Rendezvous Sunday Night Review
Went to Rendezvous last night with a friend for the famed Sunday night prix fixe. Res was for 7:30, but I was early and friend was running late, so I assumed they'd make me wait; hostess showed me to my table right away.
I had a drink while I waited (they were out of one of the ingredients for the Sparkling Cocktail, so I had the Cardamom Cocktail on waiter's recommendation. A bit too savory for me!).
The food was very good-- a great "bang for your buck!" As has been mentioned here, the bread was nice & soft, and they were generous in refreshing it. I had the grilled sardines to start, which were lovely, if a bit hard to debone; friend had the mussels in coconut curry, which I sampled- delicious! After drooling over the table next to us' order, I had the braised lamb shank, which was amazing, although quite a lot of food! (Who am I to complain?) Friend had the mahi mahi-- see below. For dessert, she had the ricotta fritters (OK) and I had the lemon-buttermilk pudding. I wish I had subsituted the one perfect cheese, as I found the pudding a bit overly sweet. A nice glass of Albarino to wash it all down.
Unfortunately, the service was incredibly slow. We waited forever for my friend's cocktail to arrive, and had to remind the waiter twice. Bread arrived seconds before our apps, all plates sat untouched for ages before they were picked up, etc... Although the service was slow, though, it was reasonably well done. Friend sent her mahi mahi back because it was completely raw inside, and they brought her a fresh one minutes later (not comped) with apologies.
I would definitely give it another try, though, as it was a pretty good deal!
That's definitely a service experience well below the average I've run into there; I wonder if it's a Sunday night thing, which I've never done.
Filleting those sardines at the table yourself definitely gets easier with practice. There's an "aha" moment in your future, when you extract the entire fish skeleton (with head and tail) in two strokes. Fortunately, it seems like good sardine apps are getting easier to find. I've had great ones in the past year at Rendezvous, Chez Henri (from the bar's "Bocadillos" menu), and Atasca, among others.