Rouge Flavor Fail Should Make Chef Blush
As advantageous as fresh ingredients are to the quality of a meal, flavor is equally, if not more, important.
Photo by Kari Steinberg
We were recently invited to Rouge, a French-Moroccan restaurant in Normandy Isle, for dinner. The wide chasm that can exist between fresh ingredients and taste has rarely been more apparent.
From the beginning it was evident that Rouge does indeed use mostly fresh ingredients, but the quality ingredients are undermined by unfavorable flavoring. From appetizer to dessert, we were unpleasantly surprised over and over again.
This is a huge shame because the décor and service are superior to most restaurants in the area, even the county. The picturesque restaurant features an outdoor garden dining area which would serve as a wonderful backdrop for wedding photos.
Owner Nabil Hach Al-luch informed us that the menu changes every four weeks or so, making it conceivable that the lackluster meal was a result of the current lineup. Rather than reinvent the menu constantly, it would benefit the picturesque restaurant to serve a select number of extensively tested, perfectly prepared dishes.
A "rascally rabbit" is there ever was one...
The quality of ingredients, service, and ambiance could justify Rouge's prices, were it not for the taste of its dishes.
The escargot and creamy pastis quiche ($14.95) appetizer was overly buttery and we could not fathom how the "creamy" aspect was rendered, as the dish was dry.
Any hint of cream was again absent from the "creamy" mint and zucchini soup ($12.95), a cold dish with an combination of seasonings that left an unpleasant aftertaste.