Durham >Food & Dining > Vin Rouge
2010 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC | Directions 2770536.010289 -78.922893
Neighborhoods: Old West Durham
Good Bistro Fare – This restaurant is not out there trying too hard to impress some foodies. It is what it is...consistent French bistro fare. This is one of the places on my list whenever I can take my clients out. The duck confit and steak frites are true to the style. To the reviewer who mentioned no sighting of French person working in the restaurant. Well, good luck looking for one, chances are slim. Most of the great "French" cooks in NYC and other metropolitan ciites are from Pueblo, Mexico or other part of Latin America.
This is a fantastic restaurant. – I tried Vin Rouge for the first time the other night and was blown away. As soon as we walked in it just felt good. The aromas coming from the open kitchen were outstanding, the place was hopping and I saw the most delicious looking giant bowl of chocolate mousse wiz by me by a hurried server. We were immediately taken to our table in the cutest little dining room I've seen. After looking at the menu and listening to the specials, we decided on mussels for our appetizer (we only ordered one because I knew we had to get that mousse for dessert) and for entrees I had the salmon and my date ordered the new york strip. The mussels were served in the coolest serving vessel I have ever seen. It was specially designed for mussels and made getting to the broth so easy. The broth, by the way, was certainly the best I've ever had but it was a little richer than I expected. We shared a glass of muscadet from 1995. I thiught the server must be wrong but I ordered it anyway and later talked to the manager who explained that it was the first day they had this wine and wanted to see what people thought about it. It was a great match for the mussels. With our entrees we shared a bottle of red burgundy from beaune. I had never had a wine from that area but I'm now a big fan. It went perfectly with my salmon with lentils and with the steak too. The steak came with awesome french fries and a butter sauce. We did have that mousse for dessert and I can't stopp thinking about it. It was so chocolatey and rich and not too sweet. I did't have wine with it but there seemed to be a nice list of dessert wines to choose from.
It's well worth trying – My wife and I went to Vin Rouge for our Valentine Day dinner (actually, 3 days after) last Saturday. My wife was a bit concerned about the service after reading the reviews, however, decided to give it a try. Neither of us regret our visit. The table setting was nice, the waiting staff was very attentive and the waiting time for the ordered food was appropriate. While we were a bit disappointed with their duck confit (it was too salty outside and kind of disappointing inside), the rest of the dishes were very good. The oysters were prepared in a very tasty sauce, escargot was just right and the calf liver was simply outstanding.
Also, the place does not charge as much as other place in Triangle that serve French food.
We can definitely recommend this place to others.
Bad Service – I went to the restaurant with two other friends. From the moment we sat down until the moment we got up to leave the server never acknowledged that I was also part of our party. Our server never once made eye contact or looked at me. I approached him afterwards to say I thought he was rude (this is very unusual of me). I also spoke with the manager...and basically nothing was done to make our experience better. The manager seemed like he was trying, but was rather baffled and even admitted that he knows what to do witht he food is bad, but not when the service isn't what we expected.
If you want good service, then I recommend somewhere else.
Much overrated – After reading the rave reviews of Vin Rouge in TriangleCitySearch, we decided to head there for dinner on a Saturday night. Our first impression was one of disappointment. The place is cheaply decorated and the tables are crammed against each other. We ended up sitting at a table very close to the open kitchen and the front door, just a few inches from the couple at the nearest table. So much for the romance factor... We did request another table and even though the hostess said she would get back to us on that, she never did, even to say that it was not possible. The food itself was disappointing. I had a "steak-frites", a safe bet usually, pepper steak and French fries. The steak was small and the meat was not of great quality. I actually had a better steak-frites in the cafeteria of the Paris Airport for half the price. My friend ordered a grilled tuna dish, which was, well just that, dry, very little sauce and mashed potatoes as a side dish. We could have had a better evening barbecuing steaks and tuna on our back porch... The wine list is nice but the vintages are grossly marked up. And by the way, there isn't a single French person among the staff (including the cook). To us, the Vin Rouge experience was the equivalent of a tourist trap, overrrated and overpriced. Now, we know why it wasn't hard to get a reservation on a Saturday night in such a "hot spot". We do not recommend this restaurant, especially if you are planning a romantic evening.
What Customer Service? – I recently went to Vin Rouge for brunch on a Sunday. What a disapointment it was. We three ladies made reservations for 1:30pm. I would NOT advise doing that. The three of us ordered two separate entries, both of which they had run out of. The waitress never mentioned this prior to ordering. After re-ordering, it was at least 30 minutes until our order arrived. We had to ask for water because no wait person came by to check on us. After eating, one of our party went to the ladies room. That was a problem because the toilet was clogged. On the way back to our table, our friend was almost bowled over by a restaurant worker who was carryng dirty linens across the restaurant, very appetizing. I would not recommend brunch at this location at all.
The cuisines of Provence and Paris tango with stems of red wine. – In Short
The bistro's soft candlelight adds an aura of romance for couples cooing at corner tables. Even the diners fit the part: Early evening caters to up-coiffed professionals, but the crowd transforms into a swirl of younger socialites ordering bottles of Bordeaux as the evening progresses. The menu delivers clssic steak frites and ratatouille. The chocolate souffle cake satisfies the French-est of tongues.
Very good food, nice wine, attractive staff!! – Man, this place is awesome!! Great service, nice atmostphere, wanna go back over and again!!
great food, atmosphere - soso service – i have only dined at vin rouge once for brunch, so can't speak for dinner. i had a good experience, thought the food was very good (eggs oscar and chicken crepes) - and i thought they did a great job offering some different and interesting brunch options. the coffee was delicious and the ambience was great - very romantic - even on a sunday morning.
my only complaint would be that the service was pretty slow. i liked our waiter - he was very friendly and knowledgeable about the food, however i felt like the food took and exceptionally long time to come to the table and our coffee and water cups took and exceptionally long time to be refilled.
despite the mediocre service, i would definitely return for the food and atmosphere.
They don't believe in customer service – Having had great meals here previously, I went to Vin Rouge for dinner this week. My fish was dry and, when someone finally came over to ask about my food, I requested that it be returned. I had only eaten 1 bite, yet the chef insisted that I pay for the uneaten meal because, according to him, the fish was 'perfect'. I used to be an admirer of this restaurant but I will now tell everyone I know NOT to eat here. It's not good business to treat your customers badly, especially ones that are fairly regular customers. Did they act this way because I was dressed more casually than some of the other diners that night? I can't say for sure but that was the distinct impression I got.
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