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“VIN ROUGE BISTRO” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vin Rouge

Vin Rouge
2010 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC 27705
(919) 416-0406
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Ranked #9 of 653 Restaurants in Durham
Price range: $21 - $40
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 9th St.
Description: Vin rouge is a French Bistro. We focus on classic preparations served in a true bistro atmosphere. We have beautiful patio and garden areas for those who prefer to dine outside. Please indicate your preference for dining inside or out. We look forward to serving you at Vin Rouge.
Durham, NC
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“VIN ROUGE BISTRO”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Since our last visit a couple years ago, this restaurant has redecorated, upgrading the ambience and now catering to a more demanding crowd. With the unfortunate closing of Magnolia last year, Vin Rouge has benefited by being a stone’s throw away and providing a unique menu featuring French bistro cooking, e.g. a charcuterie plate or sautéed calves liver. Their specialty is Fruits de Mer—fresh seafood prepared bistro style over ice on a tiered tray: a choice of 2 sizes of a plate of oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels, jumbo lump crab and lobster.

Our table of six sat in the room’s center, backed against the French country fireplace where we could observe all the goings-on. Unfortunately, on a Saturday night the room was filled to capacity with happy diners and the noise level was above average. However, the food made up for the inconvenience, and the service was top-notch.

My trout amadine, covered with a brown-butter almond sauce, and served with pommes Lyonnaise and haricots verts was perfectly cooked and presented. Although a beet salad can be found on many restaurant menus today, Van Rouge’s was especially tasty with a lovely citrus vinaigrette.

Everyone in our group was very happy with their menu choice. This is a restaurant we will all be anxious to return to.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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183 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    107
    43
    21
    8
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Dallas
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Toasty experience for special occasions”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

I was sad to hear the previous reviewer had such a negative atmosphere experience, when I had been so pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere just a few days later. It again was a cold, rainy packed Easter weekend and we did have to wait 10 minutes for our table despite reservations, but VR was particularly packed and they were really nice about it. The place is done in a barnyard French antique style, which I think they executed really well. That and the permeating smell of fresh bread and cheese adds to the sense of homeyness. The food is divine and unique and surprisingly not weigh you down heavy for French food. It is a bit of a splurge so save it for special occasions.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Disappointing experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

A group of friends and I met at Vin Rouge for brunch 3/24/13. I had recommended it from a previous experience but found this visit very lacking. It was a cold rainy day and despite our reservation, we were seated at a table directly in front of the entrance where the cold air blew in constantly from the open door because there is no room for waiting customers in the vestibule. Our table was also 3 feet from the food station where the army of waiters constantly squeezed by to get plates ready to serve. Not only were we cold but were also jostled by the staff and could hardly hear each other over the din of the open kitchen. The atmosphere at this table was the pits. Two of us ordered lattes right away to warm up but got cold mugs 20 minutes later. We sent them back and finally got our hot lattes 30 minutes after ordering. I had looked forward to an Eggs Benedict but was disappointed to get them with muffins that were hard as a rock. The eggs were poached to perfection and the hollandaise sauce was to die for but the muffin was over toasted and could barely cut it with my knife. My right index finger is still sore from pushing on the knife. We also were upset by the instability of the wooden table at which we were sitting. Each time someone leaned forward onto the table it would rock. It really rocked when I was trying to cut my muffin! The restaurant was packed at 11:00 am so we expected maybe a somewhat less than par experience but this was pretty bad. My advice to the restaurant is to get rid of the wobbly table and do not put another in that same spot. The space is needed not only for the servers but for the long line of guests coming in the door. Maybe a redesign of the restaurant in is order. It was really loud. In comparison with my first brunch experience, this was horrible. It is a shame since it can be a nice place for brunch if it isn't so crowded. Perhaps it has grown too popular.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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RTP54
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“so good”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

Outstanding food and service. Mussels are not to be missed. We split and couple of appetizers and the duck confit salad –perfect hot duck on a bed of cool greens. Then split the bouillabaisse. Perfect meal. Service was attentive but not overbearing. Can not wait to go back

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport, North Carolina, United States
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Super French food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Outstanding french onion soup!
Interesting, bistro atmosphere, ok, we ate in the bar area, but the food was totally awesome. Great wine list, very enjoyable!

Visited February 2013
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