Rouge Flavor Fail Should Make Chef Blush

RougeSalmon560.jpg
Photo by Kari Steinberg
As advantageous as fresh ingredients are to the quality of a meal, flavor is equally, if not more, important.

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.

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A "rascally rabbit" is there ever was one...
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.

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.

Location Info

Rouge

908 71st St, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant


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4 comments
guest
guest

If you're going to review food, especially small restaurants, it's pretty common practice to go there more than once. This is seriously scathing, and honestly, a little unfair. I've never been here, so can't comment on the quality, but this is a professional publication reviewing food, not Yelp...

NabilHachAlluch
NabilHachAlluch

Dear Ily

Thank You for taking the time to review Rouge and the good things you wrote.

 I do however feel compelled in rebuffing some of your comments about our cuisine to the extend that a vast majority of patron that visited Rouge Rave not about the atmosphere and service but rather the great flavors they've experienced. Christophe  Bibard is a very talented young Chef, Finalist in the european Top Chef Competition ( out of 18,000 Candidates from every European Countries) with 20 years experience in the kitchen working under some of the most renowned chefs in Paris. Him and I share the same passion for great food and great flavors and stand behind every dish that are introduced for every menu we create and with the clear knowledge that we will not satisfy every palate every time ( It seems like specially not yours :) ).

I thank you again very much and hope you will understand me responding to this "review" , It is hard to be passionate about a place you spend 18 hours a day every day and not take things personally :)


Until next time...


Nabil Hach Al-luch

ily.goyanes
ily.goyanes

@guest  @guest  While it's true that visiting a restaurant several times gives you the chance to sample more options and experience the restaurant on different occasions (busy, not busy, etc.), the fact is that you only have one chance to make a first impression. And unfortunately, the impression left by the taste of the dishes at Rouge was an unfavorable one. There are certain professions that rely on consistency of service -- a surgeon is one -- a chef is another. And whether I visit a restaurant once of a dozen times, I expect to be served food that I can (and want) to eat on each and every one of those occasions. 


I don't understand why you single out small restaurants...small operations have even less of an excuse to screw up. There is more oversight and more passion involved when compared to a large, corporate-owned eatery. 


I don't believe my review was 'scathing' as you put it. It could have been worse. And in no way, as you put it, is it unfair. The chef and restaurateur were aware that I was there to conduct a review and they believe they put their best foot forward. 


If they stand by the meal, how exactly is my review unfair? 

ily.goyanes
ily.goyanes

@NabilHachAlluch  Hello Nabil,


I understand that it is almost impossible not to take a negative review personally, especially when you believe in the subject so much. 


I am not familiar with Chef Bibard, and I am not saying that he has no talent. All I am saying is that the dishes I did try were not to my liking, and I stated my reasons clearly. 


Taste, whether it be in food, music, or art, is subjective. One person may hate pickles and one might love them. I applaud your passion and dedication, but unfortunately, must disagree about the food. If others love the food at Rouge, it only proves my point that taste is a personal matter. 


I'm glad that others do enjoy your food, as you seem like a very nice gentleman and your restaurant is lovely.


Best,


Ily Goyanes 

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