I have made a couple of lunch visits to the relatively new Bistro Vendome on Larimer in Denver and thought Id share my impressions. Wondering what other chowhounds think of the place.
Trip #1 was in the middle of May. I sat inside and spent around $40 (lobster bisque, classique steak and frites with bearnaise, and some monstrosity masquerading as dessert called a Croquembouche). Trip #2 was today. I sat outside on the charming patio, and I spent around $20 (onion soup and a croque monsieur).
Inside, they have mustard yellow walls, wood floors, brown tables and chairs, and large mirrors with menu items written on them. Tap water is served from clear wine bottles without labels and kept along with bottled water in a silver tub. Both times they brought a warm, crusty baguette in a white sack to my table along with a marble slab topped with butter. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus all seem very similar.
Lobster bisque: Bright orange color with green and red flecks (bell pepper and chives?). Tasted more Southwestern than French and a little on the salty side, but comforting.
Steak Classique with béarnaise and frites: They suggested medium rare preparation for the steak, but I ordered it medium and it came out medium rare anyway (although it was nicely seared on the outside). Crispy fries generously peppered and accompanied by cute little pots of ketchup and Dijon mustard.
Croquembouche: Recommended by my server, this was a dish of ice-cold profiteroles with caramel sauce and a HARD disk of vanilla bean ice cream that almost required archaeological digging tools to eat.
Onion Soup: A classic served piping hot with a tinge of sweetness, and cheese-covered bread that was neither too soggy nor too crispy (just right). The onions were cut sufficiently to shovel in mouthfuls without too much effort or mess.
Croque Monsieur: Ham and cheese sandwich with béchamel. Pretty hard to mess up, but different than ones Ive had elsewhere. Usually, Ive seen the béchamel and/or cheese slathered on top of crispier bread, but this was just from a standard loaf and served with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions on the side. Not bad, but I probably wouldnt order it again since there wasnt anything special about it. Besides, Im comparing every sandwich I eat these days to the incredible ones from the deli at Marczyks Fine Foods and none of them measure up.