Rouge 24

Rouge 24

On Friday night, I had my first Rouge 24 dining experience.  What's Rouge 24?  The latest foodie nirvana.  In their own words, Rouge 24 is "a progression of small plates that excite the senses, tantalize the palate and awaken curiosity." 

The scene is very speak easy.  It's in an alley that used to be home to skater and art parties (usually at the same time.)  The door is nondescript and there's a view of the pedi cab warehouse.  Once you enter, it's a different world.  It's sleek with exposed brick and concrete floors.  I loved the woven light fixtures and the rugs under the tables to keep the noise level in check.  We sat in the sat in the back corner near the cocktail station.

We chose the 24 course "Journey" with the wine pairings.  If you're going to do it, do it right.  Yes, it was expensive but it's on par with Table 21 and minibar.  On that note, Rouge 24 blew Table 21 out of the water and is very close to minibar perfection. 

There's plenty of reviews that talk about every course.  I'm going to highlight my favorites:

Hog Jowl:  pan perdue with onion ice cream, a sliver of hog jowl and chinceron with salted carmel sauce.  Oh my god was this an incredible combo.  I loved the salty/sweet contrast. 

Foie Gras:  frozen foie gras shavings with lavendar notes and a huckleberry sauce.  Melted in my mouth. 

Shabu Shabu:  don't have words for the deliciousness.  Thinly shaved beef, greens and mushrooms in a flavorable broth.  I wish every ramen soup had this broth.  

Razor Clam Ceviche:  a perfect bite of clam, apple, fennel and potato. 

The other diners at the table loved the Sea Floor dish (sea urchin with squid ink tapioca, seaweed and clamato).  I do not like sea urchin.  My husband was really happy to eat two of these.  The tables least favorite dish was the Bull's Blood Beet which consisted of frozen beet juice ice with smoked roe and yogurt gnocchi. 

The wine parings were also a delight.  I only drink white because red doesn't agree with me.  The sommelier offered up cocktails instead of the two red wine glasses.  They also poured me another glass of the excellent French rose.  (I'm a little obsessed with rose this summer).  The shots at the beginning and end of the meal were also delicious.

The service was impeccable.  The sheer amount of staff is impressive.  Let's also talk about the tableware.  It was beautiful.  Each dish had a different set of silver plus various stands/plates/bowls. The attention to detail is incredible.

Overall, this is not an experience to be missed.  It won't be an event for everyone.  Most dishes were one to two bites.  Some will find it too fussy and gimmicky.  But others, like myself and my dining companions, will find it a unique adventure.

*photo via The Washington Post



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