cb5 has done it again. They have taken the Lolita restaurant, located in the Byram neighborhood of Greenwich, CT, and transformed it into a chic French brasserie – ROUGE Brasserie & Oyster Bar. Rouge is located at 230 Mill Street in Greenwich.
In a way ROUGE pays homage to Bleu, cb5’s original claim to recognition as a restaurant developer ahead of their time.
Chef Josh Moulton, cousin of a famous TV chef, has returned as the Executive Chef. Here he continues to offer hearty French bistro cuisine. Including such French fare as classic steak tartare, sautéed foie gras, onion soup gratinee, skate meuniere, poulet en croute, and short rib Bourguignon. The Rouge friendly barkeeps will be quenching your thirst with the popular personal POP Champagne bottles, French Kiss and Chanel No.5 martinis, and Brigitte Bardot and Broken Heart cocktails. Or pouring you a glass of wine.
Rouge is fashioned after a classic suave bistro reflecting elegance and sophistication mixed with a hint of reckless abandon. The primary off white and black decor radiates a vibe of rustic French country but polished with expression and refinement. An inviting raw bar awaits deep inside the brasserie.
We had the opportunity to meet with fellow food lovers for an evening of food sampling from the Rouge menu.
Starting the evening with cocktails while chatting with the bartender, we decided to go with the French Kiss and Chanel No.5. The French Kiss was gin, white lillet, elderﬂower liqueur and fresh grapefruit. Whereas, the Chanel No.5 was a combination of raspberry vodka, crème de framboise, pineapple juice and champagne served with a sugared rim. The Chanel No.5 was the hit of the group as several inidividuals had it. Later, I tried The Brigitte Bardot, was prepared with cognac, fresh lemon, sugar, raspberry and a hint of champagne, because I wanted to try a cocktail with cognac as I have always drunk cognac straight.
After, refreshing ourselves with cocktails and touring the restaurant, we moved to our tables where waiting for us was the Plateaux De Fruits De Mer. A beautiful and appetizing two-tier tower of fresh raw oysters, raw littleneck clams, lobster, crab meat, and jumbo shrimp over a bead of ice. The seafood was very fresh and well prepared. I could have stopped right here and just eat these the rest of the night.
Arranged around the tower were several plates of Fish Eggs & Chips. This plate consisted of American caviar served over house made potato chips with creme fraiche. The chips were nicely fried and married well with the mild American caviar and light tang of the creme fraiche.
When I read that Escargots Bourguignon (photo above top right) was on the tasting menu, I was a little hesitate as my one and only experience with snails was not a memorable one. But, I decided to try them anyway and, boy, was I glad I did. These snails had been cooked in a shallot parsley butter sauce and served on charred country toast were delicious. The shallot parsley butter sauce was very pronounced and, at times, slightly overplayed the escargot. The charred country toast added a nice crunch and with the escargot sitting on top, made it easy to eat.
Moving away from seafood, we were then treated with Classic Steak Tartare. The tartare was hand cut prime fillet served with charred country toast. It was a well prepared with just enough herbs to add depth without overpowering the mild fillet. When consumed on top of the toast, the result flavor was similar to that of a charred cooked steak.
The last “Commence” we enjoyed was the long awaited Warm Onion tart. The tart was a crispy crust layered with roasted onions, tomato confit, and Nicoise olives. The tart was a tasty combination of sweet from the roasted onions to a slight nutty bitterness from the Nicoise olives. The combination of onions, tomatoes, cheese and greens sent the taste buds ablaze with favors.
Salmon Forestiere was the first entree of the evening. This nicely cooked salmon came sitting atop sauteed mushrooms and baby spinach with lemon-thyme jus.
Next we were treated to Moules Frites. Tender and juicy mussels cooked in white wine, garlic, and fine herbs accompanied by a side of fries.
The entree finale was Steak Frites. A butcher’s cut steak served with sauce bearnaise and fries. The steak had a slightly peppery flavor and was cooked towards the medium to well done region.
We closed out our evening with friends and good food with dessert and coffee. For dessert we were presented with two different custards; vanilla and chocolate and we paired them with espresso and cappuccino. Both custards were smooth and creamy and topped with a light and fresh whipped cream.
ROUGE Brasserie and Oyster Bar
230 Mill Street
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830