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“A wonderful evening”
Review of Rodell's - CLOSED

Rodell's
Price range: $9 - $55
Cuisines: International, Spanish, South American, Ecuadorean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Watford
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A wonderful evening”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

Had heard good things about this restaurant and thought I'd give it a try, it being a very cold evening and not wanting to venture too far from the station. Great choice!
Very welcoming; prosecco on tap was great and the menu extensive. Both of us made our choices and were very pleased with the food - quality, temperature and taste (not necessarily in that order!) - and would certainly go back and take other people. I also congratulate them on offering a vegetarian platter of 28 variations; a rarity these days and something I will have next time I visit ....which I intend to be soon!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank McC16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

74 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    21
    4
    6
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Watford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“A unique place to eat in Watford”
Reviewed November 15, 2013

We had planned to eat in central Watford, but on the way remembered Rodell's, where we had had drinks before in the tiny trendy bar downstairs, so went there instead. We had a wonderful meal (for 2) upstairs at Rodell's, and Mario and his friendly staff catered for our tastes perfectly.
We are veggie but do eat fish and seafood (we’re pescatarian really, I’m told), and opted for a mixed platter, which was served imaginatively on a cake stand in ramekins and silicon fairy cake moulds. Then we had a pudding to share. We had had plenty to eat by the end, and the bill came to £45 including a large glass of wine, beer and cordial.
I looked at the other reviews and I see others have been put off by the staff not knowing exactly what was on the menu - perhaps they didn't realise Mario cooks new things in different ways every day depending on his mood, but he will always check what you like or want to avoid eating. There is too much variety for the waitresses to know exactly what's coming out. So it's perhaps not suited to the unadventurous as it's not possible to name all the little dishes, but I would rather eat in places like this quirky one-off restaurant than at a chain with frozen foods just churned out. Don't expect fancy furniture upstairs as it's plain pine tables and chairs, but you could opt for the room with the film screen playing on the wall. We'll certainly be eating there again, as there aren't enough individual restaurants around.
ps apparently the shower is there (in the Gents) because they weren't sure they'd get planning permission for the restaurant, and might have had to make other plans - well, I'm glad the Council agreed to the planning permission, as this restaurant is a great asset for Watford.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alison W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Never again.”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

My friend and I decided to try Rodells on my suggestion after I had seen multiple great reviews in a number of places and have been driving past it for years.

I walked in to inquire about a table and the lady behind the bar (who later turned out to be the manager) was very dismissive and not at all welcoming. I went back outside to get my friend and actually made a comment about hoping the service would be better than the greeting.

We walked to the top of the stairs where we waited awkwardly waiting to be seated. A waiter walked into one of the rooms to serve a table food and was walking back down the stairs before we stopped him and asked him to be seated. He seemed quite surprised by this and rather unsure where to put us. We eventually ended up on a high garden table for two which had an unsteady mesh surface and ended up being too small for the recommended number of tapas dishes.

We asked for a wine list and when he came back to take our drinks asked for our food order too... But we hadn't been given a menu. It took quite some time before that arrived.

We eventually ordered our food and decided to order a bottle of prosecco after having an individual glass each.

The food that was hot was lovely, the mac and cheese sushi style really was delicious but the pork belly was just about cool and the cajun ribs were freezing cold. After waiting for a few minutes my friend decided to go downstairs and complain. The waitress came back upstairs (she was lovely!) and told us that our options were either keep eating the cold food (!) and receive a complimentary drink OR have it reheated. We opted to have it reheated but when it came back it had clearly just been microwaved. It was scorching hot (definitely better) but extremely soggy and the fat was no longer crispy and appetizing. We finished the pork belly as we were still hungry but the ribs were just unpalatable.

We decided to go downstairs and ask to speak to the manager directly as we felt that the waitress had been great and didn't want to embarrass her in front of the other diners. The bar was crowded but loud enough for us to be discreet. As soon as we asked to speak to the manager (the lady behind the bar from earlier) she acknowledged that our food had been cold. We agreed and she abruptly asked what we would like to do about it. There was no offer of a correction on her part. We negotiated £10 off of our £70 bill (which I thought was rather a lot for a bottle of prosecco, two glasses or prosecco and 5 portions of tapas that were smaller than side plates). She then asked us if we would like another drink. We declined and left.

The thing that really got my back up was her attitude over everything. There was not one apology, not one smile and a total disregard for the disappointing experience we had had. We were very apologetic at having to complain (both of us having worked in customer services understand how awkward it can be) and were not at all unreasonable. Even at the point when we were leaving a comment about being very busy or understaffed would have saved it. Absolutely nothing.

Even after we had complained about the food being cold I was ready to keep going, hoping that the things I'd heard about Rodells were true. All I wanted was some sincerity. There was none to be had and if that's the management attitude...

I'm truly disappointed and will not be going back. I also wish that I had read some of the other TA reviews - it really does seem that you pick and choose your customers. At least I know that it was not because you'd deemed us cheap as you so brazenly stated about another reviewer. We would have happily moved downstairs to keep drinking after having dessert had we not been so disappointed.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank ClaireGCam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Watford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic!”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

I had seen the restaurant walking home for the last year, and I finally tried it last night. The staff were quick to serve, very friendly, offered good advice on the food and really made us feel welcome. The restaurant itself had a fantastic atmosphere and set itself apart from the many franchised establishments we have here in Watford. The choice of food was exceptional with such a wide variety of dishes. We opted for the world platter to share, something we certainly did not regret - a marvelous selection of varied, tasty and perfectly cooked dishes. There was not one portion either of us disliked. Overall this has been one of my favourite experiences eating out and there is no doubt in my mind we will be returning to Rodells in the near future. If I could give more then five stars across the board, I would. Outstanding!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve222000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Watford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
360 reviews
203 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Nice little gem”
Reviewed September 16, 2013 via mobile

We went to check out the place as it is close to our house. We just had a couple of taster dishes, but if these are anything to go for then this place is excellent. We had stew made from pork belly, chorizo and beans (cazuela) and fried squid with garlic mayo. Both were excellent. This is a place, where the menu changes daily based on what they feel like cooking, and it is define tiny a place to try more than once.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jens L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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