Rendezvous has reopened at The U.S. Grant after more than eight decades. First launched in 1933, the post-Prohibition era bar has been revived at the historic hotel; the 3,023-square-foot space, a former art gallery, has its own separate entrance off Broadway. This new French-themed incarnation was conceived by food and beverage director Jeff Josenhans; likening it to a bistro, but for cocktails, Josenhans says it’s a casual counterpart to the Grant Grill, and a fresh playground for his team to showcase their skills.
Created in tandem with chef de bar Cory Alberto, the menu is priced to be accessible, with cocktails and wine starting at $10. Guests will be greeted with a complimentary aperitif of housemade vermouth, made with seasonal ingredients, and French spirits abound on a list that includes the Triangle Amoureux, a blend of gin, Lillet Blanc, and Yellow Chartreuse that’s garnished with a clever bit of cocktail tech, a disk of sweet fondant printed with a Renoir painting. There are also shareable punch bowls and classic cocktails, including a Vieux Carre, that will be mixed tableside on a roving trolley. A traditional absinthe fountain will be offered, as well as a selection of vintage spirits kept in one of the hotel’s antique safes. Other beverages include cask ale and Normandy cider. Rendezvous is rare bar that has an in-house “ice man” making 30 pound batches of ice that will be hand-carved into spheres, pressed into diamond shapes, or dyed the colors of the French flag.
Next month, Rendezvous will add light snacks to the menu, including a bartender’s take on a cheese platter with garnishes that incorporate absinthe, calvados, and chartreuse. It will operate Thursday though Saturday, with occasional pop-ups and special events on Wednesdays and live entertainment, from vinyl DJs to bands, on Fridays and Saturdays; an official grand opening party is scheduled on Halloween.