Albany: Beef daube at Rendez-Vous Café Bistro on Solano
Rendez-Vous opened today in the old Teance space.
It is a moderately-priced casual French cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. No wine until next week when they get their liquor license.
Their signature dish is beef daube, a stew made with cubed beef braised in red wine sauce with cubed root vegetables. It is served with smooth, buttery mashed (pureed?) potatoes. $13.50
I’ve never had a daube before but I liked it… full of wine flavor in the sauce, cubed root veggies and little bacon bits (lardons?) here and there giving it smoky notes.
There are tons of daube recipes out there with a zillion variations. This was a rather good one that seemed close to what I had ... not sure about the trotter though
Skip the rhubarb crisp or any dish that might require a lot of attention or exact timing. Probably the best dessert at this point would be the chocolate mousse.
I think they are still getting used to the ovens and the crisp was in there just a bit too long. There was a delicious whipped cream on it though. ($4.50)
The restaurant is settling in, so have a little patience with service. They couldn’t find the dessert menus and one person said one of the silliest things I’ve heard in a long time. I’m cutting them slack. It actually made me giggle on the drive home.
It is a nice casual space meant to evoke the spirit of an outdoor French café. It did give me a slight pang of regret to see the lovely Teance counter gone.
Rendez-Vous actually did remind me a little food-wise of some modest neighborhood cafes in France. Nothing fancy, but a nice meal at a reasonable price.
They have a website but no menu yet, so I’ll post a little of the menu in the first reply
Rendez-Vous Cafe Bistro
1111 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706
I went last night. I had the salad nicoise and since I was looking for a little piece of fish and a salad in the warm weather it was perfect. Small piece of sliced seared tuna on nicely dressed fresh greens with a smattering of other egg, veg to make you know it was nicoise. My wife had the coq au vin, which was a fairly generous portion with the potatoes. The zucchini disappointed.
The overall impression of this place is a value eatery. Nothing special but decent food at a decent price. The menu trends toward braised items which seems a better fit for fall and winter weather but can be comfort food any season. It was very loud in the place as it was busy. The kitchen was a bit slow. That could improve over time.
Definitely a nice addition to the neighborhood and worth some return visits. It poses a challenge business wise to Nizza la Bella, which is just around the corner with a similar menu.
Omelettes scrambles, blitzes, challah French toast, waffles, cereal, granola/yogurt. Pancakes come with homemade orange syrup and there is the option of flavors – chocolate chip, banana pecan, blueberry, pineapple.
Coffee is Peet’s.
LUNCH (11am – 2:30 pm)
Ceasar salad ($5.50)
Salad Nicoise ($8)
Rasberry salad ($5.50)
Hamburger on pan de mie bun ($5.50)
Tuna Melt ($7)
Paninins – (hot or cold) Choice of bread: sweet baguette, rosemary roll, torpedo roll, pan de mie, whole wheat. Choice of filling: turkey, pastrami, ham, vegetarian. Choice of cheese: havarti, gruyere, pepper jack, sharp cheddar ($7.50)
DINNER (5:30pm – 10pm)
Some of the items ... a few of the lunch items like the salads also offered at dinner.
Gougere puffs – stuffed with creamed chicken, roasted garlic, brie with apricot compote ($7)
French onion soup ($6.50)
Cheese plate ($8)
Vegetable soup au pistou
Fried artichocke hearts ($7)
Moules Marinier ($9)
Coqau vin ($12.50)
Entrecote frites ($18) Rib eye with asparagus and French fries
Poulet Roti – Cornish game hen
Stuffed crepes ($13)
Pan-seared halibut ($18)
Lamb chops with carrot mashed potatoes and asparagus ($18)
Brussel sprouts with apples
Mushrooms and parsely
Zucchini with cherry tomatoes and garlic
Seared asparagus with lemon and dill