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Rendezvous: So, A Fig Walks Into a Phone Booth,.....

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Restaurants & Bars

Rendezvous: So, A Fig Walks Into a Phone Booth,.....

opinionatedchef | Oct 17, 2011 11:18 AM

picks up the ringing phone and hears,

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it........”

oh ho ho. and that fig’s mission was a divine one, let me tell you. But i’ll get to that later.

A big thank you to blumie and all the CHs recently singing the praises of Rendezvous and inciting us to dine there: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810489

Whew, what a treat. Sunday night Prix Fixe Three Courses $38. Tip top from the starting gate to the finish line. Spacious warm colored room matched by warmth of both the hostess and our professional and efficient server, and the ever present chef owner, Steve Johnson.

Food highlights:

Grilled fresh Sardines in a lemon, olive oil, Maras Pepper fennel vinaigrette. Man o man, i could eat this perfect dish every day, flavors beautifully balanced between the brightness of the lemon’s acid and the unctuous oil and subtle spike of a rarely seen Turkish red pepper. The pay-off way outmatched the nuisance of boning the 3 plump good sized darlings.

Grilled King Mackerel steak served with a bright pommery mustard, creamy cannelini beans and mustard greens. If you like the dark and richly flavored bluefish, you’ll likely love mackerel.It definitely needs the acid touch to balance all that richness, and Johnson fully understands that. I was delighted to see this fish offered.

My Love had Sauteed calamari with pimenton, arroz negro, and chorizo and Braised Cod with white wine, leeks, escarole and potato. They were tame for me but he really enjoyed them. We both gained a renewed appreciation for Iggy’s whole wheat country sourdough with its moist heft and crisp crust; perfect for facilitating the disappearance of every last bit of a dish’s sauciness.

Oh yes, and that fig, that Mission fig which bountifully filled a crostada topped with caramel sauce and almond caramel ice cream... the pastry was buttery perfection, and no sign of the uncooked interior dough found in so many inferior pies and crostadas.The creamy full flavored ice cream was a perfect match.

We left with three thoughts:

1) we can’t wait to go back (looks like the sardines have lately been a Sunday dish, so it may be Sunday returns for awhile, but i really do want to try that bluefish with charmoula and spicy cukes, and so many other things on the regular menu)

2) how come chef owner,Steve Johnson, doesn’t look a day older than when we first met him at The Blue Room 20-odd years ago? (maybe because he gives his all and then some to his Rendezvous, and lives a clean life full of seafood?)

3) When CHs ask for seafood restnt recommendations, I’m adding Rendezvous to my rave short list of Neptune Oyster and Island Creek Oyster Bar. (And R serves fresh oysters too!) Other pluses- they’re open Sundays, take reservations, and they seat large parties at a very long table by the front wall of windows.

http://www.rendezvouscentralsquare.com/

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Rendezvous
502 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139

Neptune Oyster
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

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