After rescheduling twice, we ate at RV a couple of weeks ago. We had originally planned to go during the week, but ended up there for the Sunday PF menu. Steve Johnson strikes me as a fairly low-key guy (I never, ever saw him yelling in the kitchen at the BR) and I thought the service reflected it. The waiters were present, but tended to fade into the background when not serving food, and everyone on the staff divided up the tasks of running food and serving.
The chicken livers were just ok (a bit charred and not medium-rare), but the salad with apricot vinaigrette was divine. The gnocchi w/chanterelles wasn't salty as above, but was pretty forgettable... some tasty morsels of fava and mushroom, but the neither the broth or texture of the gnocchi were excellent. (They didn't have the squid and our DCs didn't want the hot salted shrimp which sounded excellent). The steak frites was a bit of a let down -- the skirt steak was cooked just right, but would have preferred marinade to the green garlic butter and the fries were twice-cooked, but very limp. It was also served with a very dull non-serrated knife. The duck three ways was also just ok -- the confit was excellent, but breast was served cold (medium-rare) and sausage was pretty good (a different experience eating sausage medium-rare). The real stars of the main course were the striped bass and the half roast chicken.
For dessert the lemon buttermilk pudding was excellent (although I still want him to bring back the lemon curd + fresh philo dessert they had a long while back at the Blue Room) and the sundae was pretty good, the warm chocolate cake was hardly touched. Wine selection was reasonable, with no real surprises -- not as extensive as I expected based on the thread.
In summary, I think a lot of care was given to using local and fresh ingredients, with the standouts being the seafood dishes. I also will eat anything that Steve Johnson comes up with citrus, and really enjoyed the dressed vegetable sides. I did enjoy it and will go back on regular-menu night (my sister is in risk of becoming a regular), but with both RV and Something Savory I find myself slightly preferring where the chefs previously worked (Green Street with Johnny and Blue Room with Steve J).
We stopped by for dessert and drinks over the weekend and had a great time. Service at the bar was prompt and solicitous. I wish they hadn't raised the height of the wall between the dining room and the bar...it would be nice to be able to see out across the room. The lemon buttermilk pudding was light as a cloud and just as moist. The cherry nectarine clafoutis had nice big chunks of fresh fruit, and a good egg taste. It was quite dense, though; I was under the impression that a clafoutis was supposed to be light. Steve Johnson was on hand running food and chatting with people. Rendezvous strikes me as a well-tended labor of love - to which I will happily continue to return.
I had a great meal there recently, great white Bordeaux, handmade gnocchi appetizer, incredible pork tenderloin with port and figs.
I found this to be a really remarkable dinner in a pleasant setting with gracious service at a very humble price.
They deserve a visit from every member on this board.
I don't get that sense at all. Most of the postings in this thread compliment the service.
BTW, I had dinner there last Friday night (a week ago) with three others. We got right in (7pm reservation) and the service was very good all night (and the place was hopping by 8). The food was excellent BTW.
Went for first time last night. Everything was excellent, with great flavor combinations that went on for days inside the mouth. The taste theme was mild&light but strong. Everything seemed to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
Oysters were small & cute, possibly Kumamoto (forgot to ask), 5 out of 6 were excellent. The dry shaved horseradish on the side was interesting. Cheers to them for stocking Plymouth gin for a perfect martini to accompany the oysters.
Seared scallops were great. Still wondering what that bed of mashed stuff was, great compliment to the scallops.
Gnocchi with mushrooms were incredibly light and delicate but super intense. Beautiful.
Grilled chicken livers were plump and juicy, powerfully savory.
Charcuterie was excellent, the duck prociutto was the highlight by far.
Excellent value on the wine - we had a bottle of Domaine de Noire, a Loire red, intense in flavor and light in body, a good match to the food.
All in all, Rendez-vous far exceeded our already high expectations, and we will happily return early and often.
Found myself in Central Sq. last night in the midst of the 6PM monsoon. As my dinner club was slated to sit down at 6:30, just scooted in unplanned. Glad I did. 5 of us were seated promptly, wine & dinner menus distributed & drink orders taken. Our helpful, knowledgeable waiter was happy to answer questions & make wine reqs as well as his favorite apps, entrees & desserts. 2 of us stuck w/sparkling cava brut that had just the right dryness. (Scripts from the menu)Apps: Sautéed RI(very tender)squid w/garlic, arugula & borlotti beans. Seared sea scallops w/toasted coriander, eggplant & sorrel were sweet & lightly carmelized. I had the perfectly fried softshell crab w/fennel-orange & arugula salad w/pool of roasted red pepper sauce, spiced w/cumin,tarragon...the individual components were distinct, but after 1 dip into the pungent sauce, I ate the rest of the delicate crab & the salad w/o & the rest of the sauce w/a spoon. 2 had the grilled chicken livers w/apricot on a wooden skewer propped on mizuna w/pancetta vinaigrette. 1 felt this underseasoned, the other perfect. I will order next time. Entrees: Spicy fish stew w/haddock, shrimp & littlenecks, saffron, tomato & chorizo was a large, redolent bowl of spicey seafood delight w/last drops sopped up with the excellent, fresh bread, replentished by our waiter. Sautéed halibut w/morels, fava beans, artichokes & chive butter sauce-I didn't get a chance to sample this, but the plate was cleaned. Grilled Black Angus rib-eye w/roasted new potatoes & green garlic. The steak arrived mr to r as ordered & diner, again, felt this was underseasoned, but she ate it all. I thought it just needed some salt. I and another had the roast chicken w/Meyer lemon, chanterelles & haricot verts. Chix sported a great, crispy skin w/wonderfully moist meat beneath. Beans were al dente & roasted potato spears golden brown on the outside & tender within, all in a savory, lemony clear herbed broth. Everything, including the plate itself was warm, except, oddly, the mushrooms which were just room temp & not particulary favorful. Am having my leftovers for lunch today. Desserts: 3 Lemon-buttermilk pudding w/fresh strawberries in a strawberry sauce-light & lucious, berries & sauce bursting w/flavor. 2 cherry-nectarine clafoutis w/lemon verbena ice cream-Ok, but mostly nects vs cherries served in a little tart shell. Our service was excellent throughout, w/water glasses topped off frequently, tablewear cleared & replaced in a timely fashion. Our waiter really knew the menu items. He as well as hostess checked on us unobtrusively as to our dining progress. Chris Schlesinger & guest were seated at a table behind us about half way through our meal. Both R chef and Steve Johnson stopped by to chat. Dining room was full by 7 w/tables being replaced w/new parties as they turned over - still packed at 8:30 when we left. All of us were most satisfied.
I thought that was you! Small world ... I was there last night as well. Had the seafood stew, which was just okay. I expected to like it more, although the house-made chorizo was very good. It just wasn't spicy enough for me and the shrimp and littlenecks were hard to eat politely. My friend's halibut was great, as ever, and I'll have a hard time passing it next time.
On a service note, our waiter was a delight. Josh, I think. He was funny and engaging without being too much. Suggested the right chianti to accompany my fish stew and didn't rush us along. Oh, we also had the selection of 3 cheeses to start and they were great. A goat, a cow (forget the names completely) and Bailey Hazen blue. Tiny tiny portions, but gorgeous accompaniments .... red currants, spiced nuts, onion jam, lavender honey and kumquats. Exquisite.
I was wondering who that was with Chris S. He was introduced as a minor celeb -- I think a celeb chef, but I didn't overhear the name. Drat.
Anyway, I still love Rendez-vous and am going to talk some friends into crossing the river to come join me next time.
We were in last week.
Husband had the halibut and loved it. I had the Spicy fish stew and loved it. It had a nice variety of fish. Steve Johnson stopped by to say Hello and told me they are making their own chorizo for the dish.
We are long time fans of Steve's and have been following him from place to place for years.
I went last night and thought it was pretty good.
My friend and I ordered (descriptions mostly from the online menu):
The charcuterie plate which came with about 4 translucent slices each of duck prosciutto, some type of fennel sausage and a surprisingly tasty beef tongue. The plate came with the meats, some lightly dressed greens, and some olives
Potato gnocchi w/chanterelles, green garlic, spinach and piave cheese;
Selection of farmhouse cheeses (3, I forgot what types, small slices with candied pecans, some type of berry, and some caramelized onions),
and the seared sea scallops with toasted coriander, eggplant and sorrel
- changes from the menu.
No eggplant with the scallops - woo-hoo!
And I don't recall the green garlic listed on the menu but there were fried slivers of a very bitter something or another.
The gnocchi was quite salty and in no way compared to Sage's. The scallops were scallops but thankfully cooked perfectly. Cheese was good but small portion for like $12.
Total was like $65 pre-tip.
Service was competent but a bit on the slow side.
We chatted some with the guy beside us who had the following:
Crudo of yellowfin tuna w/shaved fennel, radishes & extra virgin olive oil,
Fried softshell crab with fennel-orange salad and roasted pepper sauce, and finally
Grilled pork tenderloin with port, grilled figs and nectarine mostard
He seemed to love it all and said so when we spoke some.
The place is kind of loud