Un rendez-vous sur l'île de Sanibel

The evening we’d been waiting for had finally arrived.  Our two worlds were about to merge.  We climbed into the Odyssey and off we went, to the “soft opening” of an elegant French restaurant on Sanibel.

When we arrived, we were very warmly greeted by Chef Christian Vivet and his wife and partner, Mari.  

Lamb chops
Christian is a native Parisian who came to Florida to be a chef, many years ago, in the restaurant called Jean-Paul’s French Corner on Sanibel.  Jean-Paul’s place delighted Sanibelians and its visitors for years, but finally closed.  Then we had no French restaurant on Sanibel.

Christian and Mari went into the catering business in south Fort Myers.  Then they changed their business into Blue Windows, a lovely little French bistro.  It was a 30 to 40 minute drive from where we live on Sanibel, depending on traffic.  In peak season, the drive could take much longer.
For many years now, most of our French dining experiences have been in Parisian restaurants during the summer months.  Now Paris has returned to Sanibel, because Christian and Mari have opened Bleu Rendez-Vous, right here on Periwinkle Way, in the heart of the island.
Ris de veau

Mari gave us complimentary kir royales to begin the evening.  These were accompanied by the best herb-seasoned black olives I’ve ever had.  We perused the menu, noting that some early dining options look very attractive.  Coq au vin – I can’t wait!

Tom chose to have the lamb chops, and I selected the ris de veau (calf sweetbreads) in a creamy Calvados sauce.   Before the main courses arrived, we were given salads composed of butter lettuce and just a dash of vinaigrette and freshly ground pepper.  Butter lettuce – so French and so wonderful!
Truffle fries

I selected a glass of Vouvray to accompany my meal; it was the perfect choice for a warm summery evening.  Both the lamb chops and the ris de veau were delicious – as good as they could possibly be.  A few slices of nicely roasted red potatoes and some green beans accompanied our main courses.  But suddenly we were given an order of the crispy and tasty truffle fries that we remember from Blue Windows and that we love so well.

Tom ordered the profiteroles for dessert.  Yumm – chocolate sauce so dark and rich, with a bit of ice cream, in three cute little French pastries – all topped with slivers of almonds.  Visions of the profiteroles at Le Café du Commerce in Paris danced in our heads.

While Tom consumed most of the profiteroles, I sipped from a nice little glass of tawny port.

There were friends all around us, at other tables.  When we were finished and paid the bill, we sauntered out with some of these friends, vowing to come back soon.


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