When R.J. Cooper does something well, he does it like no one else. His beautiful, industrial Rogue 24 is brilliant and rather thrilling, with an impressive open kitchen, impeccable service, and a staff that clearly loves what they do. And the food is a clear reflection of Mr. Cooper’s creativity, from the bread basket all the way to dessert.
The bread basket, the opening to your meal, is not really a bread basket. A wooden serving vessel features 4 different “breads;” the highlight being a goat cheese donut, a sweet donut hole oozing with tangy goat cheese and topped with a dollop of sweet maple syrup. A crispy chip with sour cream, a savory shortbread cookie, and a porcini mushroom meringue make up the rest of the plate.
Your meal that follows can be 24, 16, or 4 courses, depending on what you select when you make the reservation. Regardless of the number of courses, all of your senses are guaranteed to be satisfied. A tomato salad is a painter’s palate of color and texture, with gorgeous cherry tomatoes and crispy fried tomato skins served with a basil cream, herbs, and edible flowers. Salsify, a root vegetable, is perfectly cooked and served with rich oyster cream. Smoked pasta is lick-your-plate good, which by the way, is a habit the restaurant encourages. Creamy and perfect with truffles, no one could ever turn this dish away. Other dishes come served on massive stone blocks, and dishes are always presented simultaneously with the most detailed descriptions, exemplifying R.J.’s attention to presentation.
Dessert is the only disappointment. Over thought, with too many ingredients, it is a reminder of why the simplest desserts, a scoop of ice cream, a slice of pie, are usually the best.
Prices are extraordinary, but so is the experience. Go for a special occasion to make the evening unforgettable. And be sure to get the drink pairing!
Rogue 24, 922 N Street Northwest Washington D.C., 202-408-9274