Café Rouge Bournemouth unveiled a beautifully redesigned bistro this October with a design theme that celebrates a bygone era of the beach.

Diners can expect to see memorabilia in the form of retro life-rings and vintage poster artwork adorning the restaurant walls. Beautiful black and white framed photographs documenting chic Parisians enjoying summers of days gone by complete the theme.

The 20 cover private outdoor dining area has also been updated and features heated lamps which allow for that ever-so French style of al fresco dining all year round. The conservatory to the rear of the restaurant now has a dramatic feel with rich velvet curtains and a deep red wall colour. It's an ideal space for those looking for a Christmas party venue.

As well as the new look, the bistro is pleased to present 'The Best Of The Best menu' for winter 2015. Executive Chef Duncan McEwan has explored 26 years of Café Rouge menus and French cuisine – from their debut offering in 1989 right through to current French food trends. The menu now includes classic French dishes such as Lobster Bisque, Merguez Baguette and Seabass En Papillote.

The sensational new-look restaurant serves breakfast (perfectly cooked eggs benedict, truffled mushrooms on toast to name a few) through lunches (including Menu Rapide – perfect for business meets) to dinner and after work drinks.  

To complement their new menu, Café Rouge has partnered with Bibendum, who are dedicated to supplying the finest French wines from across the world. 

Café Rouge’s signature brand of relaxed, authentic French dining coupled with down-to-earth, friendly service make Bournemouth's local bistro in Westbourne the perfect place for business breakfasts, impromptu lunches, special occasion dinners and everything in between. 
On the relaunch restaurant manager Simon Keeble said: “We are really pleased to be unveiling our beautiful new restaurant. We think people are going to be really pleased with the new look and theme. Our new Best Of The Best menu is sure to be a hit. With Christmas looming we are all set and ready for the festivities to begin!"

Executive chef Duncan McEwan, 41, was born in Somerset and moved to London 20 years ago – he now creates mouth-watering menus for Café Rouge.

“I worked for an Italian family after school making pizza and pasta and traditional fish and chips from the age of 14 to 19. 

“I moved to London and attended Westminster College where I achieved a professional chef diploma, specialising in patisserie. I later worked for Café Rouge from 1995-2000 (opening CR Stanmore, CR ST Albans, Cr Hertford). 

“I worked for Marco Pierre Whites 1 Michelin starred Mirabelle in Mayfair from 2000-2005 culminating in senior sous for the last two years. I went on to Soho House from 2005-2008, worked as head chef or Oriel at Sloane Sq for a year, and since 2010 I have had the role of development chef/executive chef for Café Rouge.”

Duncan has also scooped a Mediterranean Casual Dining award for the Café Rouge menu, 2013, at the MIDAS (Menu Innovation & Development awards).

Duncan says: “We have a very dedicated group of chefs who are loyal to Café Rouge and French food. I work closely with our procurement team looking for authentic, innovative, and where possible, unique products and ingredients for our menus. Everything is locally sourced where possible, French sourced for authenticity and cooked to traditional age old methods and recipes to gain that French feel our guests are looking for and I strive to accomplish.”

“I’m a fan of Michelle Roux Jnr, Rick Stein, the late great Keith Floyd, and of course my Mum, who supported me and ate a lot of my early creations while still smiling and being positive throughout.”

“I love to cook all things however simple or complex. I love baking cakes for friends and cooking food I’m not familiar with and experimenting without recipes! I rarely cook the same thing twice when at home - variety is the spice of life!

Signature Dish - Marinated Salmon Tartare & Melba toasts (serves 8)
This recipe is from executive chef Duncan McEwan and is elegant, authentic French cookery at its best.
This mixture will last for up to 3 days in the fridge and the Melba toast can be made in advance and kept in an air tight container, outside the fridge for 3-4 days too.
“I’d recommend a light white wine to go with this, perhaps a Pinot Gris, a young Chardonnay, or perhaps a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre. Why not push the boat out and open a chilled sparkling wine or even a Champagne? And for that ultimate decadence, add a teaspoon of salmon caviar (Keta) to the top before serving, delicious!”
Bon Appétit! 

2 x 150g fresh, skinned and pin boned salmon steaks
150g x sliced smoked salmon
1/2 a cucumber, peeled and de-seeded
2 dessert spoons of French mayonnaise
2 salted anchovy fillets, finely chopped
25g caster sugar
25g sea salt, plus a pinch or two for seasoning
1 dessert spoon extra virgin olive oil
25g fresh dill
Juice of 1/2 a lemon and the zest of half, (plus lemon wedges for garnishing)
Ground black pepper
6 slices of white or brown bread
80g full fat crème fraiche

To make the Tartare…
-    Start by mixing the salt and sugar together; add half the lemon zest and half the chopped dill. 
-    Tip half of this mixture a small bowl and place 1 of the fresh salmon steaks on top. Cover the salmon with the remaining sugar mix and place covered in the fridge to marinate for 3-4 hours.
-    Take the second fresh salmon steak, and using a sharp knife slice this into thin strips, then slice these strips into cubes or ‘dice’ about 2mm x 2mm. Repeat this with the smoked salmon and add the other diced fish.
-    Chop the already de-seed and peeled cucumber into similar sized dice to the salmon, then add to the diced fish.
-    After 3-4 hours, remove salmon from the sugar/salt marinade and rinse off any remaining sugar. Pat dry. 
-    Slice the marinated fish and add to the other fish.
-    Add the mayonnaise, finely chopped anchovy, 10 twists of black pepper and chopped dill, lemon juice and remaining lemon zest. Mix together. Place in the fridge to chill.

To Make the Melba Toasts…
-    Using a toaster on the lowest setting, toast a slice of bread until lightly golden but not dark. Before it has time to cool, using a serrated knife, slice in half to create 2 very thin slices of bread; one side toasted the other side raw. 
-    Cut this ‘thin toast’ in half diagonally or into 4 if the slice is large and place onto a suitable oven proof tray cut side uppermost.
-    Repeat this with all the slices of bread.
-    Lightly drizzle the toast pieces with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
-    Place the tray into a medium oven for a few minutes to encourage the bread to crisp, curl up slightly and turn a beautiful golden brown.
-    Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To finish the dish…
-    Remove the salmon mixture from the fridge and divide into 8.
-    Using a 5cm metal ring mould, shape this to create a rounded portion of tartare. Place onto a plate.
-    Repeat this with the other salmon to create 8 like-sized rounds.
-    Finish with a small spoon of crème fraiche on top, a lemon wedge and a sprig of dill. 3 pieces of Melba toast per person should be sufficient, it all depends how big your bread slices are.