2012 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012
If you have yet to reserve at this much buzzed about alley restaurant created by chef R.J. Cooper, one of the dishes you can look forward to is Japanese red snapper served with puffed black rice. Ginger, cilantro and chilies shoot through the construction, dainty enough to require tweezers to eat it. Another novelty on both the 16-course Progression menu and the 24-course Journey scroll finds whipped aged Parmesan, fried baby artichokes and itty-bitty flowers in a tilted glass bowl: a pudding like no other. Working from a kitchen in the center of the dining room, Cooper and colleagues also rethink steak tartare; minced raw lamb and tzatziki foam nestled in a ruffle of lettuce is an elegant, one-bite taco by way of Greece. Dinner might involve more airs, powders and technology than you like, but Cooper's flights of fancy are never, ever dull. And the chef listens to his regulars. A new four-seat Spirits Bar lets diners watch cheftender Bryan Tetorakis strut his stuff, and a new four-course menu means they can give clients or dates the flavor of the place without spending 3 1/2 hours with them. More finesse, fewer flaws. Rogue 24 rocks.
I was very disappointed by Rogue 24. For the amount of money you spend there, I expected a certain level of service. The receptionist was snotty and didn't get our reservation right. The owner was appallingly rude. He heckled us when we didn't finish 100% of the dishes and made rude comments to us most of the night. The food was also a huge disappointment. I have had better food at Outback Steakhouse. Also, I went for my birthday and they didn't do anything special for it. After being insulted by the owner and receptionist, I felt like a child trying to eat my dinner.
Horrible experience, even worse food. There are much better restaurants out there in this area.
Our family was there to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday. We found the food creative and delicious -- a rival to Heston Blumenthal's fabled Fat Duck in England. The service was not only impeccable but friendly and accommodating. My father, due to allergies, doesn't drink wine so the 'mixologist' created pairings of cocktails rather than wine and seemed genuinely enthusiastic to do so. Chef Cooper came over to chat briefly, noticed a somewhat obscure alumini lapel pen on my dad's jacket and talked about how he gets his lamb from one of the school's former faculty members. A wonderful experience.
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