Monday, April 30, 2012

Rouge Tomate

My aunt and uncle were in town for a few days, and wanted to check out an American restaurant close to their hotel in the Upper East Side. A few friends had recommended Rouge Tomate, and after reading a bit more about the Michelin star awarded restaurant, I suggested it and off we went.
Rouge Tomate serves a seasonal menu based off of locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant even has a culinary nutritionist on staff to consult for the menu.
The restaurant is beautiful and grand, spread over two floors. The patrons seemed to mainly be middle aged.
Our server was friendly and patient, as we generally weren't ready every time he came to take our order. The only thing that irked me was that each time we asked for recommendations, he started off with "well, it really depends on what you're in the mood for". Obviously, but we still want to know what the recommended dishes are... My uncle then asked "could you tell us what your popular items are then?" The waiter replied "the menu changes so often that I can't really tell you what's popular... Maybe I'll just list my own favorites?" He could've just started off with that! Thankfully the food compensated for the not so impressive start.

Amuse Bouche: spring leek and garlic. This had a nice thick texture.


Appetizers:

Maine Lobster Salad, $21: avocado, daikon, candied peanut, sugar snap pea, rhubarb-ginger vinaigrette.


Cow's Milk Ricotta Gnudi, $21: celery root, black truffle, salsify, fine herbs, parmesan. So fresh, and the flavors blended beautifully together. The gnudi (a type of gnocchi) was perfectly chewy, but I thought it could use a stronger ricotta taste.


Spanish Octopus Salad, $19: fennel escabeche, fingerling, satsuma, belgium white ale.


Lightly Cured Arctic Char: fennel confit, green apple, mustard seed caviar, saffron. This was an item off of the tasting menu. The dishes can be ordered al carte. So nicely presented!


Entrees:

Olive Oil Poached Alaskan Halibut, $37: cayuga organic bean stew, lacinato kale, artichoke, stinging nettle, provencal oil. Deliciously tender, but random bites were too salty.


Guinea Hen, $36: leg presse, freekeh, shallot puree, oregon morels, ramp greens, foie gras, vin jaune. Absolutely amazing. Tender and so flavorful. I would definitely recommend this over the fish if you're looking for strong flavors.


Desserts:

Coconut-Papaya Mochi, $5: pineapple, mint, mango lassi.


Warm Apricot Clafoutis, $11: golden raisin, greek yogurt, pine nut, fennel. This had a pound cake-like texture. It was quite dense and not too sweet. (I usually half the sugar when I bake cookies, so I definitely appreciated this).



I would definitely suggest this restaurant for a nice, relatively healthy meal.

Address: 10 East 60th Street (between 5th Avenue & Madison Avenue)
New York, NY 10022
Phone number: (646)237-8977

www.rougetomatenyc.com


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