502 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.363968 -71.101869
Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm
Don't Try Reserving a Special Table – On August 25 after working a long hard day in the lab I decided to treat myself. My wife was having her book club that evening so at 4:30 pm that afternoon I called the Rendezvous Restaurant in Cambridge. I reserved a table for myself and specifically asked the hostess if she could hold one of two tables for me. She checked her schedule and confirmed the availability for 7:30PM that evening. I arrived at the restaurant timely only to find they did not hold either table as promised. A short fatty with a beard who acted like the manager told me that two other couples came in right before me and it was their special night so he elected to give both tables out. He basically told me that under no conditions would he ever hold a special table for me and he does not do it for anyone. The hostess who reserved the table for me kept her head down behind him. I asked him why would you tell someone you would hold a special table and then give it out? He turned his back on me. I left the restaurant and shall never return. This arrogant man must get pleasure in dismissing people. Something about the atmosphere of the bearded host in this restaurant tells me its not a nice friendly place. I ended up calling Espalier in Boston they were packed yet they gave me a beautiful table at 8:30 that evening, and they know how to treat their customers!!
Charcuterie Assortment – We arrived at the restaurant for my daughters birthday. We had the charcuterie assortment and vegetable antipasto. I was sick for two days afterwards. This was such a great disappointment obviously a very bad experience. I would not order those appetizers again.
Your secret rendez vous – Rendezvous is a bit of a surprise find in Central Square. Particularly so, since it has a distinct cocktail menu paired with a food menu that has no trouble standing up to the cocktails. Though comfortable, my only gripe is the decor is a bit nondescript. The ghosts of former inhabitants (Burger King, gasp!) still haunt the place.
Recent repeat visit was on a themed "After work Tapas Monday" where every plate is $5. My crew of foodies sampled
Grilled sardines with charmoula - Nicely charred, drizzled in olive oil and delicious with Iggy's bread.
Salty head-on shrimp with garlic + chili oil: by far my favorite. Brought back memories of Spain with distinct spanish paprika and garlic falovors with just the right amount of salt. A bargain of the lot for $5..
Sautéed Squid with chorizo + arroz negro: The squid was perfectly cooked and the black squid ink rice was indeed jet black. Was a touch overcooked for my taste buds but all-in-all tasty.
Fried green almonds with EVOO, preserved lemon + sea salt: This was an interesting plate, since I dont remember the last time I had almonds in their raw, unripe state, prepared almost like a vegetable rather than a nut. Intriguing as the plate was, it didnt speak to me.
Shy Brothers Farm fresh cow’s milk curd drizzled with linden flower honey. This evoked thoughts of homemade ricotta with honey, though upon the plate's tasting it became clear that this curd was similar to a yogurt with more tang and less of the expected creaminess. I, for one, desired more honey. With a preserve, would have been a complete breakfast dish.
Roast cauliflower with garlic + pine nuts. The cauliflower was spot on here roasted to its caramel goodness. The pinoli were a nice accent.
Grilled merguez sausage with yogurt sauce, pomegranate + mint. The merguez was good, though a bit on the dry side. What really caught my attention was the spiced cooked fruit on the bed underneath the sausage. At first I thought it was pear, but was later told it was quince! the quince was cooked in "christmas" spices of nutmeg, allspice, etc. and had a good amount of sweetness. A bit too strong for me but surprising touch nevertheless.
This was definitely a memorable meal to say the least and your patron and guests were full in the end without breaking the bank.
My favorite Restaurant – The best food for the money I have ever had. Steve has a fabulous palate and I have always been glad I had the dish I ordered. Nothing is over-priced. Cocktails are great !!! The wine list is small, but it is one of the best chosen wine lists in the city. The wines are reasonably priced with many "unknown" producers and all of the wines I have had were full of character. There are no formulaic bland Chiantis or Merlots, etc. In my dining experience a wine list like this has been a rarity .
You definitely want to read this before going to this restaurant!! – The hostess came by the table 30 minutes after seating us to let us know that there were people coming in after us and that we should be mindful of the time. We ignored this comment as it seems somewhat ridiculous and ate a decent, but definitely overpriced meal. Then as we were waiting for our friend to return from the bathroom, the hostess returned to our table to remind us that we had exceeded our two hour time limit and essentially asked us to leave. When we confronted them that we had never experienced this type of treatment before, the owner came over, introduced himself and said, "I am the owner." We didn't know what to say to that. He then defended the hostess, at one point rolling his eyes at our discontent. I have never received service this poor in my life. I should also mention that at the beginning of the night, when there was a thunderstorm going on, three of the people at our table had drops of water land on our shoulder, head and hands. To remedy this problem, they moved our table two feet over, after which we continued to feel occasion drops that went ignored.
Dreadful greeting and seating!! – We have been fond of Rendezvous in the past so we were shocked at the shoddy treatment we received last night. The two beasts who control the seating were incompetent and ineffective. Despite a reservation we were made to wait for more than a half hour. People who arrived after we did were seated before us. When I questioned it, I was told that there are "different tables for different people". Then they tried to cram 3 of us into a table for two while other tables became available. Food was fine (not sensational) and waitstaff was also fine. Mamagement needs a major overhaul and needs to treat people with respect.
Upscale casual dining spot in Central Square provides Cambridge foodies with modern comfort fare. – In Short
Owner Steve Johnson, the former chef/owner of The Blue Room, has opened a most welcoming dining destination in the former home of a Burger King. Calming woods and plenty of natural light make for a relaxed environment, and an inviting bar is perfect for solo diners. The ever-changing menu features the ingredients and flavors of the Medierranean; dishes include monkfish and littlenecks with porcini cream and grilled Portuguese sardines with roasted peppers, fennel and capers.
I don't get the hype – My boyfriend and I recently went to rendezvous for dinner. I was very excited to go since I have heard so much about this place. I have to say I was disappointed. First of all we decided to take advantage of there valet service so we woudn't have to search for parking on a busy Friday night. The attendent comes over to my car and just stands there..so I finally say "how much is it??" He tells me $12.00 . We hand him a twenty and he asks.."how much do you want back?" I'm sorry but while we had every intention of tipping him to be so forward was just plain tacky. Our waitress was prompt as was overall service but not anything to rave about. For example we were never asked if our food was ok. At one point another waiter literally ramed into my boyfriends chair and didn't even said sorry. We got the gnocci to start it was very good. I got the duck it was nothing special. My partners steak was very good, however for the price it came with A (as in 1) mushroom and the smallest square of potatoes imaginable.Dessert actually made us laugh....it was a sliver of cake. I think they could have got 30 servings out af an 8x8 cake. Aside from the valet I would not say it was a bad experience but for the money you could have a far better one someplace else..I know I have.
WOW - amazing dinner experience – I love this restaurant and I can't wait to go back. The cocktail list is amazing (I recommend the curry gin cocktail) and the food is outstanding. The service is really nice and very efficient. We had the heirloom tomatoes - very ripe and delicious. I had the swordfish which was just spectacular; my friend had the cod, which was in the most delicious broth ever. Desserts were no exception. Overall we had a fabulous dinner here - I ate a lot but did not even feel stuffed!
Nice addition to the neighborhood – Central Square is finally getting some decent places to eat. It always had the pubs, Indian and low end stuff (all very good), but it's nice that a more upscale place has arrived.
I've gone three times now and enjoyed each trip. The appetizers and desserts are excellent so far and the main courses are good to very good. The wine list is always interesting and the staff have been quite friendly.
The downside to it being good is that it's gotten quite crowded and it can be a little noisey. It's nice that you can usually just walk in and get a seat at the bar and order from the full menu.
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