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“Real French bistro, right in the neighborhood”
Review of Vin Rouge

Vin Rouge
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Ranked #19 of 786 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $40
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
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.
Reviewed November 10, 2011

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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Thank EllenRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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319 - 323 of 359 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2011

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Durham. The salads are huge and the dressing is a citrus vinagrette which is very yummy. Even the bread is good. I'm pretty sure they have the best french fries in the triangle. One of the things that is ubiquitous in the triangle is great bread pudding - Fosters, Southern Seasons, and this place.... all delicious. Love it. The chocolate torte is divine.
I've had the famous "mac n' cheese" as well as their steaks and chicken, etc... I think their steaks are probably the best thing I've eaten here. The mac n'cheese is good but is not executed as well as it could be....there's too much bacon. The guyere is good but my wife makes a better version with a similar taste and ingredients.
The wait staff is usually very good. The atmosphere is nice and they have a large outdoor seating area.

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2  Thank Aliveguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2011

Pros: Impressive server. After twice asking that the music be turned down our server moved us to the back room. No ambiance there but at least we could hear each other. Word of advice: do not sit in the front room - it is incredibly loud.
Cons: Food was mediocre, just unexciting and tasteless.
So many great choices in Durham; we'll not be back.

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Thank thecatbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2011

I wasn't sure what to expect when I looked at their website. I thought it may be a bit stuffy. Boy was I wrong!
My wife and I had dinner here one Sunday evening.
The atmosphere is super layed back and the smells coming from the open kitchen really primed us for what was to come.
We started with a few cocktails at the bar and ordered some appetizers.
We had the escargot and the oysters gratinee. They were both great. We couldn't decide what to have for dinner so we told the bartender to just surprise us.
A few drinks later out came our food.
We had gotten the carmelized onion and goat cheese tart, the steak au poivre and the crab gratinee (one of the specials that they had that night).
If this is french food I am hooked. Everything tasted so rich and delicious.
We were both stuffed but decided to get some creme brulee to go which we promptly devoured when we got back to our hotel.
If I am ever back in Durham this is my go to destination. I can't say enough good things about this place and its service.
The price was extremely reasonable. Three appetizers, two mains, cocktails and desert for about a c-note.
Bon apetit!

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1  Thank ashriseman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2011

Where to start? The ambiance was not what I had expected. Instead of stuffy (why do I think French and assume stuffy? But I do) it was laid back and cool. The staff was pleasant. We had a reservation but after sitting at the bar we chose to sit at the bar instead. The bartender (Warren) was really nice and explained some of the things on the menu that we didn't understand (and didn't make us feel stupid for not understanding!). We were on sensory overload from all the things he suggested we actually told him to just order for us. We were not let down. The steak frite - when I took a bite of the steak I couldn't help but close my eyes and let myself just enjoy the flavor. It was soooooo good. We didn't even order how we wanted it cooked. AND it was PERFECT. We also had the onion and goat cheese tart. Delicious! We had crab gratin and between the two of them I couldn't decide which was the best. We had the oyster gratin for an appetizer. I normally do not like oysters at all. But these were cooked perfectly. Not chewy at all. We also had the escargots for an appetizer. I'm not a fan in general but my husband said they were really really good. To top off this perfect meal we ordered the creme brulee to go (we were stuffed) and got our ck. We each had cocktails and our tab was only $100!!! Perfect food, perfect atmosphere AND only $100. Life just doesn't get any better.

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Thank aranessariseman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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