We had just hiked for four hours, were very hungry, and were really looking forward to Arielle. It has a lot going for it— its cute, the menu looks like classic bistro fare— the warm french bread was excellent. Unfortunately it was by far the best part of the meal. Although in retrospect, being served with olive oil, dried herbs and balsamic vinegar (isn't this a french bistro? And isn't olive oil on great bread enough?) should have given us a hint at the overdone, lack of sophistication that was to follow.
Frankly, the cooking, even the conception of the dishes, was just not good. Nicely styled, but the execution was really awful. The cassoulet was downright atrocious— the worst we've had anywhere: a thimble-full of what tasted like muddy camp style beans devoid of any sort of meat, with an overcooked, dried out fried duck leg on the side. Really terrible. Even my son's hamburger was sad— but looked great— its nice to get french fries in a paper lined silver cup— they shouldn't be cold and stale. This continued with the tiny and tv dinner like braised beef with carrots— (Where were the contrasts, the freshness, the carrots?).
If you are expecting France, or even something like Bistro Jeanty in San Francisco, you would be very disappointed. Next time we will try Le Petit Bistro, which we now hear is much better.
51 W Market St, Rhinebeck, NY 12572