Rouge Tomate, NYC 2

September 20, 2010

I had enjoyed the Restaurant Week lunch in July at Rouge Tomate so much that Linda and I returned for dinner on August 31, 2010. We were seated towards the back looking over the opening down to the little water feature and the busy staircase used by the waiters to bring up plates. The big room is spacious and relatively quiet. For apéritif we ordered glasses of 2008 Bugey-Cerdon, Renardat-Fâche, Gamay, Ain, sparkling rosé. The only other time we had this wine was at Alain Chapel, where it was the house apéritif, grown nearby. It is a bit fruitier than we normally prefer, but it was enjoyable.

After a long discussion with the interesting Bretonne sommelier, we ordered a bottle of 2008 Pinot Noir, St Innocent Winery, “Shea Vineyards”, Willamette Valley. This was very good.
 
T
he amuse-gueule was a little glass of fennel soup with chives. Nice.

The bread basket was passed with sourdough and multi-grain bread. It was served with a cauliflower purée. (No cream or butter is used before the dessert.)

Linda’s first course was
Churutabis Farms Guinea Hen Terrine
Burnt Honey-Fig Compote / Foie Gras / House-made Pickle / Sourdough Toast

She wrote: ” The fig compote was excellent, the terrine light and good. The pickled vegetables were pretty, but very unwine-friendly. A good summer dish.”

My starter was
Sauteed Atlantic Calamari
Summer Beans / Tomato / Basil / Garlic

This was excellent. There were clear flavors of summer in Provence. They blended well, but didn’t mask individual ingredients. 

Linda’s main course was  
Berkshire Pork Loin a la Plancha
Crushed Potato / Braised Chard / Stone Fruit Mostarda

She wrote: “The pork loin tasted like good slices of ham, but was not what I expected. The peaches went well with the good chard, mashed potato and pork.”

Mine was
Moroccan Spiced Long Island Duck
Heirloom Eggplant Agrodolce / Mint / Beldi Olive

I really enjoyed this. The chef knows how to use just the right amount of classic spices and flavors to enhance and make the dish interesting without overdoing it.

The pre-dessert was a watermelon sorbet.

Another nice summer flavor. 

Linda skipped dessert; mine was
Plum
Sticky Rice Balls, Crystallized Ginger, Plum-
Shiso Sorbet

This was superb. The fresh mochi balls were flavored with sesame. They put up a nice resistence and contrast. The plum slices were flavored with just the right amount of ginger flecks. The sorbet enhanced their flavor. 

My meal was consistently excellent; Linda’s was less so. I had ordered dishes which promised to be a bit spicy and Linda had avoided them, falling into the trap of blandness which is frequent at bio restaurants such as this.

To see our lunch the previous month at Rouge Tomate click here.

The restaurant’s website:
http://rougetomatenyc.com/

 

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