"It’s in an alley” does not usually portend good things as a description of where to find one of the city’s newest and most high-end culinary outposts. But as with most things regarding Rogue 24, it may not be the norm, but it works.
The Shaw eatery sparked a commotion when it opened a few months ago, literally in an alleyway off Ninth and N streets northwest. The gourmet dream of visionary local chef RJ Cooper, formerly of Vidalia, Rogue 24 is dinner theater in the truest sense. There are but two menus: The Progression, a 16-course “teaser,” and The Journey, the full 24-course option. As chefs and sommeliers bring round after round of whimsical, delectable mouthfuls of meticulously prepared dishes, Cooper and his team perform in the middle of it all, demonstrating the artistry of kitchen professionals. Hand gestures and code words relay the progression to the next course; sous chefs wield oversize metal tweezers; wine pairings appear and disappear, then reappear; torches are lit and handled with surgical precision. There is shaved foie gras, foams that garnish plates, and the scent of sea urchin and sautéed Border Springs lamb neck as dozens of other ingredients and proteins somehow mingle with intoxicating perfection.
Guests can’t help but stare—and, quite often, salivate. Rogue 24 is unlike any other restaurant in Washington, with a playbook all its own (no phones or cameras allowed, and don’t be late or you will lose your seat). We cannot help but remember each of the 24 dishes that encapsulated one of the greatest feats of dining in recent memory. We have played the scenes over and over in our head, and we would absolutely see the show again. 922 N St. NW, 202-408-9724