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Boston Area

Rendezvous *In* (not *at*) Central Square


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Restaurants & Bars Boston Area

Rendezvous *In* (not *at*) Central Square

MC Slim JB | | Apr 9, 2007 09:22 PM

I can't believe I've gotten the name wrong all this time, starting with that very early rave I gave them in The Dig right after they first opened. Sorry, gang.

Was thrilled when my beloved suggested this place recently for dinner. It's a favorite of mine over the past year or so. It always seems to deliver where it counts on the plate, yet never seems satisfied with that, going above and beyond the call of service in an understated but very professional way.

Dinner: a gorgeous and rather big frisee salad with a shower of beautiful duck "confit." Not clear to me that that duck was actually confit'ed, but it was certainly delicious, fatty and rich yet not too heavy, in the same way a poached egg enriches the more commonplace French-style frisee salad.

Super charcuterie plate and vegetable antipasto: each four to six simple, self-contained, superb little bites. Duck prosciutto, a salume of pork shoulder whose thin slices featured a gigantic square of sublime white fat in the middle, perfect little bites of baby leek, an island of transporting eggplant puree. A small array of gorgeous, mostly unadorned flavors..

A memorable onion soup based on an astonishing veal stock with a smallish, subtle crouton with excellent Gruyere on top. A modest plate of medium-weight potato gnocchi with some beef short ribs, mostly about the rich, rich gravy -- a quiet stunner. Lemon pudding so velvelty and perfectly tart/sweet that I don't mind an overly sweet huckleberry sauce.

An impressive wine list; thoughtful, with many unusual wines, something worthy at every price level. Extraordinary service throughout: attentive and unobtrusive, genial and eminently professional, expert in little things like wine service. A tremendous bargain, five apps and a dessert for about $60 before wine, tax, and tip.

The whole experience stands in stark contrast to many recent meals at better-known, more assiduously-hyped places. Not sure how to quantify it, but there's a certain level of professionalism, pride, and dedication to service that comes through in the front of the house here. The back of the house delivers equally strongly: with consistency, unflashy creativity, superb ingredients, more than a little soul.

In short, this evening stomps 9 out of 10 pricier dinners I've had in the last four months or so.

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