38-40 Southernhay East
Date of Last Visit: Saturday, September 26th, 2009
The Victims: Joanne, Sean
The Damage: About £25 each.
The Background: Exeter is a nice place. Joanne has been walking me up and down and around Exeter all day long. I mean really…we've been walking. And walking. And walking. (But really…it was a wonderful day. I don't regret the walking.)
But when she announces that we are going to walk back to her place before dinner, I nearly die. And I walk EVERYWHERE. (I've got to, with this hobby.) And then we try to take a taxi to dinner–cue me, curled up in fetal position on the couch saying "Please, Joanne…please….can we take a mini-cab?" We try to call one, and they're totally booked up. So we call another one, and they're totally booked too. You betcha…we're walking.
The Entrance: Never have I been so glad to enter a restaurant before. Rendezvous–which is a terrible name by the way–is full of nice big brown leather sofas. It feels lodge-like. It's also super-empty, which is amusing because when Joanne called to make the booking, she got a really hard time from the staff.
The Starters: For me, it's the field mushroom and white truffle oil soup and it is seriously delicious. You might know that I don't like mushrooms, but after being outside all day long, I wanted something warm and comforting. This was it. In spades. Thick and densely flavored…a good amount of garlic, I think. The only sad part was that they didn't toast the bread…had they grilled or toasted the bread a bit, buttered and garlicked it up, this would have been even better.
The Main: For me, it's the seabass fillet with herbed mashed potato and fine beans. Again, you have to imagine that I'd been walking for something like six hours straight at this point. This could have been the most average dish on earth and I would have thought it delicious. But really, it WAS pretty delicious and pretty competent. Nothing earth-shattering, just simple and good food. And sometimes that's all you need. Pretty good presentation too. (Sorry, been watching too much Master Chef.) Cleaned my plate, I did. And then I nearly fell asleep at the table. Nearly.
The Verdict: This was a pretty nice place. Cozy. Good service. Candlelit. Neighborhood-y. And very decent food. When I return to Exeter 5.5 years from now, I shall return.