamese family. It's their real house with the front rooms converted to dining rooms. The food is superb and the atmosphere is what I remember of France. I've never been in a restaurant in France that was so obviously in someone's home, but that is the feel one gets in all the small, neighborhood restaurants. The staff is very small, service is efficient but unhurried, and no one rushes you out the door.

I was intrigued by idea of apple soup. As soon as it was brought to my table, I could smell the apples. (You will see that smell is a key theme in this review.) It tasted very much like apples. The thickening agents were very unobtrusive. A few pieces of red pepper on top formed the garnish. I loved this soup and I am tempted to try to make it myself.

My main course was beef with a sauce made of various fruits and a little chocolate. That is somewhat similar to Mexican mole sauces, but this is much more subtle. You can taste and smell all the notes, but the sauce doesn't overwhelm the beef. Mashed potatoes make a perfect complement.

I love the street crepe vendors in France. I carefully limit myself to one Nutella crepe per day. So, of course, I ordered a Nutella crepe for dessert. It instantly banshed the thought of all those tawdry street crepes from my head. The nutty smell of melted butter was my first sensation. The crepes had been coated with melted butter, something you don't get on the street. The butter was very rich but there was just enough to be a great introduction to the crepe itself. The crepes were tender, just thick enough to hold together.

In case you haven't noticed, I love this place. They moved to their new location a few months ago, the owner informed me. I had been afraid for awhile that I had been driving past this place for years without noticing. Now that I have found them, I intend to go back.

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