FEED ME!: Bistro: See ya later, gator

By on January 28, 2014
Imaginative, mildly-flavored black garlic crème brulee Photo Geraldine Mishev

Masterfully-curated Cuban Pig sandwich rules the universe Photo Geraldine Mishev

JACKSON, WYO – It’s been a full two months since I’ve written about a restaurant run by Fine Dining. Also, Fine Dining’s flagship, Rendezvous Bistro, currently has Cajun Fried Alligator ($11) on its menu. Not that I tried it. But I’d love for you to get your fried alligator fix on. It is starter-sized and served with a spicy remoulade, grilled scallions and boiled peanuts. Please report back.

While I didn’t try the Bistro’s fried alligator, I was adventurous enough to deviate from my Bistro standard. And I didn’t regret it.

Fear not, Bistro Pork Adobo ($17, Snake River Farms pork shoulder, coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, jasmine rice, pickled vegetables), I still love you and put you on my informal list of Top 10 Entrees in Jackson Hole.

However, too much of a good thing can lead to a lessening of appreciation for said good thing. I never want to take Pork Adobo for granted.

I walked into the Bistro determined to order something other than Pork Adobo. It was much more difficult than expected.

The difficulty was not because, while I was trying to order, no fewer than three orders of Pork Adobo, their siren smell of pork-y goodness under-laid with hints of Hawaiian Tropic (childhood memories cause me to confuse the smell of concentrated coconut with suntan oil) passed by. It was difficult because so many other things sounded enticingly weird. I didn’t think it had been that long since I’d last been to the Bistro. At least half of the menu was new to me though.

I love omelets, and I love Pad Thai, but have never thought of combining the two. The Bistro has. Its Pad Thai Omelette ($16, crispy tofu, rice noodles, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, peanuts, Thai apple cabbage salad) tempted me.

Then there was the Crispy Lamb Neck Marsala ($28, porcini mushroom reduction, roasted cippolinis, fingerling potatoes, sautéed greens). It’s hard to pass up a good lamb neck. And, of course, there was the Cajun Fried Alligator.

Also on the starter menu, the Wild Boar Crepinette ($12) called out. It made the Pad Thai Omelette look uninspired and also made me swear my eternal admiration to executive chef Roger Freedman’s imagination. Grilled chickpea polenta cake, caramelized onions and cherry lillet sauce? I’d have to drop acid to come up with anything half that original.

Amazingly, given all these choices, I went with a sandwich, the Cuban Pig ($13).
Of course a Bistro sandwich is not just any sandwich. I could smell the citrus the pork was marinated in before my plate was set in front of me. There was a pile of it amidst a profusion of caramelized onions. And even more roasted garlic. The lube for the whole shebang was dill aioli.

Imaginative, mildly-flavored black garlic crème brulee Photo Geraldine Mishev

Imaginative, mildly-flavored black garlic crème brulee Photo Geraldine Mishev

It was the Master of the Sandwich Universe.
The creativity didn’t stop with dinner. Dessert? Black garlic crème brulee. I like the Bistro’s sweet potato crème brulee better, but I enjoyed the challenge of trying to find the garlic flavor in this one. I never did. Which might be a good thing.

Rendezvous Bistro, open daily at 5:30; 380 U.S. 89; 307/739-1100; rendezvousbistro.net.


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