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Rose's Luxury, Chef Aaron Silverman's Modern-American Phenomenon on 8th and G Street in Barracks Row


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Group of friends and I ate on the roof last night.  It's a private room with lots of plants, one big table and a private server.  The menu is pre set and mostly family style, but they can alter for individuals as needed.  The service was great throughout (no surprise).

It basically played as a Rose's greatest hits: brisket, fried chicken, pastas, lychee salad, bread (though this was a rye weave), plus some amouse boushes that were hit or miss.  The second large dessert seemed excessive, but the first one was delicious.  The cocktails were very well done (I'm partial to any drink with some sherry and a bitter, herbally liqueur, which was present here).  My friends brought a number of bottles of wine, though I'm not sure if there was any corkage charge.  Overall, I really enjoyed almost everything and left way, way, way too full.  I could see it being outrageously good for someone who hadn't been before, but it was less exciting for me since I had had much of it before.  And with the price at $135 pp (not including drinks, tax or tip), I think I would have rather spent my money on a few outstanding meals elsewhere. 

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On a rainy Monday evening I was heading downtown to have dinner somewhere - perhaps Purple Patch, or Thip Khao - but I thought to myself, at 7:45 tonight, this is my best chance to get into Rose's Lux

So when we seat 1 of 4 people and the other 3 don't show up for 90 minutes and my waiter gets scrrewed out of a tip on a four top that COULD have turned.... what should I do??????  I had 5 no shows on

Visited last night as part of a corporate private party.  I'm sure there are a number of spaces/configurations for private events - we were seated in the front room upstairs, which was very comfortabl

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On 3/10/2017 at 8:30 AM, DannyNoonan said:

My wife and I dined at Rose's last night to celebrate her birthday. We had a fantastic meal. Some highlights below:

  • The Kung Pao tofu was by far the best thing we ate. I will order this every time I go if it's on the menu. Spicy, salty, a bit sweet and great texture
  • The pastrami spiced carrots were a close second. A meatless dish that somehow tastes meaty. Really good 
  • The barrel aged Bijou cocktail was fantastic. Smooth around the edges, great way to start the meal

Overall, a wonderful meal and a great first experience for us at this restaurant.

I enjoyed a lovely meal at Rose's for the first time last week, and I agree with you about the pastrami carrots. They were delicious and tasted so much like meat. I actually prefer them to real pastrami! I highly recommend them. The lychee salad was a hit for me as well. 

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Thanks to RL's holiday gift card offer that comes with a reservation in January/February/March, we recently made our yearly visit here.  Apart from the lychee/pork salad, still one of my favorites, pastas are usually the big stars here IMO.  We absolutely loved the hand-cut trenette with clams, white wine, and parsley.  Ideal comfort food and the noodles had perfect texture.  The shrimp toast and the bread plate (rye with honey butter) had great individual components that didn't seem to work together as a whole.  Family style entree (we got the Japanese fried chicken) was a bit too much food for two people.  Not sure the bonito flakes on top of the chicken -- a surprise because the menu didn't mention them -- were necessary or helpful.  Otherwise, the chicken was fried with great precision and the potato salad was quite refreshing with just the right amount of acid. 

Service was the right about of attentiveness, knowledge, and friendliness as always.

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Rose's Luxury + Rich Table {February 21, 2018}

RL's Perfect collaboration with Evan Rich of Rich Table! Insanely delicious and exciting beyond words! 1f4af.png 1f4af.png 1f4af.png

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Killer trio of wines!!!

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BREAD SERVICE {RL}

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GRILLED CUCUMBER / yogurt & anchovy {RL}

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SARDINE CHIP / horseradish crème fraîche...Damn! We each had two, but I wish we ordered more...so delicious! {RICH TABLE}

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PORCINI DOUGHNUTS / with Raclette {RICH TABLE}

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SEA URCHIN CACIO E PEPE / spaghetti, Idiazabal {RICH TABLE}

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GRILLED CAULIFLOWER / topped with beet tahini, shiro shoyu lemon vinaigrette served with chimichurri and flat bread with garlic bone marrow!!! {RICH TABLE}

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SALTED MINT CHOCOLATE SABLE / with milk ice cream & pine nuts...Evan Rich explains that his wife's love of Girl Scout Thin Mints is the inspiration for this dessert! {RICH TABLE}

 

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My view on the left!

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10 hours ago, dslee said:

Rose's Luxury + Rich Table {February 21, 2018}

PORCINI DOUGHNUTS / with Raclette {RICH TABLE}

Even though it has been over four years, I remember these Porcini Doughnuts as if it were yesterday. On edenman's urging (formerly ferment_everything - here's his Member Chat), I went to Rich Table and ordered them, and they were one of the most delicious things I had in 2013. Here is my review of that meal.

Incidentally, I'd love to do more member chats - if anyone is interested in sharing your deepest, darkest secrets with us, please send me a PM. They're one of my favorite things to do here, as we all get to know our own superstars, who aren't necessarily deep inside the restaurant industry, but are experts nonetheless.

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There was hardly any line at all yesterday. I arrived at 4:32 and was the tenth person in line. Since the rest of my party was not going to be there until 5:30 or so, I requested a table for that time and was told we would be seated then if the whole party was complete, and we would have a guaranteed table for 6 PM. This arrangement worked fine. The rest of the party arrived about 5:40 and then we were seated. Since there were so few people waiting, we could probably just have walked up together and gotten a seat without waiting at all. It was abnormally slow, at least at the opening. The bartender said that they had been very busy on Monday, though, when they had a guest chef.

They have restructured the menu somewhat. The three of us shared seven dishes, three from the "New Stuff" portion of the menu; both of the "Classics" ( Lychee Salad and Oysters & Granita), and two pastas.

The best thing we had was the Rigatoni Alla Vodka, with squid and Thai Basil. The composition of the dish was excellent and it was a fairly generous portion for sharing.  There was an abundance of the tomato vodka sauce, which was helpful because the other pasta--Farro Reginetti, with garlic and mustard greens--had no discernible sauce at all. We swirled that through the excess tomato sauce from the rigatoni. I'm not sure if the farro made the pasta drier and denser than it might have been, but this really needed something to neutralize the dryness.  This dish was a gift from the restaurant, so I feel bad saying that it was the weakest of the dishes we ate. And we did eat all of it!

My second favorite plate was the Shrimp Toast, from the "New Stuff" section. The Fresno pepper jam on this gave it quite a kick. The shrimp were very meaty and fresh. This tasted really clean.  I'd give honorable mention to the Crsipy Young Favas with malt vinegar aioli. Interesting concept, well-executed. I had no idea what these would be like and didn't ask, just waiting to see what they did. The favas were lined up, breaded, and fried in a narrow tube shape. I thought they mimicked lumpia and one of my dining companions thought deep-fried asparagus, and we both could be right. Grilled Cucumber with house made yogurt and anchovy was another intriguing description, not pulled off quite as effectively, I'd say. The anchovy may or may not have gone with the rest, but two of us got an odd burst of anchovy when we weren't expecting it (one on a first bite and one on a last), and the third person tasted no anchovy at all. There was some kind of nut or seed  seemingly crumbled on the top of this. The pieces were also a little hard to separate. Not bad but not the best item we sampled.

The bread course centered on an English tea theme: silver dollar-sized English muffins, served with tiny jars of clotted cream and orange marmalade. The muffins were a bit too chewy, or maybe I was just pouting because we didn't get a loaf of warm bread and butter :ph34r:. The brioche for the shrimp toast was some consolation.

I'd love to go back soon and make a meal of the shrimp toast, favas, and rigatoni. It's been quite some time since I'd been to Rose's, and it's still its unique self. (The glasses they used for beer at the upstairs bar, where I sat while waiting for the rest of my party, looked distinctly like glasses my mother used to have in the '60s for serving iced tea.)

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The bloom maybe off Rose's vaunted line waits.  I showed up at 4:15pm on a beautiful Friday night and was about 15th in line. By 4:30 the line had grown to about 30 people or so.  We wanted a later seating and I was told I could expect a table for 3 to be open around 8/8:30, but at the host stand that was revised to 7-8pm window. We eventually got a text at 6:50 saying our table would be ready soon and we were seated by about 7:15.  I seriously think if you had shown up between 5:00-5:30 you could have got a table right away.

Regardless, the food was all around excellent.  We ate through a good chunk of the menu.  Standouts included:

Shrimp Toast/brioche/fresno jam/celery Our first dish of the night set the pace.  Awesome rich brioche, Asian flavors, some good heat from the jam. A shame we had to split it 3 ways. 

BBQ Spare Ribs/fish sauce caramel/tarragon  Perhaps the dish of the night, rich pork, salty/sweet/herby.  Seriously delicious.

Grilled Romanesco Wedge/cashew dressing/mint/dill  A serious dish for vegetarians, nicely charred romanesco playing with the creamy dressing.

Whole-grilled Dorade/spring pea curry/sushi rice/snow pea gremolata  Did we need this dish, probably not, but I'm glad we got it.  Beautiful whole fish perfectly grilled.  The pea curry and gremolata worked really well.  At the end, we mixed the various fish scraps with the sushi rice.  

The most interesting/unusual dish was the Grilled Cucumber/yogurt/anchovy dish, which we should have had later in the evening (instead of second), since it made for a great palate cleanser.  The plating for this dish was lovely.  

It's tough to knock complementary bread but the English Muffins were ok, I'd agree with Pat above.  Perhaps its become overhyped, but the Lychee Salad was a bit disappointing, the flavors didn't really pop as much as the above dishes.  The Rigatoni Alla Vodka/squid/Thai basil was the weak link, the sauce had a strange sweetness to it, it actually reminded me more a Indian butter chicken sauce than a pasta sauce.  But at this point I'm probably nitpicking.

The great thing about Rose's is the unexpected.  Sometimes a dish arrives and you double check the menu and you think, really?  how does that dish match the menu description.  But more often than not the flavor combos work, the dish is thought out, just trust the kitchen.  I'd love to go behind the scenes and see the process by which they develop new dishes.    

  Grilled Cucumber/yogurt/anchovy  

roses cuke DR.jpg

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While I’m sure these dishes were all good (if not delicious); I just don’t understand how this is a cohesive meal? 

So many different ethnicities and flavor profiles...call me old fashioned but this just isn’t how I love to eat.

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33 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

While I’m sure these dishes were all good (if not delicious); I just don’t understand how this is a cohesive meal? 

So many different ethnicities and flavor profiles...call me old fashioned but this just isn’t how I love to eat.

This is *exactly* why I don't have Rose's rated more highly - while I love it (and I'm a happy repeat customer), the cuisine could use a touch more focus. Pineapple & Pearls plays on another level entirely - I don't understand how Pineapple & Pearls can be *so* much better than Rose's, but somehow, it is (I know I've said this before, but Pineapple & Pearls was the best meal I had in America in 2016).

Fusing flavors from around the world is a lovely concept - *when it works* - but too many inexperienced chefs are doing it just to be "modern," and failing (I'm not talking about Aaron here).

WRT the lines, I saw one about 30-people long this past Saturday at around 5:15.

BTW, the best English Muffins I've ever had were at Bread Furst.

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Actually most of the dishes had some sort of Asian flavor profile, even if it wasn't explicit in the menu listing.  It was definitely a parade of small plates, followed by the whole fish, but it felt like a cohesive meal. If I could have all the dishes again I would probably re-order them, for example the cucumber would have been the perfect dish to end the small plates before the whole fish, since it was clean and bright.  Overall it was a delicious meal. 

Yep, I would say the line on Friday reached around 30 people at its max.  From what I could tell it seemed to be a mix of people who wanted to dine early before attending the Drill at the Marine Barracks and people who wanted to eat later.  The restaurant was still decently crowded when we left around 9:30.        

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On June 18, 2018 at 12:51 PM, Tweaked said:

Grilled Romanesco Wedge/cashew dressing/mint/dill

This was my bonus gift dish last night, and I felt like the cashew cream overwhelmed everything. The romanesco was enrobed in a solid layer of it. Making things worse, the cream itself seemed kind of bland. I liked the grilled flavor of the romanesco when I got to it, and the bright herbs up against it reminded me a bit of dishes at Dorjee Momo. There was just too much cashew cream for me, and I was trying to scrape some of it off.  Maybe the amount of dressing they put on varies?

I was hoping they had moved on from the sliver dollar sourdough English muffins, but that's still the bread course. These had the advantage of being piping hot out of the oven, whereas the ones last time had cooled more. The shrimp toast was once again awesome. One of my favorite all-time Rose's dishes.

I've noticed they are really doing a heavy sell on that lychee salad. The people next to me hadn't been before and were told the whole story of how it's been on the menu since the beginning, etc., which was clearly a branding move from the beginning as well. We got talked into it last time because we had a first-timer with us, and the pushiness on this seems very un-Rose's-like to me.

I saw that they had the strawberry spaghetti on the menu and it looked great as it was being prepared, but the two reasons I had gone back were the shrimp toast and the rigatoni alls vodka, so that's what I ordered. Unfortunately, I'd eaten lunch several hours before and hit a wall after the romanesco. I only ate a tiny bit of the pasta and brought the rest home. I'm sure it will still be good but not quite the same as plated right in the kitchen in front of me.

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rose's is now rolling out same-day reservations.  the description from the website:  "Here is how it works; After we’ve chatted with everyone in line, our same day booking system will open up and show all remaining availability for that evening (currently available Monday through Thursday, after 5:30pm.) Then just click the rough time you want and voila, your dinner at Rose’s is booked!  Seating times are not an exact science so please bear with us. We will do our best to seat you at your preferred time but occasionally guests can linger longer than expected. If this happens, we will do our absolute best to make sure your wait is no longer than 30 minutes max (if at all). "

the bf and i were there last week (for the joint dinner with tug and taro, which took reservations), chatting with our server about how we don't come in as often as we'd like because we're deterred by the potential for a long wait.  she commented that the night before had walk-in space from around 7:30 on.  i wonder if the demand for the later end of weeknights (always our go-to anyway) has fallen to the point that this is their attempt at a solution to empty seats.  the warning about up to thirty minutes of wait time is interesting; are they anticipating hiccups in the process?  

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3 hours ago, jca76 said:

the warning about up to thirty minutes of wait time is interesting; are they anticipating hiccups in the process?  

I suspect they're worried about the unknown - the lines can't last forever (can they?), and at some point, they'll need to tiptoe into a transition.

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At this point, so many people are getting into line for 5 in order to put their names in for later, that it probably makes sense just to have only (or mostly) the people who want to eat early stand in line. I haven't been going super often, but I have noticed over time that many of the people lining up at opening are requesting call backs for later. They are good at evolving their business model based on changing circumstances (i.e., people realized how they could get de facto reservations by standing in line and now the restaurant is adapting).

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we went to rose's last weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday.  she had made one of the "group dinner" reservations for eight people, where you get a "tasting menu" of dishes culled off of the regular menu for $75/person.  i'd not done a large group reservation at rose's before, having never been particularly interested in the roof garden (given that the cost seemed disproportionate for the experience, based on descriptions here).  we were at a long table (four on each side) in the back of the upstairs bar area, rather than the farmhouse table on the first floor near the bathroom (which i believe seats three on each side and two at the ends), which made conversation from end to end rather difficult due to distance and noise.  the $75 cost here was still more than you would pay for food if you ordered (even quite heavily) a la carte, but it seems like a reasonable enough mark-up for the guarantee of a reserved table.  unfortunately, i don't think the food at rose's is well suited to being structured as a tasting menu -- i.e., one dish at a time in succession.  the main advantage of sharing-oriented small plates restaurants is the opportunity to have multiple dishes on the table at once, so that they can be compared/alternated between, and the last bites can be allocated according to who preferred what.  (plus, many of the dishes feature the sort of bold flavors that contrast well with each other when there is variety on the table, but work less well in prolonged isolation.)  moreover, gaps between dishes were too long, especially in the beginning when we were quite hungry.  without knowing what was coming, i ended up eating a bit too heavily at the beginning.  while dietary restrictions were accommodated, we didn't get any choice in the dishes.  (and sadly we didn't get the two dishes that i most wanted off the online menu: the trenette and squash blossom rangoon, two of the few dishes we hadn't previously had.)  from what i recall: 

CAVIAR & COCONUT -- the sweet-salty combo is tasty, but i would like a third element (finger lime for acid? something for crunch? just something).  small bowls for each person.

OYSTERS & GRANITA ("happy oysters", cultured cream, spicy aji limo granita) -- a delicious reminder of how much i have always liked their oyster and granita combos.  surprisingly spicy (keep in mind we hadn't seen the menu before they arrived).

GRILLED CUCUMBER (yogurt & anchovy) -- herby-fishy excellence.  probably the most subtlety impressive dish.

SMASHED POTATO (bagna cauda, cotija, hard-boiled egg) -- more anchovy brininess, which i like, the sort of haute drunk food at which aaron excels.  

LYCHEE SALAD (pork sausage, habanero & peanuts) -- i much preferred when they used the old morningstar fake sausage as the vegetarian accommodation.  the house-made tempeh doesn't work as well in flavor or texture, although i'm sure it's much more natural.  i still enjoy the salad, but it doesn't wow the way it used to (and some of the garlic slices in my portion were burnt).  individually portioned rather than a larger bowl for sharing.

RIGATONI ALLA VODKA (squid & thai basil) -- probably the most delicious dish of the night in the i-can't-stop-taking-bites way, bold vodka sauce flavor.  not clear why this couldn't be vegetarian without the squid but our one vegi got the HERB PISTOU (spaghetti, jalapeno & pinenuts), which i found to be a bit too dry in texture and flat in flavor.  acid and/or salt needed?

BBQ SPARE RIBS (fish sauce caramel, tarragon) -- meat eaters cleaned this plate, looked great.  the pescatarians got a plated version (i.e., individual filets) of the WHOLE-GRILLED DORADE (spring pea curry, sushi rice, snow pea gremolata), which was just okay, more muted than i would have expected from the description.  we also got a side of some sort of grilled shredded lettuce and avocado salad, which was fine but sort of an odd accompaniment to the fish; maybe intended more to complement the ribs, which weren't a plated dish?

desserts were a grapefruit sorbet that i found too pithy-bitter to enjoy, although others liked it.  i loved the rich, almost butterscotchy custard in the POPCORN BRULEE, although i thought the whole popcorn kernels over the top were more distraction than anything.  i would have preferred it if (1) the popcorn was broken up into bits, so that it was better integrated, and (2) more heavily salted, as i love a salty-sweet contrast.  sorbet was individually portioned while the brulee was shared between two people.  

the big-table reservation worked well for the two couples in our group who have kids (and therefore value having a set reservation time when getting a sitter), but i otherwise wouldn't recommend this format as the way to experience rose's for people with the flexibility to come under normal circumstances.  the bf and i left feeling very full and yet not entirely satisfied.  

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On 10/15/2018 at 7:21 PM, jca76 said:

unfortunately, i don't think the food at rose's is well suited to being structured as a tasting menu -- i.e., one dish at a time in succession.  the main advantage of sharing-oriented small plates restaurants is the opportunity to have multiple dishes on the table at once, so that they can be compared/alternated between, and the last bites can be allocated according to who preferred what.  (plus, many of the dishes feature the sort of bold flavors that contrast well with each other when there is variety on the table, but work less well in prolonged isolation.) 

I want to repeat this because it's of such importance that I don't want it to get lost in your post. 

Saying Rose's Luxury isn't conducive to a tasting-menu format is no different than saying 2 Amys isn't conducive to a tasting-menu format - neither one of them is; yet, yours is the very first thing I can recall reading that comes right out and says so.

Stating what you did isn't a criticism; it's a stylistic observation, and in my mind, it's about as close to a bulls-eye as you can get.

People should rethink getting a tasting menu at any restaurant (and I'm thinking about Graffiato, but this could apply to Jaleo, Cork (*), etc.) that's merely a subset of their à la carte menu, and instead treat things as either an appetizer-entrée or tapas-like situation.

Interestingly, Little Serow *could* be like this, but it isn't, because the meal is specifically designed to be a multi-movement symphony (with each component fitting into a cohesive whole); and not just a series of tone poems.

(*) I believe that Cork was the very first restaurant in the area to "serve everything when it's ready," in order to avoid having to worry about timing - it has become a nasty little trend.

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On 10/15/2018 at 9:02 PM, DonRocks said:

Saying Rose's Luxury isn't conducive to a tasting-menu format is no different than saying 2 Amys isn't conducive to a tasting-menu format - neither one of them is; yet, yours is the very first thing I can recall reading that comes right out and says so.

Interestingly, Little Serow *could* be like this, but it isn't, because the meal is specifically designed to be a multi-movement symphony (with each component fitting into a cohesive whole); and not just a series of tone poems.

I think the last note is especially interesting because I've even had cases where the try-everything "tasting menu" option was actually excellent (Little Pearl, Maple Avenue brunch) but still doesn't actually feel like a tasting menu but rather a procession of dishes.  Little Serow is rare in pulling off a low price point tasting that actually flows like a tasting menu - the symphony analogy is excellent.  

*I personally liked the Roses 5 year menu a lot, but sharing an entire loaf of bread plus a whole pork / lychee bowl between two is not would I would think is an ideal "tasting menu" start even if both items were delicious.

On 10/17/2018 at 9:37 AM, @Lf82 said:

Here you go. We were positively stuffed by this meal. 

Scannable Document on Oct 17, 2018 at 9_35_52 AM.pdf

Thank you for posting the menu!  Sorry lindzjax for not posting the day after as promised - not a great excuse but I was extremely hungover and stuffed the next day and derped on it.  I thought the 5 year anniversary meal was fantastic although I thought the portions were a bit crazy and I'm by no means a light eater.  Favorite dish by far was the foie gras french toast with cinnamon toast crunch ice cream although I'm still enthralled by the pork / lychee bowl and the meats were very nice as well.  The only real letdown was the herb pistou crab pasta which was fine but kinda one note. I also splurged on the night's optional caviar supplement which was four different kinds of caviar served with house made sweet potato chips and creme fraiche which I thought was great (much better than P&P's weird caviar and gummy bears things IMO).

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On 11/19/2018 at 1:44 PM, Kev29 said:

Thanks, I just took care of my anniversary dinner a month and a half in advance! 😀

Late! Should have done this for our anniversary dinner, too. May have to try same day reservation. 

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Visited last night as part of a corporate private party.  I'm sure there are a number of spaces/configurations for private events - we were seated in the front room upstairs, which was very comfortable for 15 or so guests.  Service was fantastic as always and the food was a unanimous hit - some dishes I hadn't seen on the menu before (though I hadn't visited in some time).  I wasn't part of the planning process so unsure what options or prices were available.  The two wines for the evening were a Sancerre that carried us through the first 2/3 of the menu, followed by a french red but I didn't catch the specific type - that being said, the full bar and wine list were available.  A quick rundown from memory as there was no printed menu:

  1. Foie Gras amuse
  2. Coconut ice cream with caviar
  3. Oysters with cream and spicy granita
  4. English Muffin with clotted cream and orange marmalade.  This was the highlight for me - yes, the bread course.
  5. Lychee Salad
  6. Squash blossom rangoon.  This was the low for me (but was still pretty good).  It was salty and fried, but beyond that I wouldn't have been able to tell you it was a squash blossom or contained crab
  7. Honey fried chicken
  8. Rigatoni alla vodka with calamari - just a fantastic pasta dish
  9. Linguini with shrimp and garlic
  10. Wedge salad
  11. Tomahawk steak (picture below) - impressive presentation.  Came with roasted garlic, also separate pans of roasted mushrooms and potato straws.  The steak was fantastic - the mushrooms were very balsamic and cold - seemed better suited to a salad than a steak accompaniment, particularly the temperature
  12. Cinnamon toast crunch ice cream topped with crushed cereal ("palate cleanser")
  13. Chocolate pecan pie topped with chocolate mouse and vanilla ice cream

They honestly could've stopped after the chicken and everyone would've been satisfied, but the servers were good sports about making to-go boxes.  Also noted that one member of the group had a severe shellfish allergy that the restaurant handled very well.

IMG_3750.jpg

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Has anyone had success with making online same day reservations at Rose's Luxury? I have been trying for weeks @ exactly 9:00am and have not been able to get a table at any time on a Saturday, despite the fact that the website indicates that Saturday same day res are a possibility .

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On 2/2/2019 at 9:25 AM, naxos said:

Has anyone had success with making online same day reservations at Rose's Luxury? I have been trying for weeks @ exactly 9:00am and have not been able to get a table at any time on a Saturday, despite the fact that the website indicates that Saturday same day res are a possibility .

I was able to get a same day reservation on a Thursday evening a few weeks ago. I think their system is either a bit buggy and/or demand is very high on certain days. When I first clicked the link at 9:00 am, it gave me an incorrect message about their original same day reservation system (reservations open at 5:30 etc.), then when I hit refresh, it allowed me to make the reservation. I checked the reservation page in advance to see how popular it was; on a Monday, there were seats available as late as 9:50am, while on a Tuesday, all of the seats were taken almost immediately.

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Thank you, Shaho. Yes their system is buggy and I discussed the issue with Mike, the manager, who explained that while things were very slow during the furlough,  they have been slammed with a combo of their new online res and the holiday gift card promo that came with a reservation, leaving only a third of seats available for same day res. 

 

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I was unable to snag a same rez last Saturday but decided to do the line thing. A trip that used to take me 15 minutes door to door back in the day took me 40 minutes to Cap Hill for unknown reasons so I got in line at 4:30 rather than 4. I was 15th in line- most folks wanted to eat right away and I was given the opportunity to have a table at 6ish.

There were 4 of us and we ordered almost all small plates. The standouts were:

lychee salad

 bucatini pistou,

Japanese pancake with mushroom jus (an umami bomb ) more like a dense soufflé with mushrooms and mushroom butter 

octopus bolognese

foie gras French toast with cinnamon ice cream. Not PETA  friendly but a delicious bite!

A fun evening!

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Walked in as a solo diner at 8pm Monday night and was seated at the bar upstairs immediately.  Was fully when I arrived, but by 8:45 there were only 2 other people.

Had what I would consider to be my first 'miss' here, which was an off menu special of gnocchi topped with quite a bit of shaved black truffle.  The gnocchi were not rolled but were flat discs, so it ate largely like a plate of mashed potatoes topped with truffles.  Ok, so maybe not a 'miss' because who WOULDN'T like a plate of mashed potatoes topped with truffle, but it came across somewhat flat.  Oysters here are fantastic unless you're a real purist (the chamomile-honey granita can overwhelm nuanced flavors), and I'll hold judgement on the sopresini since it ended up being take out.

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A quick P.S. to my post from a few months back -- the staff e-mailed us a wine list and in the few instances where I could find prices via CellarTracker, markups were typically around 200 percent.  We opted for corkage but did order cocktails before the meal.  Biggest food hits for us were the squash blossom rangoon and Japanese souffle pancake, neither of which seem to be on the menu anymore unfortunately.

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I arrived (in the unexpected rain!) just about 6:30 last night and was able to get a seat at the chef's counter. My server (and the service generally) was excellent. They work hard to maintain their standards yet without appearing to exert any effort. (They're the Anthony Rendon of the restaurant world!) 

Aaron Silverman was working in the kitchen while I was there, putting the finishing touches on pasta dishes, grating the cheese and zest onto the finished plates before they went out. I was surprised he was there and not next door. When I chatted with him briefly, he said that he moves around.

From the "Greatest Hits" portion of the menu I got Popcorn Soup (with grilled lobster and a kettle corn garnish). As always, the soup was amazing. While it looked beautiful,  I found the small jar they served it in to have too narrow a neck to get the soup spoon in and back out easily. A minor quibble, as I love the variety and aesthetics of the various serving vessels and implements here and at their other restaurants. 

I had difficulty deciding between the Sweet Pea Primavera (penne, cured egg, horseradish) from the Pastas section or the Strawberry Pasta, which I'd never had, from "Greatest Hits." I asked my server, who called it a tough choice but ultimately advised me to go with the primavera. That had been my inclination all along, so I went with it. I know that the weird ingredient combinations usually turn out well, but I'd never been able to get myself to order the Strawberry Pasta. The primavera was a good choice. I loved the way the horseradish played with the other ingredients including some very bright fresh mint. And, of course, the mint was great with the peas. The potency of the horseradish and mint together really knocked this one out of the park (😀).

Later I received an order of the Strawberry Pasta on the house so I could try it. I thought the ricotta being served on top tied it together well.  I could taste strawberry, but it wasn't dominant. The dish didn't seem to have one strong flavor, especially with the ricotta mixed in. It just all worked together and made its own flavor. It wasn't actually that weird now that I've tried it, almost 6 years in to the tenure of the restaurant.

My server also saw to it that I got a couple of their Crispy Fried Wings (chili, orange, and fennel) to try (on the itemized receipt as "Rose's Wild Wings"). The orange was in the form of pickled zest. They were finished with fresh dill and came with yogurt on the side as a cooling dipping sauce. The chicken was very moist. These were spicy elevated bar wings and I wouldn't mind trying them again.

Last but not least, the bread this time did not disappoint. It has always been one of my favorite features of dining here, and my overall glow after a meal is brightened or dampened by the type of bread. Even the rain could not dampen my mood after this meal. They have turned Cacio e Pepe into monkey bread, dusted with finely ground Parmesan and black pepper. Lots of black pepper. It was a decent-sized round, pre-separated but still together, maybe the size of a large biscuit. They may have outdone themselves with this bread offering.

 

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On sale now - their holiday gift cards for 2 ($150) or 4 ($300) people that come with the ability to make an advance reservation for a time between Jan and April 2020.  (In past years, the available reservations have gone quickly so best to book the reservation sooner rather than later.)

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a close friend and i went to rose's on monday night (which was where we first met at a group dinner about five years ago), and after my last few visits, i'm just not that into it anymore.  (i've eaten there literally dozens of times since they opened, and it used to be one of my favorite places.)  less innovation -- we ate many of the same dishes more than three months ago -- and less balance in the menu, which skews heavy.  (is it my imagination, or is the menu also shorter than it once was?)  

we showed up at around 8:00 p.m. and were quoted an hour wait.  our your-table-is-ready text arrived about 55 minutes later, so well done on the estimate.  we were seated at the back bar, where, when we asked for descriptions of the three skin-contact wines by the glass, the very nice bartender just poured us both a splash of the three.  (as we watched her and other staff polishing glassware as the evening wore on, i particularly felt the generosity of the additional six dirty glasses!)  the bf loved the cacio e pepe monkey bread on our last visit, but both times i've been underwhelmed compared to their past bread offerings.  while tons of cheese and black pepper would be good eaten on a spoon, much less on carbs, the texture of the bread is a bit too dense and uninteresting (kind of like a just-okay garlic knot).  

we ordered the green tomato panzanella (kean's sourdough & anchovy), the lumaconi alla norma (eggplant, anchovy & tomato), and the family style salt & pepper catfish (caviar tartar sauce, pickled melon rind & hush puppies).  i've had the panzanella before (back in september) and thought it was good -- nice briny-brightness -- but we mostly ordered it because it was the only fresh vegetable dish on the menu.  this is what i mean about lack of balance.  (we let the last bites go when a serve came by to clear because we thought she was replacing it with our pasta, but it turns out the dish she was holding was for another table.)  the meal felt like it had a lot of downtime, which was particularly frustrating because we were hungry and it was late on a monday.

the lumaconi was by far the best thing we ordered; rich, acidic, salty, spicy.  just wonderfully bold; we scraped that dish.  we were also gifted the whole wheat reginetti (mustard greens & baby kale), a dish i've enjoyed many times before.  maybe it was the contrast with the norma sauce, but the reginetti just tasted flat.  (and while i appreciate the gesture of an extra dish that rose's and other places frequently make, it just seems wasteful when we've ordered a sufficient quantity of food and then another pasta arrives.  we were basically full before the fish arrived.)  

the catfish was the most disappointing dish of the night.  the hush puppies were excellent, well seasoned and light in texture (for hush puppies).  while the batter on the fish was nicely seasoned, it wasn't as crispy as i would have liked, and the whole dish was just a lot of fried heaviness.  a tiny pile of pickled watermelon rind on the side was insufficient (both in quantity and integration) to add acidic balance.  the caviar tartar sauce was a little dollop of roe in the middle of a pool of . . . perfectly ordinary tartar sauce.  granted, i'm not a huge tartar sauce fan in general, but this tasted totally generic.  (come on, rose's, get creative!  add some lemon!  add some herbs!  go nuts and mince up that pickled rind into the tartar sauce!  do something!)   the leftovers were decent with a lime-yogurt-tahini sauce that i had around, confirming my belief that a better sauce would have helped.  (sadly, the pickled rind didn't make it into our to-go boxes.)

we left very full, but in that weighed-down-but-not-quite-sated way that i get when i eat too much heavy food that i didn't really love -- a feeling i'd also had on our last visit.  sadly, i think rose's will be out of my rotation for awhile.  

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11 hours ago, Keithstg said:

I've been half a dozen times, never waited in line. If interested: http://www.taskrabbit.com

I have heard of that. A possibility, but again - I prefer a reservation. Most other restaurants I can book days weeks, a month or more in advance. Why have the hassle of finding someone to do that for you the day of when you want to go and then, you may not even dine when you want to.

10 hours ago, FranklinDubya said:

They also offer same day reservations opening at 9am each morning : https://www.rosesluxury.com/reservations/ 

It's definitely worth checking out at least once if only for the lychee salad and the cacio e pepe

Same problem, no planning ahead ability - I must be unique in my desire to know I have a place  reserved for me more than 12 hours ahead of time.

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At its best, Rose’s Luxury was a relatively inexpensive yet creative and well executed joint.  Frank Ruta is no Aaron Silverman.  It’s restaurant that I'm glad I waited in line for.  I can't say the same about Bad Saint.  At this point, you can just pay the big bucks and get reservation for Pineapple and Pearls.

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The service is always a star here too.  I know they must work it into the overall price of the meal, but it's always nice to get a freebie dish or two.

11 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

At its best, Rose’s Luxury was a relatively inexpensive yet creative and well executed joint.  Frank Ruta is no Aaron Silverman.  

What are you getting at with the Frank/Aaron comment?  Are you saying that Frank doesn't measure up to Aaron's skills?  That's fine of course, but I know how much Frank is revered here, so it struck me a little funny.   

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