We ventured over to Rouge on Saturday night because they were the only South End restaurant (that I called) who could take a party of 4 before 9:30...
We arrived, were greeted, and then ignored for about 5 minutes. No problem. Hostess returned and offered us a table in the bar area. I was concerned about draftiness and cold, but we had a birthday party to attend later that night, so we went with it. Our mistake, but I also a little disappointed in the hostess's management of reservations. I talked to her at 7:30. I think she should have been able to predict whether a table would be open at 9:00.
Anyway, the food was delicious overall. I'll nitpick here and there, but we left having approved of the meal. The BBQ shrimp appetizer has some great zing - I probably would have soaked up the sauce with some cornbread, had there been any on the table. The calamari was good, but I prefer it a little crispier... but the calamari were fresh - you know, soft but not mushy, definitely not rubbery. The pesto-like sauce on the side was actually the highlight of the dish.
For entrees, we all had something different and everyone was happy. The jerk chicken was tasty - big portion and the sweet onion 'topping' went very well with the jerk seasoning. My friend chicken was crispy but tender on the inside... the only other thing I tried was the burnt ends and they were fell apart in my mouth, in a good way.
The waiter was goofy but friendly - think he was bartending as well. He yelled across the room a couple times, which was awkward, but in line with his personality. The hostess left early, which meant we had to watch the door and make sure it closed tight.
I think I would have been psyched with the experience, had we been seated in a warmer room. Worth a return trip, even though I am still baffled by the average prices in the South End.
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