Le Bon Vie in Penfield
NOTE: this restaurant closed in May of 2012 but if you want to hear about what it was...
If you're like a lot of people living in Penfield, Gananda, Walworth and so on, you may have zoomed by this little building on Route 441 hundreds of times. If so, HEY! -- the speed limit there is 35 MPH! SLOW DOWN! But I digress...
When we moved to Penfield in the 1990s, the little building was home to a restaurant that had a lot of motorcycles in the parking lot, and regularly had signs near the street that said things like "ham dinner - $5.95." We lived walking distance from there, but we were never inspired to stop in. Next it was Legends, a restaurant we enjoyed but didn't frequent (the kids were little -- we didn't go anywhere very often). Alas, Legends didn't seem to be able to make a go of it. Now the little building is home to Le Bon Vie -- an Americanized spelling of a French phrase that roughly translates to "the good life."
This seems to be a budding trend in restaurant names in the eastern 'burbs of Rochester. East Rochester is home to Lemoncello, an Americanized spelling of the Italian beverage Limoncello. Some people are offended by these creative spellings. Lighten up, I say! Say la vie! (Get it?)
At any rate, the dining room of Le Bon Vie is cozy and more upscale than you'd expect from the exterior. The dining room was full when we were there on a Saturday night. We told the waitress we were headed to a movie after our dinner, and she kept things moving at a good clip for us.
I started with an arugula salad with beets and goat cheese ($8). The menu said it also had pecans on it -- I found one little pecan piece and a few crumbs. I enjoyed the salad -- I love the combination of beets and goat cheese -- but would have liked it even better with a few more pecans.
My friend and I both ordered Chicken and Artichoke French ($15), noting that you usually had the choice of chicken or artichokes and it was nice to see them served together. It was served in a bowl with angel hair pasta and a lot of brothy lemony sauce. All the brothy liquid caused the eggy coating to separate from the chicken and artichokes (plus it dripped on both of our shirts). The flavor was good, but I would have preferred a thicker sauce.
All in all, we enjoyed our dinner at Le Bon Vie. I'll likely return, because I'd like to see a decent restaurant stick around in that spot, but will probably try a different entree. If you'd like to check out the menu or look at more pictures (I just don't like taking pictures while I'm dining), click here.