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Bleu Rendez Vous offers unique ethnic food for Sanibel

By Staff | May 6, 2015

Chef Christian and Mari Vivet are opening the Bleu Rendez Vous French Bistro on Sanibel, located at 2430 Periwinkle Way. It will be the lone French cuisine restaurant on the island. BRIAN WIERIMA

The new French Bistro on Sanibel, the “Bleu Rendez Vous”, will offer the best of both worlds in the form of cuisine and service.

And it started Tuesday with their May 5 opening.

“We will have good French food, served with southern hospitality,” said Chef Christian Vivet, who along with wife, Mari, own the Bleu Rendez Vous. “This will not be a stuffy French restaurant.”

But what it will offer is a very unique taste for the people and guests of Sanibel. It’s been more than several years since the last French restaurant closed its doors and now the Vivets want to offer the popular ethnic food again.

Both the Vivets know the restaurant business, especially the French avenue. They have owned and operated “The Blue Window” in Fort Myers since 2008, which is an ethnic French food restaurant.

Chef Christian also knows the Sanibel demographics, after working on the island in a French restaurant when he moved here from Paris, France, in 1986.

“We’ve been in Fort Myers the last six years and we’ve had many Sanibel residents come in and say, we need to come to Sanibel,” Chef Christian said. “We always told them, find us a location.”

That’s exactly what people did and in November of 2014, the couple were approached to look into the location at 2430 Periwinkle Way, since another restaurant just closed.

In December, the non-profit organization F.I.S.H. purchased the building and by Feb. 1, the Vivets were signing a lease on the dotted line and once again, French cuisine will be back on Sanibel.

While their location on Fort Myers offers a very intimate environment with only 10 tables, Bleu Rendez Vous French Bistro will seat 62 inside and 12 outside on the porch.

But no worries, Mari said, the intimate environment for guests will still be apparent.

“We have insulated the dining room and we will keep it intimate for our guests,” Mari said. “It will still be quaint and cozy.”

Another positive option the Vivets will offer to guests is how the business is run. The couple will be running the restaurant on ground level, taking appointments, making the food and running all aspects of the business.

“The guests will see us, we’ll be the ones answering the phone, it’s a family-run restaurant,” Mari said.

The kitchen will also be open for guests to watch Chef Christian in action, as well.

But the featured attraction will be what is set on the tables and that is the food, highlighted by the succulent sauces which can make any mouth water.

The menu will be the exact one patrons of the Blue Window have come accustomed with. French classics such as Filet-Frites (hand-cut beef tenderloin, truffle fries and Barnaise Sauce), marrow bone canoes, whole seared quail, boudin Noir (blood sausage), andouillette (tripe sausage) and red deer venison flank steak will still be offered.

The prices will also stay consistent with The Blue Window.

The Twilight Dinner menu will also be offered, which includes $30 per person, with seatings at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. An appetizer, dinner salad, entree and dessert will be served.

A Prix Fixe Dinner menu is also available, which is an All-French, value inspired option. The cost is $45 per person and available Tuesday through Saturday.

As with any classic French restaurant, premium wine is offered, as well.

“We will have a large selection of French wine, with our Bordeaux being our specialty,” Chef Christian said. “Our French wine starts at $39.”

The options include a four-course dinner, which will be an appetizer, dinner salad, entree and dessert.

“We feel there is a definite need for French food on Sanibel, just to give the island another ethnic option,” Chef Christian said.

Hours will be from 5 p.m. to close, Tuesday through Saturday.

For reservations (which is suggested), call 239-565-1608. Visit their website at www.bleurendezvous.com.