Rouge Tomate

by Ada on July 23, 2011

Early this evening my dining partner-in-crime (Zara) and I met at Rouge Tomate for restaurant week. Rouge Tomate possesses a Michelin star and is highly regarded for it’s locally sourced, nutritionally-sound cuisine.

The restaurant is conveniently situated on 60th between 5th and Madison Avenues, in close proximity to Central Park. The interior is extremely spacious and the sound level at an equilibrial lull.

Rouge Tomate offers an interesting cocktail menu, with concoctions ranging from a Rhubarb Crisp to a Clementine Sake Martini. Zara opted for a classic bellini while this angelic twenty year old went with a diet coke;)

A server popped by and offered us a selection of three breads. I went with a sesame roll

and Zara selected a pumpkin seed one

Thyme-infused olive oil was served with the bread, along with two freshly ripe tomatoes. Such a pretty presentation.

To begin we were given an amuse bouche of a chilled cucumber soup. The soup was quite refreshing, with a bright spectrum of flavors awakening the palate.

The restaurant week deal consists of an appetizer, entree, and dessert. For her appetizer, Zara selected the watermelon gazspacho. The portion size was quite generous and the watermelon added a complimentary sweetness to the otherwise-standard soup.

For my appetizer, I selected the Hawaiin Walu Ceviche. Yeh, I had no idea what Walu was either. Apparently it’s a fish similar to ahi tuna. First, I must note the gorgeous presentation. Doesn’t it just scream summer and freshness? The vinaigrette captured the visual aesthetic perfectly, offering a vibrant ¬†flavor. ¬†The vinaigrette tasted so good that I sopped the remainder up with my bread. The fish itself was extremely buttery and practically melted in my mouth.

Normally Zara and I select different entrees to maximize the amount sampled, but tonight our selections were limited and we both craved the same thing. Arctic Char. The nicely-crisped skin came topped with a sultry harissa vinaigrette that provided a sharpness to the mellow fish. The Moroccan style grain salad hiding underneath, however, may have outshone the actual fish.

For dessert we again selected the same thing: Banana and Strawberry Ice Cream Terrine. I have to say, my blood pressure increased slightly when I saw the foam. Foam is one of my dining pet-peeves. I can’t help but think of a Rabies-stricken canine when I see it. Foam aside, this dish was still underwhelming. The banana bread was good, but the ice cream tasted purely of pureed bananas and lacked and degree of creaminess. I did, however, appreciate the abundance of fresh berries.Overall I had a lovely time at Rouge Tomate and greatly appreciate their mission to use locally sourced and seasonal produce. It was also great to catch-up with my good friend Zara:)

Alrighty, tonight I’m having a slumber party! My poor friend Amy has been suffering through the un-airconditioned dorms during this heat wave, so tonight she is staying with me. So excited! I hope everyone is staying cool and safe in this weather!

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