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Rogue 24, Blagden Alley in Mount Vernon Square - 2007 James Beard Winner RJ Cooper Departs on Dec 31, 2015 - Closed Jan 15, 2016


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Chef RJ Cooper will open his first independent project, Rogue 24, in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood of Washington, DC. Projecting a winter, 2011 opening, Rogue 24 will be located in Blagden Alley at 1234 9th St., NW.

Executive chef/ owner RJ Cooper, a seasoned veteran chef and James Beard Award winner, is thrilled to bring this landmark restaurant to the developing neighborhood of Mount Vernon Square in Northwest Washington, DC. The 2,600 square- foot restaurant will be tucked away in one of the vacant buildings in Blagden Alley, currently a trendy alley that houses experimental art exhibits.

Blagden Alley, located directly west of the Washington, DC Convention Center, is in engaging new epicenter of revitalization. The project leadership of Norman Jamal of Douglas Development has lead a wave of recent development, from multi-million dollar condominiums to established art galleries, as well as a burgeoning social scene of coffee houses, bars and restaurants. This recent rehabilitation makes the neighborhood an excellent locale for the first fine dining restaurant in Blagden Alley.

"The space is a perfect fit for the intimate, yet edgy experience of Rogue 24," says Cooper of the Blagden Alley location. "I look forward to joining the current and future independent retailers, artists and residents alike in developing this section of Mount Vernon Square as a distinct destination neighborhood."

Celebrating Cooper's stylized urban fine-dining cuisine, Rogue 24 will exclusively offer an interactive 24-course tasting menu. Guests will be served a progression of small dishes that excite the senses, tantalize the palate, and awaken curiosity. The multi-course meal will offer a place at the table where guests can dig deep into a culinary team's philosophy: exploring their suppliers, cooking techniques and sources of inspiration.

Rogue 24 will provide an effortless space for the diner to enjoy the imagination of Cooper's menu. The avant-garde beverage program will house a beverage director that will serve as both sommelier and mixologist and will prepare all beverages at a tableside cart, providing innovative pairings that will stimulate the entire experience. 8 beverage (a combination of wine, cocktails and beer) pairings will be offered throughout the 24- course meal.

"It is my vision that Rogue 24 will provide an emotional experience. That is what creates memorable meals"”more than the food, the wine, and the service, the overall culture of the restaurant must evoke emotions in its guests."

Working alongside Cooper, Harper McClure will serve as chef de cuisine. McClure hails from Atlanta's renowned Bacchanalia restaurant and previously worked with Cooper at Vidalia as his sous chef for nearly five years. The two chefs look forward to reuniting for this groundbreaking new project.

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Situated in the center of the 52-seat dining room, the state-of-the-art kitchen will showcase Cooper's creativity and desire to interact with guests. This architectural design will allow every guest to have an individual chef's table experience. Cooper has enlisted architects Brian Miller of edit and Lauren Winter of Winter Architecture, the famed duo behind Washington, DC's most creative and functional spaces including The Gibson, U Street Music Hall and Dickson Wine Bar, to execute this vision.

Rogue 24 will be open for one dinner seating Tuesday-Thursday two dinner seatings Friday and Saturday evenings. The fixed menu price is $130, $140 for non-alcoholic beverage pairings and $170 for alcoholic beverage pairings.

About Chef RJ Cooper and The Kid Can Cook, LLC

Chef RJ Cooper's Rogue 24 will be the first of several restaurants as part of his and wife Judy Cooper's umbrella restaurant group, The Kid Can Cook, LLC. Rogue 24 will be followed by a variety of projects, including a more casual concept, Pigtails, to open in Washington, DC. Cooper is a seasoned veteran chef who has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in the nation, and has served as an integral part of the development in Washington, DC's fine-dining culture. Notable accolades include the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2007, as well as recognition from starchefs.com, as the 2006 Rising Star Chef. Cooper also works with the national non-profit organization Share Our Strength®, as a longtime advocate in the fight against childhood hunger. Cooper is the Chair of Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation's® National Culinary Council, is the founder of Share Our Strength's Chefs on Bikes program and in 2008 was recognized with Share Our Strength's Leadership Award for Chef of the Year. Chef Cooper also serves on the Advisory Board of the startup, DC-based non-profit organization Chefs as Parents that is working to transform DC-public school nutrition programs.

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Tasting menu with non-alcoholic beverage pairings? RJ, you have a reservation! Tomorrow okay?

In all seriousness, big thanks from us non-drinkers. And, I guess, from Muslims, Mormons, etc. I'm so happy a chef has decided to do this!

this strongly seconded.

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As exciting, tasty, complicated, delicate, intricate, expensive, etc. as this new venture is being made out to be (and I'm sure will be), I'm curious as to how it will be done/managed/juggled as the "first of several restaurants" and/or "followed by a variety of projects." I guess much of it will have to do with the timing of these additional ventures. Perhaps (likely!) this is an unfair/uninformed comment (On this board? Surely not!), so feel free to disregard, delete, or send nasty PMs tongue.gif

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As exciting, tasty, complicated, delicate, intricate, expensive, etc. as this new venture is being made out to be (and I'm sure will be), I'm curious as to how it will be done/managed/juggled as the "first of several restaurants" and/or "followed by a variety of projects." I guess much of it will have to do with the timing of these additional ventures. Perhaps (likely!) this is an unfair/uninformed comment (On this board? Surely not!), so feel free to disregard, delete, or send nasty PMs tongue.gif

 

Its a great question! One of which I have planned for. Rogue will be my home and will be the place that I will cook at 5 nights a week. I have my man Harper McClure the sous chef that I had as a right hand for almost 5 years at Vidalia coming back after being in Atlanta at Bacchanalia for the last year and a half. So Rogue will be open 5 nights a week dinner only. Once we are hitting on all points we will start the next project with a Chef de Cuisine who will have been trained and in our system. We will structure the openings of these other projects when we have a winter or summer break at Rogue. These processes are unlike the success of Great chefs in the area as well as nationally respected chefs cooking at this level (TK, DB, RW, JG, CA,and GA). We set a plan that will not affect the concepts and the characteristics of each space. These restaurants are going to have individual personalities and working mechanisms but following the fundamentals of what are philosophical structure of culinary and service is. Growth is not a bad thing if it is done properly and all drinks the wine and believes in the growth.

RJ, is the "fixed menu price" tax/tip inclusive?

 

Service charge and DC sales tax are not included

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The next six months should be extremely exciting for the D. C. area: Rogue 24, Roberto's back at Galileo 3 with Laboratorio soon after, Enzo opening his restaurant on PA Avenue and, possibly nearby, Fabio. Then, Michel Richard at Tyson's. And, once upon a time Bryan Voltaggio was looking at Penn Quarter also. Did I mention that MiniBar might expand? Komi is going to have some serious competition for dollars. If all this develops Washington could be one of the two or three hottest restaurant cities in America. Easily.

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Chef RJ Cooper of the forthcoming Rogue 24 in Washington, DC will compete head to head on the nationally acclaimed television show Iron Chef America. Cooper, the seasoned veteran chef and James Beard Award winner, will be the very first challenger to face the winner of the third season of Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef."

Kicking off the 9th season of Iron Chef America, this exciting episode will premier on Food Network on Sunday, November 28th at 10 pm EST.

Chef Cooper is honored to be a part of the esteemed cast of chefs that have stepped up to battle and looks forward to representing the Washington, DC culinary community in this challenge. Joining him in this competition are Rogue 24's chef de cuisine Harper McClure, and Bayou Bakery's David Guas, a long time friend of Cooper's and notable DC pastry chef.

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Chef RJ Cooper of the forthcoming Rogue 24 in Washington, DC will compete head to head on the nationally acclaimed television show Iron Chef America. Cooper, the seasoned veteran chef and James Beard Award winner, will be the very first challenger to face the winner of the third season of Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef."

Kicking off the 9th season of Iron Chef America, this exciting episode will premier on Food Network on Sunday, November 28th at 10 pm EST.

Chef Cooper is honored to be a part of the esteemed cast of chefs that have stepped up to battle and looks forward to representing the Washington, DC culinary community in this challenge. Joining him in this competition are Rogue 24's chef de cuisine Harper McClure, and Bayou Bakery's David Guas, a long time friend of Cooper's and notable DC pastry chef.

Looking forward to this. I hope you guys get a fair shake when it comes to the judging. They may want to make sure their new "Iron Chef" looks good by winning his/her first battle. In any case, you've got what it takes to impress the judges and the viewers--you've been wowing all of us here in DC for a long time.

p.s. I'm rooting for Ming Tsai to be the Next Iron Chef wub.gif

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According to GOG, Chris Ford is leaving Trummer's to go to Rogue.

Last I heard, permits for Rogue were for April. We all know how quickly and assiduously DC moves on those permits, but still, could be soon(ish) ... Q2 at least.

Intrigued. Now I just need a *reason* to do 24 courses again ...

This part thrills me: "The space will also host a side salon, where diners can enjoy cocktails and small plates when they don't have time for a three-hour meal."

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Last I heard, permits for Rogue were for April. We all know how quickly and assiduously DC moves on those permits, but still, could be soon(ish) ... Q2 at least.

Demo permits are in hand and RJ's ready to swing a sledgehammer, I'm ready to call 911 shortly thereafter. Actual building permits are very close behind.

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Is it bad reports, or a bad report?

Either way, a two-week pop-up of a previously unexecuted menu with a staff who have never worked together before in an unfamiliar kitchen in an unfamiliar state would seem dicey on the best day. But having eaten RJ Cooper's food numerous times, he'll be alright. Maybe not in the next two weeks, but certainly by the time he opens up here.

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Is it bad reports, or a bad report?

 
There were more than one and more than two.

I know what was there before, both the concept and the owners, and they could never get it to work. Tried 10 different chefs over the years and it always sucked. Maybe RJ will come on and give us his take, but the owners have always had issues with chefs.

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Todd Kliman seemed to agree link

Not knowing that much about what is going on in New York, can someone please tell me how closely this New York experience relates to the actual Rogue 24? Is the kitchen the same? The equipment? The courses? The wines? The staff? The suppliers?

I thought Washingtonian's opening-night assault of Adour was the lowest point in restaurant criticism I've ever seen, but this may be lower still. This fuckin' piece is titled "A Critic's Take on R.J. Cooper's Rogue 24" and the restaurant isn't even open yet!

I'm willing to believe my gut reaction here is wrong - maybe this New York thing is indeed being sold as "the real deal and the final product." Is it?

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The whole conceit seems like a high-wire catering gig.

My feeling is that this comes across as just that, a conceit. Logic (to me) would seem to dictate that you would want to open a restaurant in as close to a perfect environment as possible, knowing there are going to be hiccups regardless,...a pop-up restaurant in NYC hardly seems to be that.

I really like RJ's food and I look forward to trying R24 when it opens, but this all seems a bit much (both the "test" in a place where things were more than likely to not run smoothly and the hubbub around it)

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Well, you could check the web site out.

I guess if one wants to play in New York, one should know what they're getting themselves into. After all, RJ's a Beard winning chef, isn't he?

And I don't think critics give plays, movies, operas or any other cultural institutions a lot of time before the first review.

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And I don't think critics give plays, movies, operas or any other cultural institutions a lot of time before the first review.

 
Not all of those are apt comparisons. A movie for example is a final product that will be exactly the same for everyone who watches it, be it day 1 or day 30 of release.

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Well, you could check the web site out.

I guess if one wants to play in New York, one should know what they're getting themselves into. After all, RJ's a Beard winning chef, isn't he?

And I don't think critics give plays, movies, operas or any other cultural institutions a lot of time before the first review.

Hell, they gave Spider-Man months!

That being said, if RJ truly did want to conquer NYC, he did do it backwards. Any number of shows work the kinks out here in the sticks before departing for the Great White Way giving them extensive actual performance time before being subject to New York critics' pens.

Based on sporadic Facebook posts, it appears that team r24 was awake for about 72 consecutive hours which surely didn't help things. Stones fan will recall that it was this sleep cycle which doomed the Rock n Roll Circus -- leaving the Glimmer Twins and flat and lifeless while an amphetamine-fueled Who (tell me Pete's not "leapin'") blew them off stage.

On the other hand, if as a chef you you're bored watching cement dry, haven't got your stoves installed and feel the need for a little cashflow, why not head up the Turnpike for three weeks. Let New York be triple-A for a change.

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Not knowing that much about what is going on in New York, can someone please tell me how closely this New York experience relates to the actual Rogue 24? Is the kitchen the same? The equipment? The courses? The wines? The staff? The suppliers?

I thought Washingtonian's opening-night assault of Adour was the lowest point in restaurant criticism I've ever seen, but this may be lower still. This fuckin' piece is titled "A Critic's Take on R.J. Cooper's Rogue 24" and the restaurant isn't even open yet!

I'm willing to believe my gut reaction here is wrong - maybe this New York thing is indeed being sold as "the real deal and the final product." Is it?

Don't know if this just LTO market talk, but this is on their web site.

At LTO, Cooper and his team of culinary artisans will debut the menu to be featured at Rogue 24, highlighted by a unique 24-course tasting menu experience.

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Advice: Don't ever have dinner at the Beard House.

Didn't RJ debut the Rogue24 menu at a Beard House dinner a couple of months ago? I wonder what might be different on the LTO menu; if, as Kliman finds, the sequence lacked narrative or appropriate segues, I would have expected the Beardies to have pointed that out. Four dishes in 75 minutes is slow though, even if one allows 15 minutes to get settled and cocktails underway.

Timing and sequence are the devils lurking in the details. It's part of what makes Volt's Table 21 so fascinating to dine at...watching the ebb and flow of the brigade as they ready your future courses...or begin prep for the next day's extravaganza.

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So I have a couple minutes, sitting in the kitchen of LTO that we the team of R24 cleaned, scrubbed organized as our own, waiting on the 50 or so reservations we have tonight, we will put up 1000 + plates and be proud again of our days work.

In that said here it is in a nut shell: We as a group of cooks went to a restaurant space that has not operated in several months and when it was in operation treated like shit. We had to scrub and clean. This restaurant as well did not have a foundation, and an infrastructure of success. So we had to build that in a short period of time. We also had what everyone knows is a deadline................remember that word...........we had to open whether we were ready or not, to be frank if it were my restaurant we wouldnt have open on that day. We did with zero training for the front of the house, tired almost dead cooks from the 72 hours of just kicking ass, missing product ect. ect. ect. Ok now the people whom know me, know that I believe in zero excuses and to live by a credo of do better then you did the day before.

In 72 hours of complete service we as a unit produced IMHO four star food in a space we have never been in. TK yeah in someways you are right but its just not justified, to not return for a follow up when we as a unit have had time to completely analyze and scrutinize every element on every dish. Callous. We set out to prove to ourselves not the public that we can cook here in NYC and we have.

I am confident that when we as a UNIT open r24 we will have some hick ups but no pot holes that we went through opening a restaurant in 3 days.

Follow the rest of our week on twitter chefrjdc butterloveandhardwork or on facebook rogue24 or rj cooper.

We will announce a date for when we will start to take reservations in the next couple weeks.

Until then jambands and avant garde food be with you.

RJ

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Rogue24 will start taking reservations of the weekend of the 27th of July. Please call Bonji Beard @ 202.408.9724. The opening menu is posted on the website rogue24.com.

Now Ill write this in English sorry. Thanks Waitman!!! We will start taking reservations tomorrow morning at 10 am for the opening week of Rogue which starts on the 27th.

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Rogue24 will start taking reservations of the weekend of the 27th of July. Please call Bonji Beard @ 202.408.9724. The opening menu is posted on the website rogue24.com.

Now Ill write this in English sorry. Thanks Waitman!!! We will start taking reservations tomorrow morning at 10 am for the opening week of Rogue which starts on the 27th.

For those (like me) who were still a little confused - from the website:

Reservations for July 27 will be available on July 14.

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