If you have a hankering for that touch of "je ne sais quois" which is the hallmark of great French dining, look no further than Vin Rouge. Located near Duke University's East Campus, it is wonderful in every way. Fun atmosphere--my husband and I especially like the room with the photographs of bygone French movie stars--great wine list, attentive staff, an outdoor dining option when the weather permits, and most importantly, fantastic food make this our go-to choice for those evenings that call for the perfect balance of food, wine, and romantic ambiance without killing the wallet. If you're into organ meats, I can't recommend the liver & onions highly enough, and the sweetbreads are to die for. Mussels are offered in both appetizer and main course portions and are a delightful treat. The pork & steak dishes are hearty and flavorful. You can't go wrong with potatoes in any form, and the pommes frites are especially tasty. Great desserts too. They offer a nice Sunday brunch with the traditional menu items, plus a Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame to add the gallic touch to the meal.
A few little quibbles: dining in the main room is noisy, since the tables are in the center of a triangle whose points are the open kitchen, the bar, and the front door, so make a reservation and request a seat in one of the other rooms. The parking can be a little dicey (they share their parking lot with another restaurant) so you may have to walk a little to get to the entrance.
We've NEVER had anything less than a great meal here. Try it, you won't be disappointed!
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