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Yet another Rendezvous shout-out

digga Oct 2, 2012 06:45 PM

I don't frequent Rendezvous often enough. Met up with two friends after work. Steve was firmly in the front of the house, making sure everyone felt welcomed and comfortable. We had lovely glasses of red, and shared absolutely delicious grilled pizza, and tangy and succulent white bean seafood salad.

I love this place.

  1. m
    mkfisher Jan 14, 2013 11:40 AM

    I wanted to revive a somewhat old thread to heap some more praise on Rendezvous. What a fabulous meal we had at the bar on Saturday night. We left wondering why we don't make it there more often - didn't have a good answer for that. I feel like we always think the bar will be crowded so we go somewhere else without checking. The bar was actually pretty empty, albeit we ate on the early side. However, the dining room was more or less full by the time we left.

    1. s
      suzysue2 Oct 19, 2012 08:08 AM

      I never miss an opportunity to sing the praises of Rendezvous. We went there Monday night and it was as warm and welcoming as ever. The bluefish cakes were out of this world, so many flavors! It is still my favorite place to eat in the Boston area and is just quietly and unpretentiously awesome and demonstrates how the focus and attention of the chef/owner really does impact the customer experience. Steve is there, paying attention and he seems to have fun doing it. I can't wait to go back.

      1. s
        smtucker Oct 14, 2012 07:58 PM

        I am a year older, and my stomach is full of the goodness served by Rendezvous this evening. For us, this was not a casual meal. In my income bracket, this was a special night out. Mr. smtucker and I arrived right on time. Open Table had failed to cancel my first reservation, while my phone reservation was also in the system. The front of house figured out what had happened and had a table for four ready for us.

        The room is calm and warm. The music was at a low level and the music selection was really pleasant. The TV in the bar was out of sight. As I sat there waiting for the kids to arrive, I couldn't believe that this was the Central Square I had left in 1980. A complete transformation!

        We all chose the prix fixe menu. It is the only menu available on Sunday nights, but you don't have to order all three courses. There are no prices on the menu for the a la carte prices.

        For the first course, two people ordered the lamb ribs, one had the eggplant meze platter and the other had the grilled sardines.We all tasted each other's dishes, and they were all seasoned and spiced perfectly. Next course we had two seafood stews, one steak-frites and the veal and pork meatballs. I couldn't taste the stew due to allergies, but those diners were very happy. The steak was cooked perfectly. I had one bite which was delicious. I was only able to eat 1 1/2 meatballs with the pasta and greens, but the other diners dove in and polished off the dish.

        For dessert, we all chose different items. One lemon-buttermilk pudding, the chocolate cake, a walnut spice cake, and I ordered one cheese. I must have put birthday in the Open table reservation since the cheese platter arrived with a candle. (The first time a birthday person has ordered cheese. The kitchen found the candle on a wood cutting board to be a challenge.)

        The lemon-buttermilk pudding was revelatory! Oh my goodness. I have never tasted anything like this. My cheese was at the perfect temperature. My only complaint for the entire evening was that the apples on the cheese plate weren't as tart as I would like.

        The service was warm, welcoming, and professional. We didn't feel that anyone hovered, and we were not ignored. Waters were quickly filled. Dishes weren't removed until the entire table had finished the course. Watching our server at each of his tables, he managed to find the right tone based on the customers at the table. Nicely done.

        We all feel that we had a special evening. The food was considered. It was cooked with care. Attention was paid to details. The service made us feel comfortable. I feel that we received a good value for our calories and money. Rendezvous was the perfect recommendation. Thank you all.

        8 Replies
        1. re: smtucker
          o
          owades Oct 14, 2012 08:26 PM

          Not only is this "the Central Square [you] had left in 1980," but Rendezvous is in the space which was a Burger King in those days. Transformation indeed!

          I love Rendezvous, and had a typically fine meal--with fine service--there tonight.

          1. re: owades
            jgg13 Oct 15, 2012 07:39 AM

            What's funny are the number of people I knew who refuse(d) to eat there because "it feels too much like a burger king". that number is dwindling though, I don't believe that anyone who didn't know that it had been a BK would figure it out now.

            1. re: jgg13
              t
              teezeetoo Oct 17, 2012 05:23 AM

              I am among the many fans of Rendezvous and I always remember the connection between Mr. Johnson and Chris Schlesinger. Boston has its range of celebrity chefs but I can't think of anyone who contributed more to both the quality and adventurousness of food and to the just plain niceness of service that characterized Mr. Schlesinger and most of the people he influenced in the business. Mr. Schlesinger and his crew catered my daughter's wedding in a December blizzard, cooking up a storm on grills under a tent tarp! with genius and graciousness. It's a great legacy.

              1. re: teezeetoo
                MC Slim JB Oct 17, 2012 09:30 PM

                Johnson was also a pioneer on sustainability and local sourcing. Love that place, especially for the extraordinarily hospitable, scholarly, subtle and unduly overlooked bartending of Scott Holliday. Overdue to revisit.

                Http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  p
                  pollystyrene Oct 17, 2012 09:35 PM

                  I wish the scholar would mix up his cocktail menu from time to time, though.

                  1. re: pollystyrene
                    MC Slim JB Oct 17, 2012 09:43 PM

                    I never order off that list, always go with "bartender's choice", which never fails to surprise and delight.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    1. re: pollystyrene
                      yarm Oct 17, 2012 10:24 PM

                      I agree since I love ordering on the menu wherever I go; however, MC Slim is right -- Scott Holliday is great for going off the menu.

                      http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

            2. re: smtucker
              s
              sallyt Oct 17, 2012 05:04 PM

              Great report! Happy birthday :)

            3. s
              smtucker Oct 3, 2012 10:37 AM

              Sunday nights.... is the full menu available with a prix fixe option, or just the prix fixe menu? I have a birthday coming up. Maybe I should spend it in Central Square.

              2 Replies
              1. re: smtucker
                l
                LeoLioness Oct 3, 2012 12:08 PM

                If I recall it's just the prix fixe menu, as opposed to the regular menu. Though you can order a la carte if you want more/fewer items, you aren't bound to the three courses.

                1. re: smtucker
                  b
                  Blumie Oct 3, 2012 12:56 PM

                  I'm pretty sure you can order off of the regular menu, too. I'd call to confirm.

                2. l
                  LeoLioness Oct 3, 2012 08:00 AM

                  A few weeks ago after a spectacularly bad day, I stopped in here to drown my sorrows in the lemon-buttermilk pudding and some port. And it worked! I'm nowhere near a regular here, but this is really one of my favorite spots in town.

                  1. b
                    Blumie Oct 3, 2012 07:49 AM

                    I think Rendezvous is one of the best all around restaurants in the area. Great for a casual meal, but also upscale enough for something more fancy. Great food. Excellent wine and beverage program. Very reasonable prices. And a great place to bring a group; it's our go-to place when the whole family -- a group of 8-12 -- wants to dine out together.

                    1. m
                      Madrid Oct 3, 2012 07:21 AM

                      it's the tapas that do it for me. Steve is such a lovely man and the tapas are a wonderful value...each one has thoughtful touches with high quality ingredients.

                      1. f
                        FeeFiPho Oct 3, 2012 06:46 AM

                        The lasagna, Sunday night specials, ambiance and bar just " pulls me back in".

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: FeeFiPho
                          opinionatedchef Oct 16, 2012 08:08 PM

                          brilliant handle; thx for the laugh!
                          i'm a big fan of his especially luscious sardines(Portuguese) and that signature Lemon dessert (1/2 pudding, 1/2 cake.)

                        2. StriperGuy Oct 3, 2012 06:35 AM

                          Place is a classic.

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