It’s been a while since I was last at the Voo. A couple of friends and I traveled there shortly after it had reopened under its present management. A former dive, they were upgrading the food and the atmosphere and turning The Rendezvous into a 21st century dive. I liked it, but it was clearly hadn’t gotten where it was headed yet. A Yelp review called it a “hipster kind of place” and while saying that makes me feel decidedly unhipsterish, it is an apt description.
My wife and I and some old friends had dinner there last week and the Voo has arrived. The menu was more interesting, there were a half dozen good brews on tap, and the place had a good feel. It’s the kind of place you want in your neighborhood so you can become a regular.
The menu is good: Standard and unusual appetizers (pretzel and two mustards, nachos, crostini, etc.), burgers and Panini on the lunch/quick end, some entrees for a real dinner and interesting sides like Asian Slaw and Curried Carrot Kickshaw (in Jamaican Aioli). We shared the crostini for an app and there were enough small squares to go around yet not so many to ruin an appetite. And good, too.
Sarah ordered the roasted half chicken, which turned out to be a boneless breast and a thigh/drumstick combo, smaller than the half a bird I’d envisioned, but good. (Of course the menu completely warned me it was boned, so the expectations were definitely my own.) For some reason, I wanted Mac n Cheese (perhaps the proximity to Holy Smokes BBQ and Deli, also in Turners and maker of incredible spicy mac n cheese had something to do with it), which was a large portion of good cheese and macaroni, not as soupy as I’ve come to like it, but neither dry nor overcooked. Sided with a nice mixed green salad, it made a fine course, especially when I traded some for some of Sarah’s chicken.
Our friends had a seared tuna steak and meatloaf. I didn’t get to taste Carl’s tuna, but it vanished in pretty short order. My friend Joan sent her meatloaf back for reheating. The flavor was good and the smashed potatoes under it were fine, but not the kind of hot both she and I like. We’re both hot food hot eaters—I want my pizza with the cheese melted and runny not merely warmed up—and I agreed that the meatloaf needed some more temp. Still, it was a good meal all around.
For dessert, most of the Rendezvous desserts involve chocolate. The ladies shared a flourless chocolate cake, which was deep and chocolately, but a little freezer burned. I got a slice of cherry cheesecake, with the cherries swirled into the cake rather than the usual florescent red goo atop of the cake. It was a good cheesecake, a touch creamier than a New York style, but it had heft and taste and the cherries were a good addition to the basic mix. In my opinion, when you fork off a piece of cheesecake, it should look like the side of a brick or a block of cut clay, which this one did.
They were setting up for bingo night as we left, and the place was filing up. On other nights, they have music or other entertainment. There’s a good feel to the place. Besides, the bathrooms are large and clean, which removes it from the category of dive bar, but I doubt anyone will be complaining. If you find yourself in Turners or you feel like getting out, it’s a good place to wind up.