This week’s bar: Le Rendez-vous
The scene: When brothers Olivier and Edouard Delrieu decided to relocate to Palm Beach County from their native Paris last year, they searched from Jupiter to Boca Raton for a suitable space for the restaurant/club they planned on opening. “West Palm was clearly the only city where we found a European spirit, because you could walk everywhere,” Edouard says. “It’s a real downtown.”
Open since June on Datura Street, Le Rendez-vous, marries a lounge aesthetic (concrete floors, exposed ductwork, high tops and a comfy seating area, plus a screen for the projection of current and classic French films) with simple French fare, all of it homemade.
The signature cocktail: Named after a Paris club (which was, in turn, named after the 1973 Jean-Paul Belmondo film), Le Magnifique ($12) is, essentially, a lighter version of the classic Grasshopper. A gorgeous shade of green (thank you, crème de menthe), it’s so cool it’ll almost leave you breathless.
Other noteworthy drinks: Le Cabaret ($12) is a delicious celebration in a flute thanks to champagne, Chambord and Le Rendez-vous’s secret ingredients (just ask – they’ll likely tell you the mix behind the magic). Le Bardot ($12), made with St. Germain, apple juice, grapes and lemon peel, offers up a taste as full as Brigitte’s celebrated figure.
The food: Forget your typical bar bites, and go to Le Rendez-vous to eat, not to nibble. Parisian chef Vincent Toscano makes two kinds of foie gras (rum/ginger/lime and Irish cream/chocolate/pepper), as well as tartes and tartines, soups and salads, and a creme brulee flavored with lavender. In need of real comfort (food)? You can’t go wrong with the cassoulet ($17.60): white beans slow-cooked in white wine with bacon, sausage and duck. “There is love in it, too,” says Olivier Delrieu.
Deals: During happy hour, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, cocktails are reduced to $8, and select glasses of wine are 20 and 30 percent off.
Info: 221 Datura St., West Palm Beach; 561-766-1095; rendez-vous-wpb.com
C O C K T A I L
1 ounce crème de menthe
1 ounce white chocolate crème liqueur
1 ounce milk
1 sprig mint
Shake all liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with mint.