One of the more peculiar things people have noticed about the Topping Rose House is that the emphasis seems to be on the vegetables and not the protein. In fact, looking at the menu, the veggies take top billing. Speaking with Hamptons, the Top Chef judge explains the rationale:
One of the things I noticed when I ate here is the menu really features the sides and not the main. Can you tell us why that is? There are two reasons for it. When I go out to eat, I look at the garnishes. I don't care about the fish or the lamb; I am looking at the sides. Flavor profiles are really in the herbs or the vegetables, not the protein. That is what determines the character of the dish. Also, naturally raised meat is more expensive, so I've shrunk the portions and featured the produce. Some people think I'm trying some sort of sleight of hand, but that's not at all the case. I am trying to feature local, responsibly raised goods. It's not necessarily any big statement; it's just where I am in food right now. Anyone who wants to, can stop in and try it.