I was absolute starving, I hadn't eaten since breakfast and I was craving something cheesey, but I didn't know what. I could eat pizza any day of the week, but it sounded a little boring.
A lot of the nicer restaurants around town do the gourment pizza thing with some variation of sundried tomatos, garlic, and dry bleu or some such, but that would not hit the spot, plus I was itching to try something new.
I hadn't been to the Limelight like in a year so I thought that would be kind of new. I called a friend to meet me and that's where we went. I remember the food being really good, but the menu just wasn't speaking to me this evening. We had a cocktail (Bacardi 151 with equal amounts of pina colada mix shaken and served as a shooter... I think I made this one up and it's good - sweet with a real kick in the a-- at the end) and brainstormed on other choices. By the by, I should mention that I do absolutely love the atmosphere in The Limelight, very cozy and inviting.
"How about something in the Tower?" Hmm. It had been a few months since I had been in the Tower District. But where to? My friend mentions Rousseau. I had never been there, but I've never heard anything but good stuff about the place. Rousseau has been open for five years now and I almost felt guilty waiting this long to visit, since I was acquainted with a few of the staff, both really nice people.
The first thing you notice is the strinking decor. Even before entering. One entire side of the restaurant is all windows opening on to Olive AVe. With lots of soft gold light emanating onto the pavement. The interior is french country which you don't see too much. And the restaurant is pretty huge. I understand when they first opened up, it was just a few tables, but now there are three dining rooms and they recently opened a wine bar in January (they sell beer and wine exclusively) which is absolute charming. They sell twenty wines by the glass and have forty-five wines on the menu
We started off with shrimp pancetta skewers. Shrimp has never tasted so good to me before. It is served with a sweet chili sauce. I wanted to lick my fingers, but I maintained. Seriously, I could have ordered two more of those and made it my entree. We also ordered the bread and tapenade, housemade with kalamata olives, green olives, olive oil and lemon.
For my entree I ordered the cheese tortellini stuffed with provolone served with the option of red or pesto sauce. I opted for the red. My friend ordered the linguini and chicken with a white cream sauce, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pancetta bacon and tomatoes. Mine was good but the linguini with chicken was to die for.
I had been afraid to order anything with a cream sauce since most restaurants use have a tendency to use too much white cream sauce. But the chicken linguini had just enough sauce to flavor the noodles. We ended the meal with the lemon pudding cake. Topped with fresh whipped cream it was very light and lemon zesty. Perfect to share.
I asked our server about some of the other dishes; There are several pasta dishes to choose from. The most popular dishes are the veal piccata, the Lambchops and The stuffed New York,and he said they make chicken about eight different ways. I can't wait to try all of them.
Visit Rousseau in the heart of Fresno's Tower District. It's open Tuesday through Saturday at 5:30 pm. For reservations call Rousseau at 559.445.1536.
(Rousseau wine bar pictured below)