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Be dazzled by six-course meals at this West Cornwall restaurant



Wendy Carlson

West Cornwall is best known for its covered bridge. But just beyond that is a curiously secret spot, where local celebrities and diehard foodies congregate for culinary communion. RSVP, tucked in an old grey-green building on Railroad Street, has been serving exquisite, multi-course French cuisine for 13 years, leaving its patrons in mourning when the place closes for the winter.

“What will we do?” asks movie director Milos Forman, who dines there every Sunday, often with Henry Kissinger. “This is like our religion,” he says, slurping down a poached egg topped with lobster meat. RSVP is BYOB, and patrons share bottles of wine across tables.

The place is owned by Guy Birster and his husband, Charles Cilona. It’s a tiny, 400-square-foot, space with a few tables and comfy fabrics that feels more like someone’s home in the French countryside than a restaurant. Guy cooks in an open area, and diners go over to watch his art, and bring him a glass of wine.

“Beware, the chef who drinks Coco-Cola,” Birster hails. Allow three hours to indulge in six to eight courses: There are no menus, no vegetarian options, and not all diners are served the same thing. “Guy cooks and serves whatever is freshest and feels best to him,” says Cilona. RSVP is only open weekends, with one seating per night. 

RSVP  7 Railroad St., W. Cornwall, 860-672-7787   E

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