Tucked in a quiet brick courtyard off of Larimer Square, Bistro Vendôme can be easy to miss. However, the food and atmosphere make it worth the search.
Bistro Vendôme is accessed through an alcove on Larimer Street. (Look for the sign, pictured below, on a lamppost.) Although not large, the restaurant offers different seating areas. On a recent visit, a friend and I arrived early enough to snag a table on the garden patio. Soon after we were seated, our server brought a fresh baguette, still warm from the oven, in a small paper bag.
Offerings at Bistro Vendôme change with the seasons. During our visit, the Plat Végétarien consisted of a thin, crisp crepe filled with sautéed crimini mushrooms, eggplant, red peppers, zucchini, feta and tomatoes, and served atop a light green asparagus velouté ($16). The crepe was fantastic; the vegetables were cooked perfectly and were nicely complemented by the feta and the sauce.
For dessert, my friend and I split a Blueberry Lemon Napoleon ($6): blueberry compote and whipped lemon créme fraîche layered between "phyllo crisps," with a mint leaf on top. The blueberry compote and créme fraîche were wonderful together. My only lament was that the phyllo crisps were actually a bit sturdier than their name would suggest; shortbread or pastry might have been a better fit. In spite of that minor complaint, I would order the Napoleon again without hesitation.
Service was prompt and friendly. Some of the menu at Bistro Vendôme is written in French; our server pleasantly answered our questions and explained anything we didn't understand.
Reservations are recommended, especially for those who expect to arrive later in the evening. While the food is elegant, you'll be fine in casual dress.
1420 Larimer (look for the sign above on a lampost on Larimer)
Denver CO 80202