Rouge Tomate Capitulates to Small Plates for the Sake of ‘Nutritional Complexity’

Photo: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

Perhaps hoping to fill its curiously empty downstairs dining room, Rouge Tomate tells Grub Street that they’re planning a total menu overhaul this month. Inspired by “the changing lifestyle and sensibilities of the contemporary food lover,” the Belgian import is dropping its traditional menu structure of appetizer-entrée-dessert in favor of tapas and shareables: think crostini, crudos, flatbreads, and terrines. But let’s not be so crass as to assume that Rouge Tomate is jumping on the au courant small plates trend just because it’s trendy — and, let’s not forget, measurably ups the check average. In keeping with the restaurant’s health-is-wealth mandate, they’ve spun the overhaul as a matter of nourishment: It’s “a diversity of tasting opportunities in a manner consistent with genuine nutrition … when these different plates are taken together, the guest will receive a meal ripe with nutritional complexity.”