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New eatery Rouge Tomate is helping its clientele cut the fat by offering fare the restaurant hopes is as appealing to the taste buds as it is to the waistline. Neither spa cuisine nor diet food, the menu under executive chef Jeremy Bearman (a Joel Robuchon and Daniel Boulud alum) is based on the principles of S.P.E. (Sanitas Per Escam or "Health Through Food"), a nutritional charter conceived by its Belgian owner Emmanuel Verstraeten to offer maximum health benefits and culinary pleasure. A three-course meal can clock in at just 550 calories. Butter and cream are verboten, as are frying and grilling; vegetables are seasonal and in heavy supply and even the sodas like ginger ale, tonic and lemon-lime are homemade. But if the Rouge Tomate
team has their way, you won't even notice what's not on the plate. "The main direction we give the chef is to make the food taste good," explains Rouge Tomate vice president Nil Sönmez. "And then at the end of the meal the great thing is, 'Oh, by the way, it's healthy.'"
The Location: The former Nicole Farhi store and restaurant space across thestreet from Barneys New York.
The Clientele: Shoppers who want to fit into their size 0 purchases.
The Decor: Soothing pale wood with accents of—what else—red. Upstairs, a cafe and lounge features a 16-foot-long oak and walnut bar and semiprivate cantilevered booths. Downstairs is more formal, with a cranberry bog, oversize photographs from Norwegian artist Per Fronth and an open kitchen. The Food: Seasonal and local offerings including leek and potato flatbread with sheep's milk feta, pine nuts, grapes and capers; squash agnolotti with a farm egg, brussels sprouts and warm mushroom vinaigrette. The $72 prix
fixe includes celery root and almond panna cotta; rabbit fleischnacke with homemade chestnut pasta and black cod in rice paper. Sip a Pear Crisp (rum, Champagne, pear juice, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon) made with fresh daily juices.
The Details: 10 East 60th Street; 646.237.8977; rougetomate.com