rendezvous was great!
We stayed away from rendezvous for as long as possible after hearing initial bad reviews of service. But the recent descriptions of gnocchi and halibut couldn't hold us back any longer.
I am happy to report that we had an awesome dinner last night. The food ranged from outstanding to good.
Gnocchi with chanterelles -- simply amazing. Perfect texture and oh so mushroomy. It's a must have!
Mahi with Nicoise style salad and anchovy vinaigrette -- excellent. Fish was very moist and flavorful. the salad had all kinds of stuff (baby letuce, radishes, green beans, olives, cherry tomatoes, chick peas, hard boiled egg) -- all very yummy, particularly with that great anchovy dressing.
Sorrel vichyssoise -- lovely chilled soup on a hot day. Sorrel gave it a nice tang. It came with a dollop of creme fraiche, but I should have left it alone as mixing it in made the soup too rich.
Veggie antipasto -- eggplant puree, mahmara (sp?) type puree, fava bean puree, and all kinds of grilled veggies. The veggies could use a bit of salt. Pretty good, but I wouldn't get it again.
Halibut ceviche with avocado and cilantro -- I can't put my finger on it, but something was missing. It felt like they dried off the halibut too much and there was no puckery lime juice I usually like to taste with the ceviche. I wouldn't get it again either.
The lemon buttermilk pudding dessert was good, but I wasn't particularly wowed by it.
Lots of great wines by the glass. We got
Alexander Valley Vineyards New Gewurz
Rose from France
Marches de Bretagne 2004 - cab frank from Loire
Celestin Blondeau Sauvignon Blanc 2004 from Loire
All were $6-7 and all were good except for the rose.
Service was wonderful. Our server was very attentive, but not hovering. And Steve Johnson stopped by every table to see how everything was.
3 course prix-fixe on sundays is $32. Great value and great food.
Helen's Kitchen >> http://www.helenrennie.com
The prix fixe menu seems quite different from what we had, or perhaps they've changed since I went recently? I don't recall many wines for $6. If Steve pulls out a more reasonable wine list on Sundays that's great. His regular list is bijoux, with most glasses I was interested in at $10.
The $13 Pinot Grigio is probably of comparable or maybe slightly better value to the $6 Gerwurztraminer, which are slighly below the cost of the respective bottles at consumer retail prices. I don't know how much restaurants in Boston markup wines in general, but at least the markups for this winelist seem consistent across the board. Pinot Grigio have less of a reputation of being expensive, but the same varietal from Alsace can get very pricey.
I don't see a $6 price point as being inherently better or worse than a $13 price point, so long as they are good values. It also makes sense to provide a range of price points for a broader appeal. There are places like Les Zygomates with a bigger winelist that offer more glasses of wine below $10, but one will likely see more wines at the low teens too.
BTW, not all pinot grigios are light whites, it depends on the style of the winemaker, some can attain more body. Same with rieslings and sauvignon blancs.
Sorry about my vagueness with the wine pricing. The Gewurtz was $6. All the other ones were $7. The cabernet franc (red from Loire) was excellent -- we found it to be earthy with a grilled zucchini nose-- and went very well with veggies. So not only was it a good red for $7, but it wasn"t the usual over oaked expensive cabernet that you can"t have with food. Sauvignon blanc from Loire was also $7, citrusy, refreshing, and food friendly. The rose (that was just blah) and sauvignon blanc were from the prix-fixe menu. The other two were from the regular menu.
Yes, we were choosing carefully. There were lots of more expensive glasses. But with wines, more expensive doesn"t mean better.