08 May 2011

Rogue 24: The Forthcoming DC Restaurant That Previewed in NYC

There has been negative press served up by Washington Examiner’s Jana Irwin for not having this pop-up restaurant in NYC instead of DC – and I say, it is all sour grapes. Let the wonderful Chef RJ Cooper what he wants to do. NYC people are willing to shell it and eat it. NYC people go to DC for business or pleasure. And it is true. Food trends do tend to trickle down from NYC outward.

I made it a point to make my reservations a week after LTO’s (Limited Time Only) pop-up restaurant opened. There was no way that the service will be en pointe on the first week - it is a pop-up, 24 courses and the staff is not used to it yet. I was right. I have heard stories of walkouts because the food had too much time in between courses. While we can point fingers at everyone – I will chalk it up to birthing pains.

The entire progression of the meal is as follows:

Pork Chicharrones and Deconstructed Salsa

headcheese/pretzel paper/fried grilled mayo
My first taste of headcheese. I am not disappointed. Mmm.

quail egg/spring textures/anchovy
Poached quail egg, anchovy powder. Better eaten whole,
the quail yolk goodness pops in your mouth.

Tweezers as an eating utensil! 
(a good chopstick substitute, IMHO)

shima aji/black lime/yeast/puffed rice
Hamachi with puffed wild rice and yeast emulsion foam. 
Yes, you eat it with huge tongs! A good chopstick substitute, IMHO

The Caviar Course. 
Served in a caviar tin with mother of pearl spoon.

osetra/new classic garniture/gin infusion
Black caviar, creme fraiche
This is probably Robin Leach's Caviar Dream. I swear!

iberico lomo/melon/coffee/manchego/almond
Compressed Watermelon
A refreshing palate cleanser.

langoustine/chawan mushi/ginger/chorizo
langoustines with chorizo oil

catalina sea urchins/squid toast/lardo/clamato
squid crisp with aereated seawater, lardo and clamato
Clamato. I like that word.

smoked rap oyster/smilax/meyer lemon
oyster suspended in liquid charcoal, meyer lemon foam
I was apprehensive with eating charcoal... it was good!

fingerling trout/parfait/roe/meuniere
Trout with Trout Parfait, roe. The leaves pair so well with the trout!

liquid chicken/truffle/cepe/everona
You eat this thing whole, the liquid chicken explodes in your mouth. 
It was so good - THIS IS BETTER than the truffle explosion
I had at Alinea. I dont like truffles (fungi).

conger eel/seaweed/grapefruit/bbq/charcoal
BBQ eel with a seaweed and grapefruit gelee

olives/goat cheese/bell pepper/basil
The olive on the left is encapsulated olive juice.

turbot/radishes/green garlic/roe
Turbot is a fish, and this dish had a texture similar to fried tofu.

pain perdu/bacon/onion/caramel
Onion ice cream on brioche french toast, bacon tuile & salt caramel 
This dish is f*cking amazing. Yes, I said ONION ICE CREAM. 
Onion ice cream is not something i would eat in pints. 
This dish as a whole? Phenomenal!

Fried quail drumstick, roasted quail breast on rhubarb with 
pig blood pudding. The roasted quail breast tastes like chicken liver.

lamb/blue ridge inspirations/peanut
Roast lamb with a peanut component. 
This is a lamb dish that I would eat. I am a picky lamb eater.

foraged in wild shenandoah
This is Chef RJ Cooper's tribute to his hometown. 

wagyu brisket/potato pave/morels
"Beef and Potatoes" with morels

A close up of the potato from the dish above. 
Yes, they are in LAYERS!

sheep's ricotta/walnut/long pepper/manni
Ricotta with Black Walnuts, Lemon Oil and Toast
This is very good dessert introduction. Mmm.

dragon carrot soda/tapioca/satsuma crema
Dragonfruit carrot soda, tapioca pearls, orange cream foam. 
I could drink gallons of this!

basil pound cake/lemon-rosemary/passion fruit
Basil pound cake with lemon rosemary sorbet, passion fruit spray 
and pine nuts. This is Chris Ford's winning dessert. 
MMM. I want more. *chest rubbing action*

The Rogue 25. Lemon Ganache with Roasted Hazelnut Macaron. 
This IS NOT part of the 24 course menu.

oliver & sinclair chocolate/acer ice cream/muscovado
Chocolate Pudding with Chocolate Strips, 
Wood Ice cream - yes, WOOD! and muscovado gelee

Happy Endings 1
Salt and Pepper Caramel

Happy Endings 2
Strawberry Marshmallow 
(These babies are soft as women's breasts!)

Happy Endings 3
Custard Truffle

The handsome and dashing pastry chef Chris Ford was once a colleague of my husband, and he has been posting excited statuses about it. I really was excited to see Chris and taste what he has been up to. I am also an avid follower of his blog.

Truth be told – this pop up saved us an 8-hour roundtrip bus ride. It was also my birthday. I proclaimed this dinner outing to be my birthday dinner, even if it is 10 days late.

Rogue 24 will be opening its doors in DC in the coming weeks. It will have a central open kitchen and the dishes will be served by the chefs who prepared them. I had also found out that Chef RJ Cooper aims to have one of the best restaurants in the world alongside The French Laundry and Alinea. Having gone to both, Chef, I honestly feel (and taste) that your food is at par with Thomas Keller’s and Grant Achatz’.

Chris, your exciting flavor combinations are great to eat after looking at all those photographs on your blog. I wish you the best and I know it will happen.

To Chef RJ and Chris, thank you for stopping by our table when we came to eat your wonderful food. The best of luck to the both of you, and I look forward to seeing Rogue 24 in that list. It truly was a very happy birthday dinner for me and my husband.

To Limited Time Only, I look forward to the upcoming chefs that will be cooking in your kitchens. You have my email address.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: Our Dinner was NOT sponsored in any way. We had paid the dinner in full, and tipped well. Chris Ford is a fried of ours but even if he wasn't I would still sing the same high praises (including handsome and dashing.) RJ Cooper does not know us personally, but my husband and I are Facebook Friends with him. The only *perk* we got was the "Rogue 25."

Photo Captions: First line of the caption comes from the Rogue 24 menu. The italics part of the captions is a combination of the waitstaff's introduction of the dishes and my opinion.

LTO (Limited Time Only)
171 E Broadway
New York NY 10022
212 228 3100

Rogue 24
922 N St. NW (Rear)
Washington DC 20001


  1. Wow. I am really impressed with the artistry of each dish especially courses 8, 16, 17, 25.

  2. Wow, looks like he ripped off a lot of other chefs ideas.
    fried mayo - wylie
    wood ice cream, fried liquid chicken, etc. - Grant
    Oyster sphere, olive sphere - el bulli(one of there most famous dishes)
    bacon and ice cream - Heston

    can't wait to see what he steels next, maybe the pressed popcorn that's dipped in nitrogen like they do at minibar, oh wait, he's already doing that

  3. Can you please link Chris' blog? The link here is not working correctly. I would love to see it. Thanks!