Reve replaced the overpriced Chevallier. It is bistro through and through, right down to the classic uncomfortable chair! But that's my biggest gripe, so that's a good sign. The food was all good, with some excellent items, and all was fairly priced. The wine list has solid offerings covering most price points (average price looked to be ~$55) and definitely skews French. We had a lovely Burgundy whose name now escapes me. Service was... fine. Our waiter brought everything we asked for in a timely manner and was friendly enough, but clearly lacked real menu/food knowledge. When I asked how the seafood soup appetizer special compared to a bouillabaisse (not on the menu) he said, "It is smaller." Ok... Didn't ask many food questions after that!
Salade de chevre chaude et figue- 8
Mixed greens with figs and a warm goat cheese topped crouton with white balsamic vinaigrette - Solid salad, goat cheese was exceptional.
Salade de homard - 18
Fresh lobster salad with celery, green apple, baby greens and a citrus vinaigrette - The celery was celery root, which was a big win. This was beautifully presented. The dressing was creamier (seemed mayo based) than I was expecting. Every bite was delicious and I would order this again.
Moules frites “marinière” - 18
steamed PEI mussels in a white wine cream sauce and French fries - Exactly what you'd expect. The serving size was that of an appetizer, which seemed odd to me. Fries were excellent.
Noix de St Jacques - 26
Herb and walnut butter seared "day boat" scallops over seasonal mushroom arborio risotto - Good dish with a few minor execution issues. The scallops needed more seasoning and their varied size resulted in varied doneness. They ranged from perfect to overdone. The risotto was well flavored, but just a bit tight. For my taste I prefer it a little creamier.
Loup de mer - 23
Fresh seared sea bass served with coco beans, chorizo, and squid - The best entree on the table. The bass was perfectly cooked, including the nicely crisped skin. I was unsure of how the chorizo and squid would be included in the dish, but there were just very small slices of chorizo and delicate rings of the squid. I'm not really sure why the squid was included. Delicious dish.
I've become frustrated with the Walnut Creek/Lafayette restaurants lately, with so many places being over priced, too sceney/not enough substance and often loud. Judging by the packed house on a Wednesday night I'd say Reve is on to something. The place is small so make a reservation. They have a lovely outdoor area if the weather is right. With their relatively straightforward and compact bistro menu I think their longer-term success (assuming they continue to execute at the current level or above) will depend upon their updating the menu regularly and keeping it interesting to the regulars they are likely to develop. I'll go back!