502 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.363968 -71.101869
Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm
Very tasty food – I went here about 6 times within the first 2 months of it opening. The food is absolutely delicious compared to other places in central square for a similar price, ie, central kitchen, which has a few great appetizers but actually pretty crappy main courses for the price. Here, every course was just great. Ingredients used are of very high quality, and I strongly recommend both the roast lemon/lavender chicken and the gnocchi with chanterelles, despite normally thinking such dishes sound bland.
At least the time I had it, the chanterelles were local and were amazing. Even the vegetarian main course (with the swiss chard) is delicious. They were also very accommodating of me every time I went, willing to turn an appetizer into a dinner portion, etc.
The atmo is fine, but does leave a lot to be desired given that this is not a mid-range restaurant for central square. I knew the place when it was a burger king, so maybe it's just me, but I can tell. That said, central square and harvard square are overpriced in general, so i'd rather lose on the atmo and get some excellent food, which is what you get here. Wine by the glass choices are also good here.
So why the disparity in raves vs. mediocre reviews? I think the answer is that you usually feel rather surprised by the bill at the end, given that the atmo just does not live up to the quality of the food and wine. And the service is a disappointment, too. More than once I have had to wait half an hour for water and bread, was brought check when I wanted to order dessert, etc. That said, everyone who works there is a nice and good person. Just tell them you want dessert, or flag someone down and ask for bread, and there is no problem at all. I'm sure they will work out the kinks in time. Meanwhile, we have a delicious place to eat.
Excellent food and service – Went for the Sunday evening prix fixe dinner--excellent and great value! The food was outstanding--bluefish cakes, swordfish nicoise, and lemon buttermilk pudding were especially good and well-prepared. The welcome and service were friendly and attentive.The room is lively but conversation still possible.We are looking forward to our next visit!
good food but uneven overall – Everything was good and there was nothing wrong with the food, but we couldn't see why all the professional reviewers are fawning so much over this place. Though it is touted as reasonably priced, the evening will still cost quite a lot. Apparently they serve only a small selection of cocktails, and it threw the server completely off when we asked to see a cocktail menu when our standard choice was beyond their capability; she was never able to fully recover her routine, and the drinks were nothing to write home about. The neighboring table was given an amuse-bouche, but we were not. The skate is delicious; my companion thought the salmon was just OK. I liked the creme brulee. I think you will have a better time here if you are connected with the "in-crowd" of chefs, restaurants, and reviewers.
Great Addition to the Hood! – Went with 7 people...every single person loved their meal. Salads and appetizers were wonderful and the main dishes were excellent. Some appetizers were ordered as main dishes and were plenty with a salad. Wine was priced fairly. Overall we all had a great time and a great meal and will be returning. Went on a Friday night..some used Valet but there was plenty of parking in the Green Street Garage as well.
Gusto and gumption – Lovely food with plenty of flavor, respect for Mediterranean influences, and charming and warm service. Four of us, a busy Saturday night, and not one thing to whine about. We loved the sardine appetizer, passed around tastes of the Pork Osso Bucco, and found a lot to like on the wine list. A little pricey, a little noisy when full, but we could hear each other and that's becoming unusual! Grand addition and we'll be back.
Another Steve Johnson success – We came on the strength of many positive visits to the Blue Room, Steve's prior restaurant. His approach is similar: truly pleasant and knowledgeable staff, a small simple menu, fresh ingredients, and a value-conscious wine list. Tables were full on a Wednesday night. Our appetizers arrived within ten minutes, and service was nicely-paced throughout. My wife declared her mixed lettuce salad "one of the best ever", and my seared scallop appetizer of was hot and delicious. Our wine was $57, near the top of the range. My seared tuna was medium rare sashimi-grade. The lovely vegetable antipasto was sufficient as a main couse. We had very nice desserts of warm chocolate cake and lemon souffle. Rendezvous got the little things right. Had we ordered less expensive wine, our bill would have been less than $100. Rendezvous has the whole package.
Noisy Rendezvous – Large selection of appetizers, nice selection of entrees. Everything was well prepared, portions on a small side, particularly for the price. The tuna entree seemed very gray and a little underflavored. The deal breaker was the noise level. It was extremely difficult to have a conversation, waiters seemed to have difficulty hearing the orders and other diners seemed to be leaning in to hear each other. I left -- ears ringing -- feeling a little disappointed.
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