Rouge Tomate

By grace.g.yang ยท October 18, 2010
Under: American,Asian,Dinner,Drinks,Michelin 2010 Guide,My Life,Prix-fixe,UES

Getting through all of the one-starred Michelin restaurants has been quite an endeavor; luckily, I have great dining companions who are always ready to eat out with me. My dining partner for Rouge Tomate was my mom, who visited me a couple of weekends ago. We went on a Saturday night after spending the afternoon shopping on 5th Avenue:


Rouge Tomate is quite different from the other Michelin-starred restaurants because they don’t use butter or fry anything, have a nutritionist on hand when the chef creates recipes, and they still have a coveted Michelin star. I was really excited to try the restaurant, especially since I’ve been eating about a stick of butter at every Michelin restaurant this year.

We started off with bread and carrot orange spread:


I missed the butter a little, but the carrot orange spread was very interesting; the texture was similar to hummus and the orange zest and carrot were a nice balance of sweet earthy flavors. I probably wouldn’t make this myself because I still prefer butter with bread (especially whole wheat bread!) but the spread was an interesting sampling of how to substitute a healthy and tasty alternative to butter.

Rouge Tomate used to have a tasting menu but they split it into little bites that can be ordered separately so people could get more variety and order as they pleased. We started off with some Greenmarket Autumn Squash Soup with apple, pumpkin Seed and anisette:


The chef sent over the soup and it was actually my favorite dish of the night; the soup was hearty and creamy (with no cream) and had just the right amount of sweetness from the apples. There were also toasted pumpkin seeds that my mom absolutely loved and the anisette foam added a nice licorice flavor.

Our next appetizer was Diver Scallop Carpaccio with American Sturgeon Caviar, poppy seeds, lemon oil, and chive:


I am a huge fan of scallops but the dish just didn’t do it for me; the combination of toasted poppy seeds with caviar led to a strange taste in my mouth and there were just too many flavors going on at once. My mom actually liked the dish but thought the poppy seeds and other flavors weren’t distributed evenly (very true).

Next, we had an order of their market oysters with concord grape mignonette, apple, and crispy ginger:


The oysters were topped with a wedge of concord grape, bits of apple, and shavings of crispy ginger; while it’s an interesting concept to add flavor to the oysters, the concord grape *really* did not belong with the oyster. I know concord grapes are really perfect for this time of year, but its sweetness, size, and general taste really messed up the wonderfully briny taste of the oyster.

In the pasta and grains section, we ordered the house made gnocchi and freshly dug potato, six minute farm egg, foraged mushrooms, fines herbes, and sherry vinegarette:


The six minute farm egg was so large that my mom had to ask the server what it was (it was seriously almost the size of an ostrich egg!) The gnocchi was slightly overcooked and a little mealy, but the foraged mushrooms were very meaty and delicious. And we’re still alive so the foraged mushrooms must not have been poisonous…yay!

Next, we ordered the agnolotti with chunks of lobster:


The tiny bits of agnolotti were filled with ricotta and very delicious but the sauce that accompanied the dish was actually too salty to taste. Although Rouge Tomate doesn’t use butter, they’re definitely very liberal on their use of salt.

After the pasta courses, we received our mains, the local veal sweetbreads with honeycrisp apple, turnips, endive, and horseradish:


My mom and I both enjoyed the sweetbreads; we were talking with a father and daughter that sat next to us and we somehow got comfortable enough in our conversation that we offered them some of the dish. The daughter had never tried veal sweetbreads before and ended up taking a bite and finding it absolutely horrid; I guess it’s quite an acquired texture.

Our last course for the evening was another favorite – Alaskan Black Cod, shelling bean stew, fennel, lacinato kale, and provencal oil:


Although some of the other previous dishes didn’t have the right flavors/an excess amount of salt, the cod was cooked perfectly and the flavors of the stew and kale was great accompaniments to the meaty and delicious cod.

I enjoyed my meal at Rouge Tomate and definitely didn’t feel like I’d eaten too much (even though now that I’m reviewing the photographs, we ate quite a lot!) The service was very attentive and the servers were very knowledgeable about their produce and the farms they used. I saw a lot of women dining/getting drinks at the restaurant; they have a juice bar next to the main dining room that makes delicious (and healthy) smoothies. I’d probably return to try some of their lunch items or their smoothie bar after a day of shopping!

Rouge Tomate on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

I had no idea that Rouge Tomate was health conscious. Very interesting.

Written By Ada on October 18th, 2010 @ 6:31 am

Wow. the photos are amazing. and you look absolutely wonderful!
I would def do lunch there! looks awesome!

Written By Monique on October 18th, 2010 @ 10:31 am

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