Rouge Grille

The Perfect Place for Girls' Night Out

Restaurateur Neville Pereira - who also owns neighboring restaurants Hooked and Ignite on Hanover Street in Manchester - has opened another restaurant in the downtown area of the Queen City. Rouge Grille, located in the former Z Food and Drink space on Elm Street, opened in late November serving an eclectic menu of internationally-inspired dishes.

The theme of the restaurant is all about shoes (or, more specifically, heels) and seems geared towards attracting the martini-sipping "ladies night out" crowd. Indeed, the long list of martinis and cocktails are all named after designers such as Louboutin and Jimmy Choo. Various pieces of high heel art are placed throughout the interior, which is decorated in dark red hues and intimate low lighting. Still, the restaurant is certainly inviting to all types of groups with a menu that is sure to have something for everyone.

Based on the name alone, I ordered the fusion dish Vindaloo Curry Alfredo Haddock ($18.99) from the "International Fusion" portion of the menu. I truly had no idea what that could possibly taste or look like, and was pleasantly surprised with fresh, flaky haddock in a creamy curry sauce over pasta topped with a refreshing cucumber string salad. My only complaint was lack of spice - I was hoping for more of a curry punch. Other items found here range from British standby fish and chips ($11.99) to a wasabi fillet ($24.99) served on Vietnamese noodles.

The large menu includes more international-fusion dishes, a selection of lighter tapas-style dishes, a relatively large list of salads and appetizers from around the world including Asian nachos ($9.99) with a sweet BBQ sauce, spicy Cajun shrimp cocktail ($9.99) and grilled Thai tenders ($8.99). You can choose four appetizers from a select menu for $12.99, which would be a great idea when dining with a larger group.

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