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Rouge Tomate


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At Rouge Tomate, food comes with a lecture. The restaurant is S.P.E. certified, which stands for "Sanitas Per Escam" (Health Through Food). According to the website, "S.P.E. is an innovative approach toward nutrition, transcending the idea of balanced eating to offer optimal nutrition that maintains, protects and strengthens the body." And elsewhere:

 

Applying the principles of the nutritional charter S.P.E.®, Rouge Tomate provides a harmonious alignment of balanced cuisine, well-being, and social and environmental consciousness. This nutritional approach demonstrates a genuine respect for the integrity of ingredients used in crafting balanced, healthful and flavorful dishes.

Rouge Tomate started in Brussels. The New York branch opened about a month ago, designed to the hilt, including booths that "float" in the air. The original dinner format was a $72 prix fixe (see NYM, Gothamist), with a casual downstairs café serving à la carte. Well, they seem to have figured out that a prix fixe in the price range of Corton probably wasn't going to fly, for a menu that sounds like it came out of a health spa. The main dining room is now à la carte, though still not cheap, with appetizers $12–24 and entrées $21–34. I was going to go on Saturday, but as there are no major reviews yet, I decided to cancel in lieu of something less expensive.

 

The restaurant is at 10 East 60th Street near Fifth Avenue, http://www.rougetomate.com/.

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At Rouge Tomate, food comes with a lecture. The restaurant is S.P.E. certified, which stands for "Sanitas Per Escam" (Health Through Food). According to the website, "S.P.E. is an innovative approach

You can't judge a restaurant by a special-event wine dinner. But since nobody's written about Rouge Tomate, I'll say a few things anyway.

 

The food wasn't what I expected. Happily, since my expectations were low. I thought it would be healthy ingredients simply presented, with little or no flavoring or even cooking. It isn't like that at all: it's more like normal food, but with light sauces (which is not to say it can't be rich: there was a chestnut soup that was rich indeed -- and the squid-ink and truffle rissoto they gave my celiac-suffering date as a substitute course at some point seemed even richer). It isn't at all like the food Jean-Georges Vongerichten was serving at JoJo twenty years ago, but in a way the idea is similar.

 

The flaw is that the chef is too enamored of fruit (and sweet flavor accents). With one exception -- an oyster with pomegranate that, if nothing else, was a perfect pairing for the wine it accompanied -- the best dishes were the ones without fruit. All the fruit was almost a throwback to the '80s, when no beef was served without raspberry.

 

I'm carping. The fact of the matter is, this food wasn't bad.

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the wine is very high-alcohol like Scholium's.

this has generally been my problem with the things I have tried. I've sort of given up on him. It IS interesting though, and people out on the edges like him are good things.

i don't love every single wine he makes (true of any winemaker though, no?) but the ones i like, i love.

 

that wine dinner was a lot of fun and i got to try many of his wines i had not tasted before. beat the crap out of the ridiculously overpriced, under-wined Lopez dinner at Tia Pol a while back.

 

i second Sneak's take on food, found most of it too sweet, except for a terrific plate of bay scallops that worked really well. still mystified by the black truffle-squid ink combo, Sneak - did you get to try it?

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beat the crap out of the ridiculously overpriced, under-wined Lopez dinner at Tia Pol a while back.

 

You could not say this dinner was overpriced or under-wined.

 

Especially not under-wined.

not at all. this was actually a very good value (as opposed to Tia Pol), although judging by food portions, some guys might have been a little under-fed.

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