Every Wednesday night for the past nine weeks, I’ve been eating and Tweeting at Rogue 24 to cover the Rogue Sessions. Now that the series is over, I’m having a little separation anxiety. I miss the action, the ambiance, the visiting chefs, and the in-house team. Most of all, I miss the food. There were numerous unforgettable dishes and one meal-of-a-lifetime.
Foie gras, oysters, and pork were popular proteins, while winter vegetables like potatoes squash were the most popular produce. But chefs oftentimes put out dishes that showcased odder foodstuffs that you won’t find at your local Whole Foods. Sometimes it wasn’t that the ingredients were that eccentric, it’s that they were used in truly unexpected ways. Just so I can appreciate these fantastical foods one more time, here’s look back at the weirdest sh*t I ate at the Rogue Sessions.
Oyster root/quince/country ham/almonds
The first look at this plate made me believe that I’d been served a small log camouflaged by a trio of uneven triangles of salted country ham. The “wood” is actually a slightly spongy oyster root, which possesses a lightly earth tone well offset by the slivers of pork.
Oyster/scampi butter/ash salsa
A single Rappahannock oyster was grilled open then topped with delightfully smoky ash salsa and a chorizo breadcrumb that had a tingly black pepper finish. Byres told me that he makes this signature salsa with some of the fine particulate leftover after a long barbecuing session. I had never looked at ash as anything more than compost, but Byres opened my eyes.
Hog jowl on the bone/pickled mustard seeds
A stripped bare jawbone was decorated with two rolling ribbons of pink and white cured hog jowl and a tiny mound of pickled mustard seeds. This playful jaw-on-jaw dish was skullinary perfection.