Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Monday, November 25th, 2013
After less than a week on the job, Chef Rob Rubba debuts a new menu tonight at Tallula. Nate Waugaman left the post after almost a year-and-a-half at the helm of Tallula and the adjoining EatBar. Waugaman would not comment on the departure.
Rubba most recently cooked at Azur in D.C., leaving about month before the restaurant closed and before that, Rubba also left just prior to the historic Philadelphia restaurant Le Bec Fin shuttering. Trained in both French and Japanese techniques, Rubba worked under cooking legends Guy Savoy (in Las Vegas and Paris), Todd English, and Gordon Ramsay. Rubba never went to culinary school, instead he learned on the job. “To me that’s what classically trained is in my opinion: I tried to work for as many Michelin-starred chefs as I could.”
The 31-year-old chef will bring a larger vegetable presence to the Arlington restaurant. “The whole thing is a lot lighter,” says Rubba of the new menu, “but i don’t want it to sound like spa food.” Instead, he describes it as progressive American with a focus on root-to-stem preparations. A new addition to the menu is a scallop dish featuring cauliflower pureed, pickled and caramelized and will use the stems (shaved and glossed with warm butter) and leaves (dressed with olive oil and sea salt.)
Rubba will also include sprouted items such as lentils (above), mung beans and flax. When sprouted, says Rubba, the item “is at its most nutrient and most packed with energy.”
At the beginning of next year Rubba will begin updating EatBar’s menu with more dishes suited for the by-the-glass wine program as well as including more vegetable-based dishes. But the chef doesn’t have any specific ideas yet. “It’s only been a week.” / Tallula and EatBar, 2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington
Below: Tallula’s new menu, debuting tonight (click to enlarge).