Monday, January 27, 2014

Rogue 24, DC #2

After exploring some of the top restaurants in the world this year, I thought it would be fun to return to Rogue 24 in DC to experience the Journey that is the 24-course vegan meal. In my first review that was written in October of 2012, I did a thorough job of explaining the concept and rather than repeat much of what I said before, I will refer to the previous review for more a complete report on that. In this review, I will focus mostly on the food and service. 

My friend, Jasmine, and I arrived promptly for our 7 p.m. reservation and were asked to sit in the waiting area. The host and General Manager came out to seat us and to my delight, it turned out to be the same table I sat at last time -- right behind Chef RJ Cooper. Eating at this restaurant is akin to culinary theater as the kitchen is the center of the restaurant and you can watch the chefs preparing the food live the entire time. So no matter where you sit, there is a performance to watch, if you choose to do so.

The chef came out to greet us and then the fun began. The first six/seven courses were paired with this amazing cocktail made of carpano antica vermouth, campari, soda, and beet air. It was light, sweet, and airy. The courses to emerge was compressed brine and watermelon with sorrel leaf. Resembling sushi, this small bite had a sweetness to it that was complemented by the sorrel nicely.

The next few courses were also very small bites. There was a very odd item that could have been an olive or a grape, but really looked like some sort of egg. We weren't a big fan of this one.

Next, was a plate with a puffed pickle, a shaved celery root ravioli with hemp butter inside (so delicious!), and radishes in cocoa and hemp butter that tasted like Reese's Pieces!

Then, we were served squash cooked in embers covered in oatmeal with huckleberry that had a fiery taste to it. One thing I will mention is that we were only served six courses in this bunch while seven appeared on the menu we received at the end so I think they missed one course of ours.

Next, we were served creamy avocado mousse with sweet fresno pepper, tomatillo, and corn nuts. This dish melted in my mouth.

Then, there was globe artichoke sliced somewhat thickly with olive oil  and dehydrated marigolds along with black truffle emulsion and lemon preserve. We loved the flavor explosion that accompanied this dish.

For the ninth dish, there was baby romaine with garlic puree and garlic capers. Yum! We had a Domaine Weibach Reisling with this set of dishes.

For number ten, there was asparagus served with broccoli seed and alfalfa seed.

For number eleven, we had grilled carrots with hemp butter over cocoa soil with blood oranges. This is one of the dishes were the unusual flavors meshed perfectly and made us wonder how one would even think to pair these together. Spectacular!

Next, we had a delicious soup of fried tofu, leek, and chive in onion broth.

One of our favorite dishes was the beluga lentils with kohlrabi foam and wild wasabi greens. We also loved the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery ale that we were served from Michigan.

Now this one looked very cool -- savoy cabbage filled with barley over pear butter and topped with sorrel leaves. Creative?!

For number fifteen, we had fennel with black truffleand blood orange with an Alexander Valley Cabernet.

For number sixteen, there was detroit beet with ash, clementine gel, and marigolds.

Phew...lots of food! Next up was an amazing potato agnolotti with shaved white truffles. Soooo so good.

Number 18 consisted of a mushroom with black garlic emulsion, pea brulee, black truffle emulsion, and Peruvian clover.

Number 19 incorporated sweet potatoes and hazelnuts in hazelnut foam with black truffle sauce. Amazing.

Next up was The Parting Glass Semillon, 2009 from Yakima Valley, Washington with the dessert courses. This began with a coconut, litchi, white chocolate, and lime dish that was sweet and tart at the same time.

Then a peanut butter sorbet atop banana and a brown sugar vanilla crumble. We were loving this dish.

Number twenty-two was chocolate and strawberry ecstasy! Chocolate dipped in liquid nitrogen served with strawberry gelato and more chocolate. Oh my!

Lastly, for our happy endings, a box of delectable chocolate, white chocolate, and coconut small bites.

This gastronomic tasting extravaganza lasted five hours and by the end, we wished it would go on forever. For $135 per person plus $150 for the premium drink pairing, this meal is well worth it and much more lower priced than a meal of this caliber in Chicago or New York. RJ Cooper and his staff put on a grand performance presenting each meal and drink with the utmost professionalism. The service was quite spectacular and the show is a lot of fun. I'll be back soon.

Me and Chef RJ Cooper

Previous review
October 15, 2012

Rogue 24
922 N Street NW (rear)
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 408-9724

Rogue 24 on Urbanspoon

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