With formal dining & a bistro, Le Rendez-vous makes French classics available to everyone

Bringing French cuisine to Tucson for nearly 40 years.

When planning a special occasion, Le Rendez-vous should be at the top of your fine-dining list.

Chef Jean-Claude Berger opened the restaurant in 1980, bringing a formal atmosphere and classically French menu to central Tucson. Le Rendez-vous quickly became an icon and go-to space for all memorable celebrations.

When Jean-Claude’s son, Gordon Berger, took over the restaurant nine years ago, he decided to shake things up.

“I wanted Le Rendez-vous to be accessible to everybody,” Gordon said. “Come here on a Wednesday. It doesn’t have to be your birthday.”

Gordon Berger at Le Rendez-vous (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Gordon Berger at Le Rendez-vous (Credit: Jackie Tran)

On shaking things up

Gordon lived in Paris for three years and has brought his skills and creativity to Le Rendez-vous in a way that makes it both a place to celebrate and to unwind.

He and his wife, Kelly Berger, have created a warm atmosphere. “You can bring your friends to happy hour or take your parents out to dinner,” Gordon said.

All welcome, whether wining and dining or enjoying happy hour drinks

The restaurant is divided — half is reserved for fine dining, while the other half is a bistro featuring small plates, a creative cocktail menu, and an expansive wine list.

The fine-dining menu has stayed true to the dishes that Gordon’s father cooked.

French classics like Bouillabaisse — a deeply flavored seafood stew — and Saint-Jacques — pan-seared scallops served on top of a roasted garlic aioli — are featured.

Other signature dishes include Beef Wellington, a tenderloin wrapped in puff pastry with foie gras, and Filet au Poivre Vert, a pepper steak highlighting green peppercorns. And of course, there is Escargot — a snail dish cooked in butter — and Cuisses de Grenouilles — frog’s legs — for the more adventurous eater.

 

The bistro’s menu is comprised of small plates that pair well with a glass of wine and casual conversation.

One of these offerings is the Brie en Croute, featuring creamy Brie in a puffed-pastry crust with rich pear butter. The mussels are served in a unique broth of white wine and cream and the Country-Style Pate is made in house.

A rotating menu of daily specials means that there’s always something new to try.

“We wanted Le Rendez-vous to be unique and welcoming,” Gordon said.

The desserts? Délicieuse.

When asked which dessert was a must-try, Kelly answered, “All of them.”

French desserts are legendary in their flavor and construction and the offerings at Le Rendez-vous are no exception. The Grand Marnier Souffle stands tall and delicate, with a bite that melts the moment it lands on the tongue.

Chocolate & Grand Marnier Souffle at Le Rendez-vous (Credit: Le Rendez-vous)

The Crepes Du Jour have rotating flavors folded between thin, airy crepes, and the Creme Brulee is rich and creamy, with a snappy sugar crust.

Although known for most of its existence as a fine-dining institution, Le Rendez-vous has evolved into a place perfect for both graduation dinners and happy hours.

Location and hours of operation

Le Rendez-vous, located at 3844 E. Fort Lowell Rd., is open for lunch and dinner. Lunch takes place from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and the dinner seating is from 5 pm. to close, Tuesdays through Sundays.

For more information, visit rendezvoustucson.com.

Samantha Colaianni has family roots in Tucson that go back before the Gadsden Purchase. When she's not cooking Mexican food, she's baking Mexican pastries.

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