HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Why isn't Rouge Et Blanc getting more attention? It's great!

I'm very surprised this restaurant isn't getting more acclaim. Its fabulous! Anybody know why?


Rouge et Blanc
48 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Agreed. I just tried it and it was excellent. I was surprised I had not heard of it before.

    1. I dined here this past Friday night. We enoyed the food very much as well. We had the watermelon salad, mushrooms en papillote, spanish mackerel, and lamb ribs. Not to say this is the reason for why the place hasn't gotten more acclaim, but our chief complaint though is the size of the portions for the price. The watermelon salad was great but came with 5 little pieces of fruit for $9. We enjoyed the mushrooms, but again there weren't that many for $15 bucks. The lamb dish came with 3 ribs for $25 and the barigoule entree came with a small piece of spanish mackerel, two small scallops, and 1 shrimp for $26. They want $34 for a skirt steak and $18 for 1 soft shell crab! We had come from happy hour where we had raw bar and small appetizers and we not even close to being full by the end of this meal. They recommend ordering a few little plates, a few small plates, and a couple of entrees to split for 2 people. In my opinion, this place is serving tasty food but the price/value ratio is not good. The vibe also was just ok. We really liked the decor, but the place seemed a little dull. In their defense, it was a Friday in the summer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ASL123

        Love this restaurant! - and disagree about the portion sizes - atleast on my visit, we ordered 2 apps and 2 mains and left very much full, and I thought that the prices were actually on the low side for Soho.

        It was a bit empty - probably due to the lack of attention it is getting int he food media - hopefully they'll get a couple of good reviews soon. would hate to see this one leave my neighbourhood.

      2. After reading this thread, and looking at their delicious menu, we had a nice dinner there yesterday that I would agree with the OP. Place has a good vibe, and nice staff & caring owner, along with well-prepared food which is on the balance of scale more asian than french. I would also agree with monab that the portion here is not small; we had two starters and two main along with a dessert and did not finish all the dishes. I think their price point is also right for what they serve and for their location. My only criticism - more a wish - would be that they have more wine by the glass choices to get a representative taste of their carefully selected list. We would definitely return.

        We walked around the neighborhood a bit before and after the meal (7-9pm), and noticed several restaurants on McDougal were nearly as empty as ReB, and few currently vacant spaces that used to be restaurants in the past while other streets in SoHo were packed with pedestrian and restaurant traffic. The macrobiotic place down the street was packed though...

        While I truly enjoy trying out this kind of fusion/unique places, perhaps ReB may suffer from not having a clear identity, as people are unable to put a finger on what they are about? Also, at least for me, fusion places tend to become a place to "try & experiment" occasionally rather than of routine dining destination. So for this place to become a routine for me, I would like their menu to be much more French with hints of Vietnamese but have a few (weekly) specials or signature dish that showcase chef's Vietnamese flavors. I think this will draw larger general NYC crowd of all ages as well as curious and adventurous crowd.

        It's been a while, but Le Colonial and former Vong comes to my mind to compare ReB's food and it's far far better IMO. Looking forward to trying their other dishes, and the wines.

        Rouge et Blanc
        48 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

        1. Eighteen dollars for one soft shell crab is absurd, unless you are at Daniel. Ditto the high price for an inexpensive cut like skirt steak. When will some spots recognize that their prices scare off many (setting aside over priced wine lists) or get the diner in once and never again?

          3 Replies
          1. re: comiendosiempre

            I had to take a look. $34 for skirt steak!? Maybe it's the uni that jacks up the price?

            1. re: comiendosiempre

              Why should only Boulud or Keller justify the high price tag? Why not the new kid on the block who is cooking his heart out and decides that it is worth just as much as top chefs renditions?

              Perhaps you are right, and those prices are relatively high in comparison for the usual soft shell crabs or skirt steaks you would get. I didn't taste those to make comment on their worth. And maybe the chef went a bit overboard with a couple of novelty dishes. But is it really the price that makes you to not want to return here? How about some of their other dishes that are more reasonably priced?

              FWIW, our dinner bill for two, without including the tip and drinks, came out around $100. There are many places that delivers far less for that price IMO, and I feel their overall price points justify the quality. I am just glad to have found a place in SoHo where food is excellent, service and atmosphere is great, and the menu that sings.

              1. They might get a bit more traffic soon - they were just featured on Mike Colameco's show on Channel 13 today.
                Clip here: http://www.vimeo.com/26922636

                  1. Seriously, I agree this place is great. The Shaved Octopus was amazing. The Short Rib Stuffed Squid was awesomely smoky and the beans deliciously buttery. The Mushrooms En Papillote was a mushroom lover's dream. And the Whole Fried Rouget (a whole fish!) was just phenomenally crackly-crunchy and tender-fleshy.

                    The room was charming and the staff couldn't have been nicer. Will have to tackle that whole squab dish next time.

                    Fabulous, indeed!

                    Photos of my meal: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyAt2gi

                    Rouge et Blanc
                    48 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                    1. The reason it isn't getting more attention is that it is overpriced. My partner and I had 5 plates plus one dessert to share and a $39 bottle of Madiran, and the total with tax and tip was just shy of $200. The food was quite good, but not good value. The largest plates, though priced like main courses, are not the size of main courses. I would only return if they go on one of the dining discount programs.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: rrems

                        I'm going to check it out Sunday night -

                        Any must-haves or must-avoids on the current menu?

                        1. re: lexismore

                          I enjoyed their Shaved Octopus and Green Papaya the best. Their Profiteroles are great too.

                          1. re: Cheeryvisage

                            I finally went to Rouge et Blanc. The place has a great French/Asian atmosphere. Very comfortable and very friendly. For starters the edamame soup, which was more of a puree tasted great. The green papaya with whole crispy shrimp in a curry vinaigrette was amazing, slightly spicy but not spicy like Thai preparation would be. The stir fry noodles with pork belly and black bean sauce was excellent. I pushed the fried egg aside. I don't do fried eggs. The short rib fried mushrooms in veal jus , I found to be "over sauced." which over powered the taste of the mushroom and the shortbread. The smooth potato base was good. I was also pretty stuffed by this point. However, There is always room for Vietnamese coffee and dessert. The coffee was excellent. The dessert that was most intriguing was the caramelized foie gras with vanilla bean ice cream, cocoa nib, and caramelized apples. It was fantastic. ( photo attached). Great wines by the glass also. Great service.

                            1. re: foodwhisperer

                              The dessert sounds amazing! Another restaurant that I want to try! Thanks for your report.

                      2. Thank you for bringing this place to my attention. I have never noticed this restaurant and i am in that area every day. I look forward to trying it, especially for dinner. I hope they serve Vietnamese coffee.

                        1. Well, I tried to check out Rouge et Blanc tonite. Walked into a restaurant with no name visible, which was on the same block, it turned out to be Comodo. So I ate there, and wrote something about it,,,, Maybe tomorrow i'll do Rouge et Blanc

                          1. It should get more attention. My wife and I dined there several months ago. The cuisine was excellent and obviiously way underrated.
                            Hope to return soon.

                            1. Looks like the head chef is out.


                              I've wanted to go for some time, but just haven't gone. If any CHers go post-chef change, please report back. Thanks.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: deepfry7

                                Has anyone been since the change in head chef?

                                1. re: deepfry7

                                  I did, twice, I actually just came back tonight.

                                  The menu is definitely more "traditional" but the vietnamese influence is still there.

                                  I found the food to be consistently good, maybe not adventurous as it was before, but solid and delicious.

                                  Today I had the braised beef cheek, delicious, my girlfriend the duck confit, delicious again and a friend the porkbelly which I tried as well a month ago and loved. We were all really happy about our dinner.

                                  The desserts are much more traditional than they used to be and much more "american".

                                  It seems as if they are walking on a more safer path, less adventurous but nevertheless well executed, packed with flavors and really good.