Why, when York is filled with tiny independent restaurants that serve reasonably priced, delicious food, go to a chain restaurant for dinner? You may as well dine upon a small child drenched in unethically produced ketchup and use a brass buttoned blazer as a napkin. Well, having spent an hour in search of a tiny independent restaurant, when every suggestion is vetoed by a very fussy dining companion, there comes a point when you fall back on Café Rouge.
Fortunately, the waiting staff are too courteous to make the experience completely Gallic. With French cooking, as with French kissing, it’s best to play it safe, so we chose a beef casserole and salmon fishcakes. The casserole was served with dauphinoise potatoes which were satisfyingly firm yet drenched in cream. The beef, splashed with red wine and cooked in its own jus, was meltingly tender and full of flavour. The Very-Fussy-Diner even enjoyed his fishcakes which were well flavoured but not overpowering and had a consistent texture. The dessert menu is epicurean pornography starring a cointreau laced hot chocolate. Almost everything on the menu contains garlic, which ensures there are no problems should patrons wish to progress to French kissing.
Reviewed by Lucy Peden