Review by Trista di Genova / The Wild East
How do you eat it at Le Rouge French-Italian Restaurant? As often as you can.
I still recall the incredible Thanksgiving dinner Zacharie Touzin single-handedly pulled off some years ago – tender turkey basted to perfection, stuffing, mashed potatoes — the lot!
So it was with great pleasure I learned that he has become the new owner of Le Rouge, a cosy find of a French-Italian eatery, yards from Hsinpu MRT station and deep in the heart of Banciao.
While its founder Francis Beauvais has taken off to Thailand “to do his Cordon Bleu,” Zach’s had the chance to experiment as head chef, and is working his magic with suppliers, using authentic ingredients despite the cost, tweaking the menu to pull off some major culinary feats.
Zach proudly says they “don’t skimp on the ingredients” required to make the tastiest, most hearty dishes, whether it be real mozzarella on your pizza, or pine nuts in the pesto pollo (NT$260), and plenty of black olives, comme il faut.
By beefing up the take-out menu and working on neighborhood exposure – a wise move in a market area that feels as populous as India – more people are taking advantage of Le Rouge’s unique offerings: calzone (yes, calzone!), pizza that rocks the house, and pasta that’s like hotel food, without having to stay at a hotel… or pay the price of hotel food.
First off the bat was a round of escargot – properly cooked like they do in France, with garlic and olive oil. Then the amazing caprese salad was rolled out — fresh sliced mozzarella, basil and tomato, surely the perfect meal to any self-respecting Italian.
Pastor Phillip got a massive salad, with artichoke hearts, shrimp, basically everything.
As for himself, Chef Zach’s been eating mainly salads recently, he says, which accounts for his losing a bit of weight and looking particularly fit these days.
He also notes Le Rouge might open in future a Le Bleu for fine dining (perhaps with Francis’ Cordon Bleu creations), and a Le Vert, for organic and environmentally friendly offerings. Can’t wait!
Directions: Coming out of Exit 1 of Hsinpu MRT station, walk to your left about a hundred yards. It’s in a courtyard with a 7-11.
Address/Telephone: 板橋市文化路一段419-6號1樓, Taipei, 02 2255 2861