what you'll first notice when you enter rouge tomate is how utterly spotless every sparkling surface is. the unusually spacious and gently lit main dining room, which seats 120, is outfitted with graceful bare wooden tables, cream leather booths and crimson candleholders at each table-a small splash of color in an otherwise mostly beige space.

we eventually discovered that a number of unusual factors are at work at rouge tomate. it's the only restaurant i know of that employs a culinary nutritionist, natalia rusin, to collaborate with the executive and pastry chefs. for the prevailing philosophy at the restaurant is "s.p.e.," sanitas per escam (health through food), a culinary movement formed by dieticians and chefs that goes beyond mere nutrition to embrace three components: sourcing (using primarily if not exclusively seasonal ingredients), preparation (employing cooking methods that preserve the nutritional qualities and integrity of those ingredients) and enhancement (promoting the interaction of ingredients to create as much menu diversity as possible).