Au Revoir Bistro
No one ever mentions this place.
I have never seen this group so far off the mark on a really good restaurant. "looked at the menu..(and) wasn't compelled", come on Josh. "went ...right after they opened, and didn't feel compelled to return"? You are better than this Fake Name, and you certainly know better than to make a final judgement on a restaurant during it's first months in business. (By the way, is "compelled" the new word of the moment?) Comparisons to Zuni, or any other well established and respected, eatery is at best unfair and in this instance misplaced. Au revoir is a good bistro in the best sense of the word; quality food creatively prepared with attention to the sauces, service that is friendly and efficient (without Zuni's superior than thou attitude, by the way), a good wine selection from around the world at reasonable prices, and a Sat/Sun brunch that won't set you back much more than "looking at the menu". San Diego's cuisine isn't going to move to the next level until the minds of it's restaurants patrons are as adventuresome as their palates.
I appreciate the sentiment and the scolding.
When I typed "shortly after it opened" I should have been more specific. I shall amend thusly:
I had dinner there on at least two seperate occasions. While I have no specific recollection of the specific dates of these visits, I'd estimate them to be contained within the time parameters of two months to 6 months after their opening. By foolishly using "shortly after it opened" I can understand one may be left with the impression that it could have been 20-30 minutes on their first day of service. This was not the case.
I agree it's unfair to assess an establishment within the 20 minutes of the first day. I agree it's probably not fair to comment on establishments within the first week or two.
I did neither.
And I stand by review. I found the place less than compelling.
Now, dear fellow Chowhound, if I may pull a quote from your post with which I even more strongly disagree:
"San Diego's cuisine isn't going to move to the next level until the minds of it's restaurants patrons are as adventuresome as their palates."
I take umbrage here. Have a quick look at the menu of the establishment under discussion. There is nothing there that is in the slightest "adventuresome". Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. It is classic bistro French, and there's nothing wrong with that in the least. I like French food- it's good. But my experience of these French classics on offer at Au Revoir was less than compelling. It was OK, and they were nice, but it didn't make me want to return. Only reason I went a second time was it was the choice of my dining companion (don't you just love that "dining companion"- it sounds so review-y, so 'houndy) and I went along.
2fat, please don't take the reference to Zuni seriously. It was meant as a subtle and humorous poke by Steve because I'd elsewhere indicated my distaste for reviews that suggest the patron would be better off and a restaurant 500-3000 miles away. The reference to Zuni (albeit one of my favorites, regardless of how trendy it's not) was, as is said, posted with tongue firmly in cheek. I'm confident if Steve were here, he'd offer his profound apologies, because that's the kind of guy Steve is. But he's out smoking a ciggy somewhere on the planet.
re: Fake Name
OK Fake Name, you''ve restored my faith in the objectivity of your commentary/review.
By the way, my reference to adventursome minds was aimed at people that judge a restaurant by its' menu rather than by experiencing the ambiance/food/service.. Yesterdays Lapin (rabbit) special at Au Revior was exceptional, but the thing about specials is they are not on the menu. Au Revoir is a solid neighborhood place that "raises the tide" of San Diego dining, giving us choices beyond chains and the mundane.
The time I went, the menu was only offering items like boeuf bourguignon, moules frites, and soupe a l'oignon. I didn't feel compelled to eat there based on that. Nothing on the menu looked interesting at all.
Since then, I have learned that Au Revoir is owned by the same group that owns Arrividerci and Il Postino. My visit to Il Postino was pretty disappointing, with pasta drowning in sauce. If these guys get that basic a tenet of Italian cooking wrong it doesn't fill me with confidence about their handling of French cuisine.
That said, I did go to Au Revoir's website and check out the seasonal menu - something they did not have when I went there before. There are a couple of dishes on it that look interesting. However, I don't eat commodity meat or farmed salmon, so I'd be limited to salad or mushroom ravioli.
You seem to be a big fan - what dishes are standouts to you? What's your favorite item there? Can you tell us what is creative about the food's preparation?