ROUGE TOMATE – NYC
10 East 60th St, New York, NY 10022
Date dined: 4.18.12
Rouge Tomate maintains the philosophy of a restaurant that you might find all over LA but is newer to the New York City restaurant scene. This modern American restaurant goes beyond just the locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients (which it does very well) and has a staff dedicated to providing the most nutritional and environmentally friendly experience. Not only do they have a full-time nutritionist on hand to consult with on every menu item, but Rouge Tomate is also a member of the Green Restaurant Association committed to reducing its carbon footprint by using ecological materials made from recycled or recyclable materials. The space itself also reflects the very clean, modern and organic feel of the food.
Executive Chef Jeremy Bearman certainly delivers on the restaurant’s vision and this is reflected by the fact that they have been awarded a Michelin star. The creative and ever evolving menu is full of gorgeous dishes and bold fresh flavors. One really would never know this could fly for “health” food. Don’t worry, just because it is considered healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have a drink, they also boast an extensive wine list of over 200 wines with selections from around the world that include many organic and biodynamic options.
A good friend from work and I decided to catch up over a nice meal and here is what we had.
We began with a small cup of chilled pea soup. The soup was slightly creamy and topped with tiny crumbles of crispy pancetta to give it a hint of texture and seasoning.
Atlantic fluke ceviche with avocado, blood orange segments, kumquat, kaffir lime and vanilla. This was a very exotic mix of citruses and really freshened up the marinated fluke. Kumquats are making more appearances on menus these days because they provide a combination of sweetness and incredible tartness.
The langoustine carpaccio with poppy seed, lemon oil, chive and American sturgeon caviar was very light and could not have been fresher. Langoustine by itself has a very subtle flavor so the other ingredients had to highlight it without being overpowering. In that sense the lemon oil was a great choice rather than fresh lemon juice which could have easily overtaken the dish.
Next was the Spanish octopus salad on top of fennel eschabèche, fingerling potatoes, satsuma and Belgian white ale. Octopus with potatoes and fennel is a classic combination but in this case the fennel was marinated and tasted citrussy and tangy brightening the dish.
The Hudson Valley rabbit “en croute” was my favorite dish. The loin was served wrapped in crisp Olli Berkshire Prosciutto and cooked to perfection so the outside was crisp and the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender. The mild gaminess was accented by woodsy black trumpet mushrooms, english pea, dandelion and pickled ramp jus.
The other main we ordered was the fresh herb pappardelle with veal sweet breads, wild mushrooms, carrot, celery, pickled pearl onion and miner’s lettuce. The pasta was incredibly finely rolled- almost like a stained glass window with bright herbs glowing through. The sweetbreads were cut up into bite sized little nuggets and scattered throughout the dish. The perfect bite included a noodle, a sweet bread and a tangy onion.
Rouge Tomate is an excellent choice for any occasion – a work related meal, a date, or dinner with the parents – especially if you are looking for a wonderful meal that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed rather than like you need an extra gym membership.