Parisian born Chef Christian Vivet, along with his South Floridian wife and business partner Mari Vivet opened Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro on Sanibel Island in May 2015. Their previous bistro, Blue Windows French Bistro in Fort Myers, had a loyal following from the island. Frequent guests beckoned them to Sanibel, so they sold their bistro to come across the bridge with their existing menu and staff. With an established customer base on the island, the spot was a good fit for the veteran restaurateurs.
Christian came to the United States 30 plus years ago by way of Walt Disney World, Epcot’s French Pavilion. He fell in love with the U.S.A. and migrated to Fort Myers, Florida in the mid 1980s. A graduate of the H. Friant Culinary School in Poligny, France, he trained throughout France, Switzerland, England and Germany. He’s been in kitchens and dining rooms in San Francisco, Jean Paul’s French Corner on Sanibel, South Seas Plantation’s “The King’s Crown”, The University Club in Fort Myers and WCI’s Tarpon Cove in Naples.
Mari, the Floridian of the duo, decided to try the hospitality business as the two started an underground restaurant and wine club that led to their catering business after they wed in 2007. Her career was administrative, managing an HVAC firm in San Diego and returning back to her home town of Fort Myers to raise children while managing a national software company based in the area.
Mari and Chef Christian embrace their bistro clientele and strive to provide southern hospitality mixed with consistent fine dining French cuisine and service that discriminating diners have come to expect.
Highlights of the menu include Ris de Veau a la Creme, veal sweetbread with calvados cream, available as an appetizer or an entree; Coq au Vin; and Seafood Vol-Au-Vent, pastry filled with Maine lobster tail, grouper, shrimp, and a sherry lobster cream sauce. Desserts include Christian’s heavenly chocolate mousse, which is made with all cream (no egg whites), profiteroles with a dark Belgian chocolate sauce with a hint of orange liqueur, a rustic apple galette served a la mode, and creme brulee.
Two special menus are also available. A twilight menu is available ($30 per person) for diners seated 5-5:30 p.m. (orders must be placed by 5:45 p.m.) and a prix fixe menu is available daily ($45 per person). The prix fixe menu includes choice of three appetizers (escargot, grilled quail, or pate de campagne), dinner salad, choice of three entrees (Cassoulet au Confit le Canard, hanger steak-frites, roasted Chilean sea bass), and choice of two desserts (profiteroles au chocolat or rustic apple galette a la mode).
Reservations are suggested by calling 1-239-565-1608. See menu information online at www.bleurendezvous.com. Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro is located at 2430 Periwinkle Way, Suite A, across from Bailey’s.