ROUGE! for Valentine's Day!

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Here's James and I at Rouge on Valentine's Day.. We're looking a little rouge ourselves from all of the vino. What an amazing table though overlooking 9th Avenue.
I don't care what anyone says- I LOVE dining on Valentine's Day! Reason being is that very high end, gourmet restaurants have set Valentine's Day menu's that are much more reasonable than everyday dining. I had checked out a few menus online for Valentine's Day and then it occurred to me to try ROUGE! Rouge is located in Inglewood at 1240, 8th Avenue SW and won 65th best restaurant in the WORLD last year. Reservations have been nearly impossible to come by and they cater to a sold out house nearly every single night- I was shocked to get a reservation for Valentine's Day even though I called a month in advance. I can honestly say this was one of the best meals I have had in a looong time if ever and our server, Paul, was hysterical! He made us feel SO unbelievably relaxed and had quite a heavy hand with our wine pairings ;)
One thing that REALLY impressed me was that Rouge didn't book up the entire restaurant, AT ALL. Our waiter mentioned that they have a sold out house nearly every night and they wanted to have a really special and relaxing night for each of their guests and not to feel rushed. We dined for nearly three hours on a five course meal for $75 each and had a ball. We decided to get the wine pairings as well which were an additional $45 each but SO worth it for the amount and variety of wine including a 30 year old port for dessert. The kitchen was relaxed and pumped out an amazing meal... Here is what we dined on:
The chef prepared two oysters with Tobasco jelly for an amuse bouche which was a perfect way to start a Valentine's meal- oysters are an aphrodisiac :)
Here is the first course. To the left we have seared yellow fin tuna with nori cream.. The sauce was sooo good and the green part on top is some shredded green onion. The "twill" or cracker sitting over the tuna was SO yummy! I couldn't believe they packed that much flavor into this tiny cracker. On the left is a mirin cured scallop with a citrus sauce. HEAVEN!!!!!!
Second Course: duck confit cannelloni with sour cherry jus vincotto. Vincotto is similar to balsamic vinegar and this dish was DIVINE! I was worried the duck would be too heavy for a second course but it was surprisingly light and the sour cherry went SO well with the duck and the wine. The pasta was also homemade... *DROOL*
Here is our palette cleanser for the third course: "Cupid's Nectar" which was homemade strawberry soda with thyme foam and Chambord gelee. I could not believe how much of the thyme I could taste in the soda.. It was so refreshing! We were supposed to eat the gelee and shoot the soda which matched really well.
Fourth course!: I chose the house smoked sable fish loin with lobster and green onion Hollandaise. Yes... LOBSTER and green onion Hollandaise.. AKA... FOODGASM! Look at the CHUNKS of lobster to the right of the fish. The sable fish was sitting on "potato fondant" which were like discs of crispy potato. This dish was so beautiful and the in house smoking was so flavorful on the sable fish. TO DIE FOR!
James chose the other entree option which was Sous Vide Alberta Beef Striploin- sous vide is a slow process of cooking that involves placing the piece of meat in a vacuum sealed bag and immersing it in water at around 100 degrees for a number of hours.. Let's just say the beef melted in your mouth. The striploin was served with BACON CREAM which was pretty much bacon flavored cream to dip the beef in... *DROOL*... and pumpkin seed brown rice risotto. Our waiter was hilarious- kept bringing James shot glasses of more bacon cream.
I chose the chocolate cream brulee with hazelnut shortbread on top. This was one of the best creme brulee's I have ever had. I really like dark chocolate and this tasted like biting into a dark chocolate but creamier.. MMMMM!
James chose the red velvet brownie with cream cheese ice cream and fresh fruit. I couldn't really taste the chocolate as intensely as the brulee but it was still a beautiful dessert.
All in all it was an amazing meal and the service really did make our night. I will be back FOR SURE. We also received two wonton spoons with truffles on them when we got the bill.... Super classy.

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