OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — This is a time for gathering together with friends and family, feasting and expressing gratitude. I’m obviously talking about Rendezvous Pizza.
Well, sorta. I did go by myself, but Rendezvous is right there in the name, and the menu is certainly large and interesting enough to warrant some large-group experimentation and swapping. And based on my experience, eating a lot and being grateful you went are definitely part of the experience. Plus, in the grand Thanksgiving tradition, you’re likely to have leftovers.
I can only guess at how common this might be, but as someone who’s lived and worked in the metro for the last 20ish years, I don’t actually get into Bricktown all that often.
Rendezvous is on the north side of Sheridan between Abuelo’s and the Bricktown Brewery, in a space that I think used to be a Henry Hudson’s, or Brix, or possibly both. It’s fairly new, having opened around June this year, and has a nice open atmosphere with high ceilings and some exposed brick but more stamped-metal-looking paneling, which goes well with the teal and purple and black seating.
Plenty of seating choices, too – the bar itself, bar-height two tops, and a visually impressive trifecta of booths, extra-tall megabooths, and half-height minibooths.
The menu touts the chicken wings and offers nachos, a few salads and sandwiches, and the New York-style pizza, but I figured for my maiden flavor voyage I should try the main headliner: Detroit-style (i.e., thick crust but not Chicago-style “defensive fortifications” thick, rectangular, a little crispy cheese around the edges, central trail of sauce along the top).
I’m pretty sure I made the perfect choice in getting the Tito’s Vodka, which uses the titular spirit to jazz up some spicy tomato sauce laid in generous dollops atop soppressata (a spicy salami), sweet Italian sausage and plenty of cheese, plus a dash of oregano, red pepper flakes and a drizzle of hot honey.
Not to mince words: It is a sticky, dripping, glorious mess and I loved it. I don’t think I would have minded had they lost the sausage – it’s not a detriment, I just couldn’t tell that it added much. On the other hand, I raised an eyebrow at seeing vodka sauce in the description, but it’s a great call; its roof-of-the-mouth tang adds a third polarity to balance the sweetness and heat from the honey and pepper and elevates the overall flavor considerably.
And after polishing off the back half the next day, I can tell you that this pizza holds up amazingly well in the fridge. It’s very nearly as good cold as it was still sizzling from the oven, and requires fewer napkins.
The bar has an impressive crop of local names amid its ample selection of bottles and cans – and speaking of local, the menu makes a point of pointing out the Rendezvous commitment to using ingredients like Shawnee Mills Flour in the pizza dough, Schwab’s ham, MIO hot honey and Farrell Family bread in the sandwiches. You love to see it.
It’s been a weird year. Maybe not as grim as 2020, but still pretty emotionally fraught for many of us, and not what I think anyone would call normal. Eleven months ago I was still leaving the house once or twice a week for quick grocery runs and only dining out via curbside pickups, so now as the calendar is winding down it genuinely does feel worthy of grateful recognition to have three shots in my veins and a fresh, hot pizza on the table in front of me – indoors, like the old days.
I hope you’re doing well, and if you have the opportunity, this might be a good time to meet your people for a rendezvous.
27 E Sheridan, OKC
Sunday-Thursday 11 am-9 pm
Friday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm