Rogue 24 Opens Wed. July 27

Photo Courtesy of Rogue 24

From a press release:

James Beard Award–winning Chef RJ Cooper will open Rogue 24, a 52-seat urban fine dining restaurant in Washington, D.C., on July 27. The open kitchen, situated in the middle of the dining room, serves as the centerpiece of a “theater in the round” interactive dining experience. Guests will choose from the 16-course Progression menu or the 24-course Journey menu as a map to guide their culinary experience with Chef Cooper and his team of artisans.

“Rogue 24 is both a studio and stage for dedicated culinarians and sommeliers to have an immediate impact on guests with their knowledge and commitment to excellence,” said RJ Cooper, Chef/Owner, Rogue 24. “For guests seeking an intimate dining experience, we’ve turned the traditional restaurant inside out and brought the kitchen to the guests. Each table is a chef’s table, and each course is carefully constructed to build upon the flavors of the previous course, guiding the taste buds on an unexpected journey.”

Continues after the jump.

Chef Cooper has assembled a team of experts in their field, whose creativity will enhance the guests’ experience. Matthew Carroll is the General Manager and Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. He was previously the wine director at 2941 in Falls Church, Va., and before that he was the sommelier at the prestigious Inn at Little Washington, also in Virginia. Chris Ford is the Le Cordon Bleu–trained Pastry Chef, formerly of Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, Va. In 2010, Chef Ford was named a StarChefs Rising Star Pastry Chef. Hilda Staples and Judy Cooper are also partners of Rogue 24.

Derek Brown, the acclaimed mixologist behind the Columbia Room, will create the avant-garde cocktail program. The menu includes cocktails paired alongside the food and unique libations offered in the salon. All beverages will be crafted at a cocktail station and finished tableside. As the beverage program is an integral part of the entire menu, creative nonalcoholic pairings will also be offered.

The intimate space does not have a classic bar, but the 14-seat salon will feature à la carte dishes and a menu of handcrafted cocktails made with small-production, artisanal liquors. The salon does not require reservations and offers guests a taste of the Rogue 24 experience.

Reservations accepted for a maximum of six guests will be available one month (to the date) in advance, beginning at 10:00 a.m. A credit card is required to hold the reservation, and cancelations must be made 72 hours in advance to avoid a full charge. Any dietary restrictions must be disclosed at the time of reservation. Reservations for July 27 will be available on July 14 by calling Bonji Beard at the restaurant, 202-408-9724. Previously, Bonji was the lead reservationist for Minibar by José Andrés.

Before opening Rogue 24, Chef RJ Cooper served as Chef de Cuisine at Vidalia, an award-winning Southern fine dining restaurant in Washington, D.C., from 2004 to 2010. During his tenure at Vidalia, Chef Cooper went “rogue” and created a 24-course tasting menu, which served as the original inspiration for his restaurant. With him at the helm of the kitchen, Vidalia received numerous accolades, including a three-star rating by Tom Sietsema, Food Critic for The Washington Post, and inclusion in the top 10 restaurants in Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Very Best Restaurants” issue. In 2006, Chef Cooper received the Rising Star Chef Award from Star Chefs, and in 2007 he won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.

2010 James Beard Award nominee Derek Brown is a self-described booze nerd; his love of bartending stems as much from books, maps, and molecules as working behind the stick. Derek holds seminars to educate drinkers throughout the country and behind the bar in the Columbia Room, his intimate laboratory and cocktail club. He was praised by GQ magazine for making the best martini in America, by Washingtonian magazine as one of the 40 most influential people in Washington, D.C., and by Rachel Maddow for the cocktails he crafted at the White House holiday parties. Derek writes for and serves as a board member for the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The single-level, 2,600 sq. ft. alley space is as surprising as the cuisine, a place where turn-of-the-century architecture is infused with modern urban design. A single skylight and a long, partially obscured narrow window in the façade are the only exterior light sources, making the minimally lit dining room more like a theater than a restaurant. The sleek, modern kitchen is positioned in the very center of the space, completely exposed and flanked by four seats on the north and on the south sides, offering eight single diners a direct view of the working stage. Induction burners, instead of gas, will be used for cooking and are centrally positioned in the sculpture-like minimalist equipment and preparation area, which is accented by stainless steel and matte black granite surfaces.

Architects Brian Miller and Lauren Winter, principals of Edit, used the existing exposed brick and concrete structure of the former garage to inspire Rogue 24’s clean and simple design. A wood-and-steel front door leads into a glass vestibule for the first view into the salon, and to the kitchen and main dining area beyond, separated by wood and glass “walls.” A highly polished, copper-colored cement floor and simple fabric-covered seating with black ash wood tables allow the food and beverages to be the focus of diners’ attention.

For sample menus, photos, and event news, visit

43 Comment

  • it’s funny how some places provide you with information, and other places don’t.

  • At least it’ll class up my neighborhood!

  • Is this a restaurant or a performance art piece?

    If the former, how come the kind of food they serve is not mentioned anywhere in that entire pompous missive?

    Not to be a grouch or anything but this has “18 months open to close” written all over it. Gimmicks do not create return customers. Let’s hope that there’s more depth to this place than it appears from this introduction.

    • But then the 18 months will be all part of the ‘project’ like a pop-up.

    • “Is this a restaurant or a performance art piece?” maybe a little bit of both… the link provides a detailed menu… sounds interesting, though a bit overpriced

  • looks cool but i’ll never go there.

  • That is damn, damn pricey, I mean nearly Komi territory (and the concept is basically the same). And nothing about the chef involved screams out Komi-caliber food (which is worth the splurge). I’d have to hear from a LOT of people that this is among the best food in DC (and by among the best, talking top five restaurants in the city) for me to consider paying 100-120 bucks per head before service, tax, or alcohol for a special occasion experience.

    • “Nothing about the chef involved screams out Komi-caliber food”? That thing about the James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic was just a whisper? I’m not sure I’m down with the concept of this restaurant but when Cooper is on, he’s on.

      • Schweeney, if I’m not mistaken, the guy has never had his own restaurant, right? And I never thought of Vidalia as an elite dining experience. As for James Beard, it’s not exactly Michelin’s. I’ve had mediocre food cooked by Beard winners before … I’m not saying he isn’t a very good chef (and clearly, he got the top-of-the-line guys in this area in terms of cocktails and wine on board), but to justify those prices, we are talking the best three-four chefs in the DC area. Nothing in the resume says that to me, although admittedly, I am not personally familiar with what he can do when fully unleashed, since he’s never had the opportunity, really.

        And even if what you say is true, that is not enough. At 100=120 bucks per head, you can NEVER be not-on … every dish has to be perfect, every night, period.

        • Amendment: I don’t want to minimize the Beard award too much — I shouldn’t have said mediocre, and it is certainly an impressive award, I kind of overreacted, he must at least be a very good chef. I am just in a bit of sticker shock at the price point for a guy opening his first restaurant. But again, I have never had his cooking, so he may be just that good …

          And I agree with others that the press release is a bit overheated. I especially love the part about the “reservationist” previously working at Minibar … that is a term I never heard before, fantastic …

        • It seems silly to me that people are talking down on a place THEY HAVEN’T EATEN AT yet.

          Looks cool, we will see if it is worth it, write-up is certainly encouraging.

          Nice build out. I would love to see alleys used more also.

    • Few people who have eaten well outside of DC think Komi is worth the money.

      • Dewder: I have (at least in the US, NYC, Chicago, SF, etc.), and I did.

        • I have and have cooked for Cesare Lanfranconi, Jose Andres and Michel Richard and think that Komi is good not great. Certainly not worth the premium. Neither is Minibar for that matter…

      • Lessee:

        Insult an 1) anonymous internet poster 2) a local independent restaurant and chef and 3) all the provincial rubes in the DC area who’ve never been anywhere else in the world or if they have been somewhere, they run to the nearest TGIFridays.

        Do you *realize* how much of prickish foodie you sound like eh?

  • Reservations are fully booked for the 1st month… they must be doing something right.

  • The cool new place in DC is always packed for a few months. If the food is truly exceptional, they will do well going forward, just like Minibar did and Komi does. If reviews aren’t beyond stellar, though, no chance at sustaining themselves at that price point, even with a trendy concept and some big names involved.

  • Heh. I like RJ’s cooking when he gets his groove on and think this has great potential, but having been briefly on a distro for a local food PR firm, I sympathize with all those who hate the press release. This one is the rule, not the exception: pompous, over-written, full of random adjectives (“avant-garde” cocktail program?) and woefully vague on details about the actual food.

    Also, is it an “intimate dining experience” if the kitchen id brought to the guests? I say only if they’re fucking the chef and, later, doing the dishes as a sudsy, happy threesome.

  • $200 to eat in an alley. Suck on that, NYC! We have arrived, y’all!

  • this place looks gorgeous.
    and way beyond what i could possibly pay.
    but it’s not designed for me.

    and you all that think this is expensive have no clue how rich washingtonians are. for the people they are targeting, this is nothing.a you think blagdon alley will deter people? you’re crazy. this place will be fine.

  • liquid chicken sounds disgusting

  • the nearest Five Guys will be grateful for this establishment… after dropping $200 on this tasting menu, the patrons will need something to fill their tummies

  • $145 for a 16 course dinner makes fun occasion dining once a year, on a Friday or Saturday night. Who is going to be there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the year, after the novelty wears off. I may not be served by “culinary artisans,” but the chefs at my local restaurants do just fine for me. Their website, with lines like this– “We didn’t choose Rogue 24, it chose us. As culinary artisans we need a studio to hone our craft” — actually makes me kind of angry.

    • Looks like their PR tactics are working then. They got a visceral response out of you, and you’re talking about them. Mission accomplished.

  • Am I the only one who saw the title of this post and thought maybe Louis Rogue was going 24/7?

  • I think went there in May dancing. I think is was called LoSt Found/ Forward Festival.

  • Restaurants locating in sketchy alleys. Is it the new frozen yogurt?

  • No vegetarian option, not interested.

    • don’t let that stop you! I went to Corduroy earlier this year and the chef was more than happy to change his prix fixe to meet my vegetarian wishes. I’d ask first, I think some chefs like the challenge of cooking ad hoc, especially at a place that is supposedly an artistic hive mind.

  • WOAH 16-24 course meals! Someone will have to roll me out of here after 😉

  • “Reservations accepted for a maximum of six guests will be available one month (to the date) in advance, beginning at 10:00 a.m. A credit card is required to hold the reservation, and cancelations must be made 72 hours in advance to avoid a full charge”

    That’s just obnoxious for a restaurant that hasn’t opened yet. Who do they think they are? French Laundry? No thanks.

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