Rouge Tomate

Final Bill: $101.25 for two

After our respective weekend trips filled with heavy eating, Jay and I went in search of something light on a rainy Monday afternoon. Since we both have a week off before work and school starts back up, it was the perfect time for a more slow-paced meal.

We found this at Rouge Tomate on 60th Street and Madison Avenue, across the street from Barney’s.

Known for its fresh ingredients and refreshing juice bar, we thought a veggie-focused dinner might make up for some of the unhealthy eating over the weekend.

With every dish, every cocktail they serve, whether you enjoy it or not, you can’t deny their overarching theme of clean flavors and garden-fresh inputs. The space was, as reflected in its food, clean and simple. The light wooden chairs and glass box vases filled with green apples sounded off an aura of everything organic.

My cocktail – the amber palmer – came from their renowned juice bar. It took me a while to decide as both their alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages offer a creative twist from your typical Manhattan cocktail list. The amber was a fusion of jasmine and green tea, with rosemary-grapefruit juice, mint, and seltzer.

They start you off with a fine carrot puree, instead of your typical oil or butter, as a spread for your pre-meal bread. The bread is trucked over from Amy’s Bread at the Chelsea Market, with your choice of wheat or sourdough. While it’s always a struggle for me to stay off these carbs before your actual meal, it’s actually not a bad idea to indulge as the rest of your dinner will be light.

Jay and I shared the chilled sweet corn soup to start. The soup was finely churned into a smooth bisque-like consistency and not overly creamy. It was topped with bits of walnut and drizzles of chili oil. Loving anything corn, this was naturally my favorite of the night.

For my main entree, I went with sweet corn again. This time a risotto replica with farroto and corn kernels. This would work well for anyone who’s a fan of the texture of risotto but not its buttery base. The mound of grainy farroto was obviously relatively healthy, but still velvety and rich, topped with succotash, fava bean, jalapeño, juicy tomato, and cilantro.

Jay had the Berkshire Pork Loin a la Plancha. The dish a was a tad small for its price with flavors slightly off chord. The slices of pork were purely white meat but not too dry. It was oddly fruity however, with a sweet glaze most likely from the mushy chunks of peaches off to the side.

But redemption came shortly in the form of the bittersweet mi-cuit dessert with bananas two ways accompanied by a souffle-like chocolate cake and coffee ice cream. The slices of fresh glazed bananas were pieced together to form a chain-like log, filled with crispy chocolate malts throughout. The coffee ice cream had a delightfully crispy coffee flavor that pair perfectly with the gooey cake.

The amuse bouche and palate cleanser than came before and in between the dishes were also pleasantly surprising. While the ratatouille puree could have have used a little less salt, the yellow melon sorbet was a solid hit of watermelon zest going into the dessert.


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