Rugosa, the Wainscott New American in its first year, got a once-over by the Times this weekend, and generally emerged a winner. The food was adored by reviewer Joanne Starkey, despite the Rugosa's glaring issue - that big ol' tank in the parking lot. The Montauk Highway property is owned by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 550 and its large military machinery has proved something of a restaurant killer, as this is the third culinary attempt in three years. Will the curse be broken? Starkey believes so, as the hits greatly outweighed the misses.
In the kitchen are a pair of chefs with impressive resumes, William and Yvette Mammes. 'Both are experienced chefs. He opened Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lys in Las Vegas while she was the pastry chef for Alex Stratta at Alex, also in Las Vegas.' The décor is 'clean', and the noise level 'lower than most'. The service: 'sweet and caring and the kitchen speedy'. As for the food, save for a poorly executed sauce and some missing salt and pepper shakers, the menu received rave reviews. The crab salad and gazpacho were loved, and a potato purée was noted as 'the best [mashed potatoes] I've ever had'. The cherry on top: the moist chocolate beet cake, with a cream cheese chocolate frosting. Sounds off, but Starkey assures us that 'the beets provide sweetness and moisture, much as carrots do in a carrot cake'. Fingers crossed, but the curse of the tank may have been lifted.
· New Look, New Menu, Same Tank in the Yard [NYT]