March 23, 2012 | Restaurants
Once a year, I take my dad to an Avalanche hockey game here in Denver. I grew up in Indiana, sitting by his side while he listened to the Chicago Black Hawks’ home games on the radio – long before cable TV. He worked for Bethlehem Steel and occasionally would get tickets to a game, and I remember how much I loved to go watch a hockey game with him. It’s truly the only sport I enjoy today, and I’m sure it has to do with father-daughter bonding as a child. So it’s fun for me to be able to take him now to a game. This year, we took my mom, sister and husband along for brunch at Bistro Vendome before we went to the game.
I’m not sure why I don’t think of Bistro Vendome more – perhaps because it’s downtown and I have so many other great spots closer to my neighborhood – but if you want to feel like you are in a bistro in France, this is your spot.
My father’s side of the family is French Canadian – my maiden name is Fugere (few-zhair) – and both my parents are still drawn to all things French. They hadn’t been to Bistro Vendome before, so I treated them as a Christmas present. (Note: when your parents are getting older and live in a very small apartment in a retirement community, they don’t need more stuff. They need time with you, and a meal out is a nice treat for them.)
The service at the restaurant was really great – we were a bit unorganized when we arrived, and seemed to order our beverages one at a time – the waiter just smiled and pleasantly brought the next order. And on a Saturday, with a sunny patio filled with people enjoying brunch together, the mood just seemed festive, almost as if we were on vacation in Paris.
Jennifer Jasinski, the owner and executive chef behind Bistro Vendome, is a contributor to the cookbook I’ve been working on. She’s creative, but in an easy to eat way – like that crepe above that my sister ordered. it was kind of decadent, but kind of homey at the same time.We took our time eating brunch, enjoying the people watching, enjoying each other’s company – doesn’t that sound like you’re just hanging out at a bistro in Paris?Both my parents ordered dessert – a fig tart with goat cheese and marcona almond ice cream for my dad and vanilla creme brulee for my mom. Did you know that as people get older their taste buds lose their strength? The sense of sweet remains strongest for the longest which is why many older people seem to want dessert a lot. You know, when you’re pushing 80, no longer drive, and don’t get out much, why not eat dessert?
The Avs won the game after an overtime period with a shoot out – how fun for my dad and me!