Dining is supposed to be an experience in which you taste wonderful things, but who says you can’t feel wonderful after eating them as well? At Rouge Tomate, they are leading the charge; this Manhattan eatery’s philosophy is all about bringing unique, locally sourced and seasonally-relevant dishes to the table – and they certainly deliver. On my recent dinner foray to their swanky Midtown East digs, I fell in love with their take on the flavors of fall.
The perfect start to any meal (as far as I’m concerned) is a fabulous cocktail. That’s exactly what you get when you pair the winning combo of Rouge Tomate’s freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices with cocktail staples and exotic infusions. The Queen’s Cup, which features Pimm’s, cucumber purée, mint and lemon juice, will have you feeling like royalty. Innovative twists on cocktail classics (Plum Collins?! Brilliant!) may leave you stumped on what to order – but that’s why we dine with friends, right? Similarly, the seasonal toasts are so interesting that I challenge you to try ordering just one. Egg salad aficionados rejoice in the quirky Celery Root Rémoulade offering, which classes up the essential deli salad with the help of cornichon, quail egg and tarragon.
If the thought of playing with your food interests you, then you’re not alone; the Autumn Squash Soup is as amazing to watch being served as it is to taste. The shallow bowl is delivered with anisette foam; the fun starts when elements of this spectacular fall broth (flavored with apple, pumpkin seed and a blend of fall spices) are delicately drizzled around the foam to complete this whimsical dish. What’s next? Surely, it’s the Hamachi Crudo; an excellent palate-refreshing dish that is plated elegantly as well. Parsnip and green apple lend a hand in creating a crisp essence perfect for a quick sojourn between courses.
Topping the gamut of menu items you’ve seen thus far is a task that proves all too easy for this Michelin starred gem. For the adventurous eater, look no further than the Sunchoke Ravioli which is brimming with Veal Sweetbread (if you’re not familiar with this item, perhaps wait to Google it until after you enjoy your meal). Making good on the promise of autumnal harvest, you’ll also find this plate adorned with pickled shallots, brussel sprouts and black truffle jus. For you veggie fiends at the table, the Parsnip Farrotto is warming and rich, borrowing the rich earthy flavors of Lacinato Kale, parmesan and maple. Don’t shy away from the dessert menu either; sorbets that capture the essence of their respective fruit agents will tempt even the strictly-savory enthusiasts.
Perhaps, when imaging a nutritionally optimized meal focused on farm fresh produce, you wouldn’t immediately envision an extravagant evening of dining out. However, when the restaurant you’re eating at is Rouge Tomate, re-think everything you know and get ready to enhance your dining experience. They’re changing the face of wholesome eating, one delicious bite at a time