French cuisine often conjures up visions of pretentiousness–expensive snails and miniscule crepes filling one quarter of an oversized plate. But French bistro fare is decidedly different. “Bistro” is the name given to simple, classic dishes, meals more akin to comfort foods.
“We just haven’t been as bistro French as we’d like to be at dinner,” says Jennifer Griffiths, part owner of Rising Sun Bistro. “Our dinners just didn’t have that home-made French feeling that we have during breakfast and lunch.” To remedy their dinners, Griffiths and her co-owners Sally Truscheit and Peggy Kirby set about revamping their menu. Out went the sole and tuna. Out went the five entrees and three salads. In came their new French Mediterranean Bistro menu with Burgundian meatloaf and Tomato Basil Soup.
“We’re really excited about the changes,” notes Griffiths. “We’ve designed a new menu that you can eat more than twice a week. It will be able to fit more palettes.” Nightly specials, broader entrees, new soups, and a “Prix Faix” characterize the new selections. The Prix Faix is a fixed price option with multiple courses, often including an appetizer cheese platter. One favorite dessert item will remain on the menu—the Matterhorn, a miniature mountain of rich chocolate.
Located on Wisconsin Avenue a few blocks away from the downtown chaos, Rising Sun Bistro is one of the places you can find easy parking. It’s relaxed from the moment you drive up. “When you’re in France, you cozy up to the fireplace and eat for several hours,” says Griffiths.
Since their opening two years ago, Rising Sun has seen a steady clientele for their successful breakfasts and lunches. The trio hopes their new dinner menu will have the same lure as their other meals and plans to offer beer and wine as soon as their application is approved by the state–hopefully by Thanksgiving, Griffiths notes.
In the meantime, the new dinner menu launched last night. “Dinner was crazy,” laughs Griffiths. “It was a great turnout, and people loved the new menu.” Dinners are served Tuesdays through Saturdays 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
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