While everyone was lounging on the beach and seizing the last days of summer, Rouge Tomate was busy revamping its menu and its dining room. It was always an original concept: There aren’t many, if any, restaurants with a pedigreed chef, locally sourced ingredients, an in-house nutritionist that clocks calories, and a S.P.E. charter devoted to Health Through Food. The result is a Michelin-starred meal that you don’t have to feel guilty about. Really, the only drawback was the formality of the menu and the size of the plates. Nowadays, no one likes to commit to one dish, so they tossed that concept and started from scratch. Rouge Tomate 2.0 has newly installed an upstairs lounge and a small plates menu for casual, grazing endeavors that’s available anywhere you sit.
It’s a smart move. Now, you can nibble on chef Jeremy Bearman’s imaginative, small-scale creations, including various crostini and crudo offerings with one of their fresh-squeezed cocktails. There’s a Maine crab crostini with local corn, avocado, and cilantro, a Jersey tomato and burrata crostini, as well as eggplant caponata with prosciutto and golden raisins. If you can’t make up your mind, get a sampling of three or five crostini. The menu also features an impeccably fresh Long Island fluke crudo with melon, mint, jalapeno and kaffir lime oil. There’s homemade gnocchi crowned witha poached egg and trout a la plancha with sweet onion remoulade, asparagus, caramelized pearl onions, dressed with a pickled ramp vinaigrette.
Rouge Tomate’s also introducing a five-course, chef’s tasting menu, a progression of dishes intended to meet all major nutritional needs. How many other five-course tasting menus are less than 900 calories? I can’t think of any. And it’s designed, so you won’t drift off into a food coma at your table.