When brothers Olivier and Edouard Delrieu came to South Florida from Paris, they noticed French restaurants in the area typically fell into two categories: patisserie-type cafés or fine-dining, white-tablecloth establishments. But as 20-somethings raised in France’s capital city, they knew firsthand that French fare was about more than crepes and coq au vin.
“I don’t remember the last time I ate coq au vin,” Edouard laughs.
“We wanted to do something in the middle—something that we as young professionals in Paris like: the atmosphere for happy hour, for a date night or just hanging out with some friends.”
Their vision came to life in May 2013 when they opened Le Rendez-vous, a hip restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach that’s trendy in food and decor. Faithfully representing Paris’ diverse dining scene, where Edouard once owned a Japanese take-out joint, the menu features dishes like steak tartare, specialty burgers (one is made with foie gras; another is topped with an onion marmalade and melted camembert) and even pad thai. The classics are on there, too, but many with a twist: cassoulet with quail confit; sautéed fish of the day with ratatouille; osso buco with Yorkshire pudding.
The space has an urban, lounge-like feel, with couches, armchairs and tables arranged atop a concrete floor. The walls display eclectic artworks by modern French artists who exhibit in the Miami art district Wynwood; an agent in Wellington rotates the pieces so the decor regularly changes.
Arrive on a Sunday for a stellar quiche or an omelet at a brunch that’s so unpretentious the staff dresses in pajamas. It’s just one more way for Le Rendez-vous to impart its message: Leave expectations about French cuisine at the door. (561-766-1095)
Sautéed fresh catch of the day with ratatouille, Florida citrus segments, lemon-thyme rice, herb pesto and a balsamic reduction
Seminole Pride beef with a brandy and shallot sauce, seasonal vegetables and potatoes
Spice-brined chicken breast with a fried potato cake and house-smoked and roasted bell peppers
Mi-cuit au chocolat