Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dinner at Vin Rouge

Tonight I had dinner at Vin Rouge in Durham on Hillsborough Road just by 9th St. I'd not been there in a very long while. I used to go there for brunch and I went to dinner a time or two but the service wasn't very good and the food was hit and miss.

I was pleasantly surprised by the service tonight. I began to wonder if I have come to expect so little from wait staff in Durham that my standards are just remarkably low. Who knows. Anyway, the staff at Vin Rouge were attentive tonight. Our water glasses were kept full, our napkins nicely folded, and our wine glasses full. The waiter gave an excellent recommendation for my salad.

We ordered a 2000 St. Julien Bordeaux to drink. My companion informed me that this is a good wine to hold. Well, we were not holding, we were drinking. It was good but it tasted somewhat thin. I think a few years on the shelf will round it out and give it body. I like big reds but they need to be smooth and full for me to love them.

We shared some escargots. They were in a delicious butter, garlic and basil sauce that I really enjoyed soaking my baguette in! For the main course I had the frisee salad with fried egg, potatoes, and crispy lardons (thick cut, unsmoked bacon pieces). Frisee, aka curly endive, is not to everyone's liking. One of my friends said it was like eating twigs. Well, I've never eaten twigs, but curly endive is better than that. It is very fibrous and probably full of good things being a leafy green and such. I broke the yoke of the fried egg and mixed it in with the salad. After gorging myself on bread, melted butter and escargots, this salad was all I needed. I enjoyed it and it was very French. The French seem to eat a lot of endive both the curly and the Belgian varieties.

My friend had trout amandine with green beans and mashed potatoes. The beans were crisp and the potatoes were creamy and mixed with sour cream. YUMMY! The trout was perfectly done.

The other thing I like at Vin Rouge is the croque madame with fries. It is grilled cheese sandwich par excellence. I was intrigued that they have macaroni and cheese on the menu too. I will try that at some point. So far my fav mac 'n' cheese in town is from Q Shack although it always needs a bit of salt and pepper for my liking.

No room for dessert. We were full.


Anonymous said...

I am glad you had a nice experience at Vin Rouge. I honestly have to say I have never enjoyed myself there. Over the past two years, I have gone there several times and each time I am reminded why I hate being there. The service staff is great, but the food is rather uninspiring. Oh well, Giorgio can't do it all!

Kelly said...

Don't go places you hate. Life is too short.

Anonymous said...

Vin Rouge has had its ups and downs, but since Matt Kelly bought in about three years ago as partner and head chef, it's been nothing but up. I really like the place now.

BTW, you're now linked to from


Anonymous said...

I always found the food to be outstanding at Vin Rouge. Over the last few years the service has become great as well.