My sister and I recently stayed at Las Terrazas resort which is directly beside Rendezvous Restaurant and we spent more time at Rendezvous than our own resort! We were first interested in Rendezvous because we had seen the words 'winery' attached and we both love wine. On a map that was given to us by a cab driver, it showed Rendezvous to be '3 trees' to the south of Las Terrazas which after a walk to the south of the resort proved impossible to find as upon questioning the staff later it was only a few steps to the north! So, the following day we went to the north with the intention of a beach walk and a stop for some wine. As we approached Rendezvous we were greeted by a dog with a collar on that said "Eat At Rendezvous"!. This dog, Thai, decided he would come along on our beach walk which was so much fun as we are dog lovers. Thai stayed with us the whole walk and seemed to be protecting us when others he deemed 'bad' would approach. On the way back, Thai took us directly to the beach bar! We were blown away with this amazing dog and what we called "the best marketing ever!" We sat at the bar and first met Chino, who made us the most amazing coconut mojito I could ever imagine! It was fresh and perfectly balanced. Chino was great. He had great suggestions of things we should do, was funny, and demonstrated amazing knowledge of the island and food. We ordered ceviche while we had a few more drinks and procured a reservation for the following night to come and eat. We stopped by later that evening to have another drink after dining at our own resort where we also met Sandra who was tending bar at the restaurant. Both Chino and Sandra told us about the owners, Glenn and Colleen, and their experience with food, travels abroad, and conch pearls!
The next night we were greeted by Chino and Sandra who both remembered our names, which I have to say is always something people enjoy! I wasn't sure what I wanted to drink so I told Sandra to make me whatever she wanted. She came back with one of the best mixed drinks I have ever had, which she called "exotica". It was so good that my wino sister switched over to the exotica drink as well. While we were deciding on our dishes, Chino brought us over some bread. I'm a bit of a self proclaimed 'foodie'. I eat and cook as a major hobby. I could tell there was something special about this bread as it had an extra toasted flavor without the hardness that would come from being 'super' toasted. So I had to ask Chino if there was a secret! Chino seemed to know every detail about how the food was prepared, which he proved throughout this dinner and our second dinner a few days later. I don't think I've ever had a server with such knowledge of the food he was serving, which was wonderful to me. I won't share the secret of the delicious toasted bread in case Colleen, the chef, wants it kept under wraps!
My sister decided to have the Pad Thai, and the Spider Crab "newton circus", and Chino offered to have the Pad Thai split in to two dishes for us as we intended to share. The flavors of the Spider crab were incredible. My only complaint is that of the nature of crab itself and the effort you must put forth to release it from its shell. We made quite a mess of ourselves in eating this dish but Chino was right on top of it with a bowl of lime water and extra napkins! Then the Pad Thai came, and was the best Pad Thai we had ever eaten! Absolutely amazing! We never wanted our bowl to end, which is one of the reasons that we came back to eat dinner a second time. Living in Toronto, I've had Pad Thai quite a few times, and this was by far the best I had ever had. It was fresh, was traditional but made very unique with almost an Italian flare. We finished off our meal with the coconut ice cream which was an excellent fresh way to end. We got a few fun pictures with us and Sandra in coconut wigs, plus a gentleman who looked like Captain Kangaroo in his wig which provided some good laughs. We couldn't stop talking about our experience at Rendezvous and decided that night that we MUST return before our trip was over.
We went to the beach bar again two days later where Sandra made us those wonderful coconut mojitos again. This time we were joined by Glenn and Colleen and able to meet and talk with them for a while. We also reserved our table for later that evening. This time we decided to start with the Combo Exotica appetizer which had shrimp toast, papaya salad, and conch fritters. I've vacationed in Key West on two occasions so I was very familiar with conch fritter...or so I thought! This was not your average conch fritter. They were delicate, not heavy, well seasoned, and not the slightest bit oily despite knowing their preparation is typically fried. The papaya salad was also excellent but both were seriously trumped by the shrimp toast! OH MY! This shrimp toast may have been one of the best things I have ever eaten! We demanded from Chino to hear how it was made, which he of course knew every detail! We again split the Pad Thai for our entree which did not change in it's deliciousness! At the end of the meal Chino was explaining the desserts to us, but we were so enamored by the shrimp toasts we had earlier eaten that we requested a plate of them for dessert!
This next part is likely not your typical visit or what to expect from your time at Rendezvous, but it had a lot of meaning to me and speaks so highly of the people at Rendezvous. My husband had recently passed away (young, only 31) and Chino could tell that there was something about us on our last night that was a bit off and offered his ear. Both he and Sandra gave us big hugs, gave comforting words and the news spread to Colleen. We ended up having a restaurant wide toast to my late husband to honor him and all the staff and patrons listened to me speak of him, which was the first I had done since his passing. It was a wonderful and cathartic experience and I greatly appreciate the opportunity they gave me to share my grief.
Rendezvous and all the staff were fantastic. We loved Belize so much that we are talking about renting a house for our whole family to stay. Rendezvous will be number 1 on our list of places that we HAVE to return.
Thank you so much, Thai, Chino, Sandra, Glenn, and Colleen for the amazing food and experience.
**A note for those worried about Thai, the dog, from prior comments - They kept a close eye on him since the incident below. There were younger kids playing with Thai and Chino explained what had happened to the parents and asked the kids to keep some distance. I thought that this was important as its clear they read comments from their patrons and take concerns very seriously.
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