Rick’s French Bistro

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With another real estate closing to celebrate, it was a last minute call I made that had us headed to Rick’s French Bistro on Siesta Drive. It occurs to us that since opening their doors over 9 years ago, Rick’s is probably the longest tenured tenant in this strip plaza, (save for the US Post Office), located along the north side of Siesta Drive opposite the Westfield Southgate Mall.  It then occurs to us that this is a definite A-lister establishment. In our view, ten years is a legitimate litmus test of success in this town, but after nine years of (justifiable) raves I’d bet my bottom Euro that Rick’s French Bistro will be here as long as they’d care to be.

Situated about as far east as you can go in the plaza, only the small “open” sign indicates that it’s a go.   As we’ve experienced at each visit, we opened the door to this quaint, classic French bistro to find approximately half of its 30 seats already seated.  Perfect.  There is still a table available for us!

The owner, Rick, greets ands seat us right away. Water and a basket with a crusty French baguette follow promptly, along with a crispy house salad with Dijon vinaigrette.  (We couldn’t help but notice that they went to the trouble of removing the seeds of the cucumber.)

We choose a bottle of a Merlot-Cabernet Bordeaux blend and sip away while contemplating our dinner choices.

The Escargots de Bougogne as a starter is a given, in all its pistou and melted buttery splendor.  They were served outside the shell — which we both prefer, especially when at a table for two.  We were tickled to discover two escargot in each of the little spaces meant for one.  They weren’t unusually small in size, so we felt each additional one an unexpected gift.  More than we paid for!

While not an extensive menu, the selections are difficult to make because they all sound exactly like something I’ll love.  Jill chooses the Cote d’Agneau au Fines Herbes et Raisins, or grilled lamb chops, and I opt for the Snapper Meuniere. Roasted vegetables and potatoes Duaphinoise accompany both meals. Perfectly prepared to order, we can’t help but smile and savor our dinners.

Clearly, Rick’s has a great following, as we saw and heard many of the the customers both entering and leaving being addressed by first names. Small wonder. The service is genteel, and is genuine in its aim to satisfy, the decor is cozy, and the food absolutely delicious.  And when a good number of the guests are French nationals, you have to know the food is authentic.  The lady at the table next to us told us she’d been there 4 times in the past two weeks.  Rick’s is doing something right to get that kind of loyalty!

Even though we could have stopped with our entrees, the recommendations of other diners had us sharing a dessert.  The Crepes a l’Orange, with its orange marmalade filling was the perfect choice. finished with a splash of Grand Marnier.   I ordered a coffee and Jill a cappuccino, and quite unexpectedly Rick treated us to a lovely Moscato to cap off a perfectly lovely evening.


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