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Le Rendez-Vous Bistro [Kenilworth]


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#1 paryzer

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 03:26 PM

Le Rendez-Vous Bistro is a very charming and tiny little BYO French restaurant (10 tables) that recently celebrated their 14th Anniversary. I have never heard of this restaurant before, since I am not familiar with Kenilworth. About a month ago, I noticed a post in Chowhound that was raving about this restaurant, so Mrs. P & I decided to give it a try last night. Chef/owner Philippe Lievre is very sweet and talented. Last night he was working the kitchen all by himself, where he makes almost everything from scratch. Below was the main menu. He also had a special 4 course tasting menu for $60.00, but we ate off of the ala carte menu. 

 

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​We started off with a very flavorful Lobster Bisque soup that contained huge chunks of nicely seasoned crab meat (which I later found out that the chef very generously comped us). We did share a couple of glasses of some nice French red blends with him.

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Next we had the Escargot a la Nicoise which was nice & light, and very different than the usual heavy creamy garlicky preparation. The escargot were very tender.

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​We also had the Salad Chevre which was very good and filled with big chunks of blue cheese. The goat cheese croustillant had a nice little crust to it.

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Unfortunately, the chef sold out of the Rabbit entree on Saturday night. I was really looking forward to it. However, the Pan seared duck breast with the most incredible homemade coq au vin ravioli was a worthy replacement.

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Mrs. P had the Plancha, which featured bites of 4 different types of fish, and really enjoyed it.

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Unfortunately, we were too full for dessert, but they looked amazing, and are all made in house. You can see that Chef Philippe puts a lot of care and love into his cooking. I would highly recommend this restaurant, if you are in the vicinity. It was well worth the 45 minute drive for us. Just make sure to make reservations, especially on Friday or Saturday nights, since it is such a tiny restaurant. Also, the chef will be closed from around the last week in March to mid April. He will vacationing in Colombia (where his wife is from). 

 

https://lerendezvousbistro.com/

 

https://www.facebook.com/lrdvbistronj

 

 


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#2 rozrapp

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:12 PM

paryzer, Glad you discovered and enjoyed Le Rendez-vous.  We first began going there right after it opened many years.  Its first owners were the brothers Waleed and Sammi.  If memory serves, they were Moroccan.  Sammi was the chef and Waleed ran the foh along with their wives.  We liked it so much the first time, we began dining there regularly.  At some point, Waleed left while Sammi continued to cook until he eventually sold the restaurant to Philippe Lievre.  We did eat there after he took over, but the fact that I have no photos of the last time we were there means it would have been before 2009 since that's when I began taking restaurant photos and putting them on Flickr. 

 

Before you posted your report, I'd actually been thinking about going again.  They used to have a website but shut it down several yeas ago.  On their Facebook page, they only list the $60 tasting menu.  So, thanks for posting the current a la carte menu.  The dates of the vacation closure -- March 25 - April 12 -- are on Facebook, but to find them, you have to click "See more" on the tasting menu.  Also noted there is that this weekend, they are serving a "Second Fusion Colombian Tasting Menu.  Details to be announced." 



#3 paryzer

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 03:42 AM

We had another excellent dinner at Le Rendez-Vous Saturday night. We started off with Escargot Nicoise (that we had last time) and a lump crabmeat & tuna tartare combo with avocado & tomato salsa. For entrees, I had a very flavorful sous vide pork tenderloin, with oyster mushrooms, crispy potato galette, in a delicious jus.

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Mrs. P had the pan seared sous vide cod fish & Canadian mussels, with parsnip puree, in a very flavorful sauce.

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#4 paryzer

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 03:50 PM

We had another outstanding dinner at Le Rendez-Vous. This time we went with the tasting menu which was an amazing value at $55.00 for 5 courses. This was our best dinner yet! Below is the tasting course menu. Chef Philippe made some additional changes to this menu. For the Blue cheese stuffed date wrapped in bacon he added a perfectly seared scallop, and the hot flourless chocolate ganache cake had a scoop of homemade passion fruit ice cream. Chef Philippe was also very generous enough to substitute fresh halibut for my wife instead of the hanger steak. The zucchini flower beignet was from France (he is still in the process of growing local zucchini flowers). They were very lightly battered and crispy. The Shrimp ceviche was very refreshing with corn and apples. The blue cheese wrapped date in smoky bacon was incredible, and complimented the seared scallop. The hanger steak was medium rare, as requested, and very flavorful, and the halibut had a nice sear to it. The Chocolate flourless cake was hot, with a nice liquid chocolate center. The passion fruit ice cream was a nice contrast.

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#5 E.L.A.

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 01:34 AM

Thanks for the heads up on this place. So, I am not a big "French" fan -- however, I love Cafe Panache, and I also very much like the Saddle River Inn. I don't know how "French" either one is -- but neither is traditional "French" -- like I would call the Chef's Table (Franklin Lakes, although I haven't been there since the place was sold). I guess I would say the Saddle River Inn moved away from the traditional French theme it once had, but still has some remnants of French, and has a more diverse offering, with hints of a more modern French flair or influence. Cafe Panache, whatever it is -- it's excellent. It has that modern, eclectic, creative, seasonal menu, which has some French influence.

 

Whenever I wanted traditional, hard-core French -- for me it was always the Chef's Table or Madeleine’s Petit Paris (Northvale). The Chef's Table, simply put, has always been excellent. Every single time -- excellent. Madeleine's Petit Paris, I like it and it's very good. Strong, loyal following, and I've never had a meal that I didn't enjoy very much. I always kind of viewed it as a "lighter" menu. Maybe that's more "French" and as I said, I am not a huge fan of French, and certainly, I am a novice when it comes to French cuisine. Don't get me wrong, I love Daniel, Le Bernardin, etc. LOL.

 

So, this place -- Le Rendez-Vous Bistro -- looks very nice. And, it's a BYO!!! Very much worth a visit -- thanks for the post.



#6 paryzer

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 02:51 AM

You're welcome E.L.A. I wouldn't consider Cafe Panache or Saddle River Inn French restaurants. They are more in the 'modern, eclectic, creative, and seasonal menu' category. Next week I am going to try Boulevard 572 (http://www.boulevardfive72.com/) for the first time. It is about 2 blocks away from Le Rendez-Vous. Menu wise I would put it in the same category as Cafe Panache. It is also not BYO, which is very rare for me, but they have some reasonably priced wines. I'll report next week. This restaurant sounds like it would be more up your alley, but I haven't tried it yet. I have read a lot of good reviews, though.

 

Chef's Table, with the original owners, was more Traditional old school French cooking. It was very good. I haven't tried it under the new owners.

 

Le Rendez-Vous is not as traditional a French restaurant as Chef's Table. It is more modern French. Chef Philippe is French and his wife Claudia is Colombian. Sometimes he adds some Colombian ingredients to his cooking. It is a very tiny restaurant (only 10 tables). When we were there on Sunday it was just Chef Philippe in the kitchen, with his wife Claudia waiting on the tables. They live above the restaurant. Chef Philippe is a real character, and a lot of fun. I always share my wine with him & his wife. His Instagram name is crazychef101 (which explains a lot :) ). He is a big soccer fan, and when his French team won on Saturday he posted a little video of himself on Instagram walking into his packed restaurant in full soccer gear, with soccer ball, and a mop top wig singing and celebrating, while kissing and high fiving the customers :) I wish I was there Saturday night. In other words, this is not a stuffy restaurant :) I think you would enjoy his hanger steak, pork tenderloin, or duck dishes. I wouldn't get the rabbit. The sauce was good but it was overcooked last time we tried it. The portions are pretty small, which is why his 5 course tasting menu at $55.00 is a pretty good bargain. You just get a taste of everything.


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#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 04:12 AM

Im happy they got the chance to retire but God I miss the OG Chefs Table.
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#8 E.L.A.

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 03:02 PM

You're welcome E.L.A. I wouldn't consider Cafe Panache or Saddle River Inn French restaurants. They are more in the 'modern, eclectic, creative, and seasonal menu' category. Next week I am going to try Boulevard 572 (http://www.boulevardfive72.com/) for the first time. It is about 2 blocks away from Le Rendez-Vous. Menu wise I would put it in the same category as Cafe Panache. It is also not BYO, which is very rare for me, but they have some reasonably priced wines. I'll report next week. This restaurant sounds like it would be more up your alley, but I haven't tried it yet. I have read a lot of good reviews, though.

 

Chef's Table, with the original owners, was more Traditional old school French cooking. It was very good. I haven't tried it under the new owners.

 

Le Rendez-Vous is not as traditional a French restaurant as Chef's Table. It is more modern French. Chef Philippe is French and his wife Claudia is Colombian. Sometimes he adds some Colombian ingredients to his cooking. It is a very tiny restaurant (only 10 tables). When we were there on Sunday it was just Chef Philippe in the kitchen, with his wife Claudia waiting on the tables. They live above the restaurant. Chef Philippe is a real character, and a lot of fun. I always share my wine with him & his wife. His Instagram name is crazychef101 (which explains a lot :) ). He is a big soccer fan, and when his French team won on Saturday he posted a little video of himself on Instagram walking into his packed restaurant in full soccer gear, with soccer ball, and a mop top wig singing and celebrating, while kissing and high fiving the customers :) I wish I was there Saturday night. In other words, this is not a stuffy restaurant :) I think you would enjoy his hanger steak, pork tenderloin, or duck dishes. I wouldn't get the rabbit. The sauce was good but it was overcooked last time we tried it. The portions are pretty small, which is why his 5 course tasting menu at $55.00 is a pretty good bargain. You just get a taste of everything.

 

Thank you very much for the review, insight, etc. You've made it crystal clear for this novice. I may not have the semantics -- but I know what I like! LOL.

 

I am a "steak" guy, so whenever I am "fighting" a menu -- I go with steak. It makes life easy. LOL.



#9 paryzer

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 05:12 PM

We had an excellent custom made 5 course tasting menu at Le Rendez-Vous Sunday night with some very special MFF friends. I arrived before my friends, and went over my guests’ dietary restrictions with Chef Philippe, and he designed a tasting course based on those restrictions. He was very accomodating on such short notice.

We all started off with a refreshing cold watermelon soup with almond flour to give it some thickness.

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Next we all had a bacon wrapped date stuffed with blue cheese, and a perfectly seared scallop over a fresh caponata made with home grown eggplants and other vegetables from the Chef’s garden.

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We then had a superb mini bouillabaisse with saffron. Restaurant Hunter did a very nice profile on Chef Philippe that included him making the bouillabaisse which normally contains 7 types of fish. This is the link to the 8 minute video in case you are interested: http://www.fios1news...th#.W1sRNNIzqUn They also have a link to the recipe on their website.

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For entrees Chef Philippe made tender pork tenderloin, lamb chop, and a zucchini blossom over an Israeli corn salsa for the meat eaters. He made black bass, branzino, red snapper, and a zucchini blossom over an Israeli corn salsa for the seafood eaters.

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For dessert we had the flourless chocolate ganache cake with passion fruit ice cream. The picture is in my previous post.


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#10 Rich

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:39 AM

Outstanding dinner in a very attractive small bistro atmosphere. Highly recommended.