Dining Review: Rendezvous Bistro

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Roger Freedman might have honed his craft at sophisticated L.A. restaurants like 72 Market and Maple Drive, but he's no stranger to the wilder West. For nearly eight years, he practically ruled Jackson's restaurant scene as executive chef at the Snake River Grill.Jackson, Wyo.
Roger Freedman might have honed his craft at sophisticated L.A. restaurants like 72 Market and Maple Drive, but he's no stranger to the wilder West. For nearly eight years, he practically ruled Jackson's restaurant scene as executive chef at the Snake River Grill. Then, just over a year ago, he and two partners, Gavin Fine and Mark Hirschfield, launched the Rendezvous Bistro. It was an instant success.

The key was creating an environment that fits Jackson's eclectic tastes. "We have snowboarders next to millionaires in this town," Freedman laughs. "We wanted to create a place where everyone would be comfortable and find something they wanted to eat."

To that end, the trio combined traditional bistro-style details (vintage French poster art, mirrored menu boards, copper windows, a white onyx bar) with Western architectural elements (lodgepole columns, white oak floors). A peek-through window adds a glimpse of busy chefs.

Freedman's menu is a combination of offerings as well. People call ahead to reserve his fried chicken or veal Marsala, when either appears as a "daily plate." They also flock for dishes as diverse as macaroni and cheese, escargot, duck confit, meatloaf, beef carpaccio and steak frites. "We're not recreating the wheel here," he says.

"We're doing something simple and fun." The payoff is a constant crowd at the door. "People want to be here. It's become more than we ever dreamed."

http://www.rendezvousbistro.net