Paying $100 for dinner is almost unheard of in my life these days. Besides my constant penny pinching, there are so many good restaurants in the District to eat at for under $20. Though my penny pinching has kept me away from the likes of the Inn at Little Washington, there is always the allure to try these places just to get in on all the hype. My curiosity recently took me to Rogue 24 to see just what Chef RJ Cooper is doing in the Mount Vernon neighborhood. After making it down the sketchy alleyway, I found myself inside a warehouse turned restaurant.
For many this may not seem like penny pinching but I did just that on this visit to Rogue 24: I visited during Restaurant Week. Typically I try my best to avoid dining out during Restaurant Week (*Ironic since this is the best time to save and eat out at some of the area’s top spots…), the restaurants are crowded and most of the food offered is mass produced. I was over it until Rogue 24 joined the bunch. Who could pass up 16 courses with wine pairings for $….?!? A dinner date out at Rogue 24 could easily push you to $475-$500 so this was a steal needless to say.
As soon as we were seated, successive courses followed beginning with cucumber, oysters, frog legs and madai. The second round followed with foie gras, urchin, artichoke and shrimp. No 16-course meal would be complete without meat right? The third round was comprised of rabbit, cod, snails and oxtail. The final destination was filled with plenty o’ chocolate, passion fruit and small bites.
The 16-course meal was like a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs, thrills and disappointments. The foie gras paired with lavender and plums sticks with me to this day where the rabbit paired with carrot, dirt and bitter orange leaves the ringing feeling that I had actually ate dirt. I could have taken in about 10 more courses of the oyster paired with purple potatoes and tapioca where I could have passed on the cucumber paired with quinoa and yogurt which was no more than the name on its face.
I appreciate Rogue 24 for its dare to play with its food. With a menu that is ever-changing on practically a daily basis, in the words of Forest Gump “You never know what you’re gonna get”. In my opinion, this alone is worth a trip to the Mount Vernon neighborhood restaurant.