Nestled at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains, Le Rendez-Vous Restaurant's scenic locale certainly lends the restaurant the romantic edge. But Le Rendez-Vous still strives to match its idyllic surroundings with an equally picturesque dining room—glittering chandeliers glint off dark wooden flourishes, and crisp white tablecloths furnish coy games of peek-a-boo. Once dining companions have honed in on an award-winning entree from the French-inspired menu, servers can happily recommend wine pairings such as chenin blanc, gewürztraminer, and Bordeaux.
The culinary craftspeople at Cello's American Bistro effortlessly assemble a menu full of chic, fresh fare served in a relaxing atmosphere. Starters such as the shrimp scampitini ($14) loosen mouth muscles to prevent chewing sprains and improve the accuracy of howler monkey impressions. Main events such as bone-in pork chops with seasonal vegetables ($25) and mussels flanked by tomato and chorizo ($26) fuel folks with layered flavors and oomphs of freshness. The spinach-and-ricotta-stuffed eggplant cannelloni ($18) heartily sustains plant eaters, and Cello’s welcoming staff can help guests navigate the menu or select an heirloom-tomato variety to name a new baby after.
"Sit down, relax and start the day with a real cup of coffee," advises a Press-Enterprise review of Café Europa. "One of the secrets to a great cup of coffee is to make it in small batches instead of in those industrial size containers that sit on a burner until the last drop is gone." Café Europa's intimate confines capture European hospitality, even forgoing a freezer in favor of fresh-made dishes. That spirit of taking the time to do everything well extends into the rest of the menu, which offers both American- and European-sized portions.
Each day, produce trucks drive up to the restaurant, delivering locally sourced and organic fruits and veggies. Those might include asparagus, which joins with organic yogurt to showcase a unique version of eggs benedict, or dill and spinach for omelettes. Those omelettes are made with omega-3 eggs, which are organic just like many of the restaurant's other ingredients. Paninis showcase nitrate-free meats and allow European influences to shine. Furthering the feeling that you are in a bohemian and sun-soaked land is an open, dog-friendly patio with a view of the adjacent park, where glasses of beer, French and Italian wine, and exotic soju cocktails click together.
At Al's Cafe in the Village, diners get their french toast Hawaiian-style and covered in Cap'n Crunch. Simple twists to classic comfort food like this keep diners on their toes as chefs cook up a menu of Hawaiian-inspired and traditional American eats. Breakfast platters come steaming from the kitchen all day, from five types of eggs benedict with ingredients including house-smoked salmon, to 12 different types of omelets. Afternoon meals include Angus burgers crowned with green chilis, traditional Hawaiian loco moco with hamburger patties on rice, or any of the lengthy menu's 13 sandwiches, including one layered with Carolina turkey breast, fresh pineapple spears, and center-cut bacon. The eatery is eminently kid-friendly, but grownups will be pleased with Al’s selection of beer, wine, and champagne served in glass sippy cups.
A long red awning ushers diners into Cafe Elysa's crimson interior, where the kitchen staff crafts a lineup of fresh-made breakfast fare from a menu artfully written in chalk on blackboards. House-made baguettes teem with fillings such as ham and brie or roast beef and grilled onions, and made-from-scratch pastries are preserved beneath glass. The griddle sears slices of french toast and stacks of pancakes to be slathered with syrup or locally grown fruit, rather than fruit manufactured by non-union factories. Outdoors, diners enjoy meals around the fire pits as occasional live music plays on the dog-friendly patio.