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Rooster & Owl - Carey and Yuan Tang's $65, Prix-Fixe, Communal Tasting Menus in Cardozo

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Can anyone else think of a prix-fixe, communal, tasting-menu format?

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My wife and I tired Rooster & Owl before The Post review came out.  We really enjoyed most of the menu.  We didn't love the steak but everything else was excellent.  I was especially impressed with the drink menu and wine pairings.  I imagine the prices will soon go up.  Right now, I think it is one of the best bargains in fine dining.  

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I don't know that I've ever seen Sietsema give a place three stars.  Especially on a first review.  Thankfully @eatruneat read something about the restaurant in Washingtonian prior to Sietsema's review coming out so we were able to get a reservation before the madness began.  After meeting up with her at Franklin Hall - my god that place is big - and getting my ass handed to me at a few games of Simon while she cackled in delight, we walked around the corner to the subterranean entrance.  We were greeted by the chef's wife and General Manager, Carey Tang and shown to our table.  For the $65 per person pre-fixe menu you get to choose an item from each of the four sections, so we got to try two from each section.

We started with the kanpachi and an order of carrots.  The thinly sliced kanpachi with coconut and citrus was a great way to start off the meal.  Subtle tartness from the citrus and sweetness from the coconut lends themselves well to the velvety texture of the fish.  The carrots live up to the hype.  They are cooked to the perfect softness and their barbecue flavor is spot on.  The accompanying 'cornbread' ice cream is a good foil to the their spiciness but not great.    

While waiting for the next set of dishes we noticed that people were getting bread, so we inquired with our server.  She was surprised that we had not received any and went to get us some.  Make sure to speak with your server if the same thing happens to you.  The reward is sweet, light and fluffy rolls that taste great and don't fill you up.  Imagine a MUCH better King's Hawaiian role and that's what they are like.

Next up we got the lobster etouffee and 'pot roast'  I can't eat the former due to an allergy, but with the speed and thoroughness that @eatruneat polished it off, I'm guessing it's pretty good.  I was able to eat the braised oxtail in the 'pot roast' and it took every fiber of my being to share a bite with @eatruneat.  I devoured it along with the mashed potatoes and diced rutabaga it came with in about two minutes and was left wondering where I could get more.  

We got somewhat lucky with the next round when we were brought the NY strip steak instead of the quail.  Not that the quail is bad.  It's fantastic.  But because they let us keep the steak and brought us the quail as well.  Also, I say somewhat because the steak isn't anything great.  Meat and potatoes people will love it, but it's not memorable.

Lacking a sweet tooth, dessert was just dessert for me.  I'll let @eatruneat comment on those.

Rooster & Owl was one of the very few restaurants @eatruneat  and I have gone to recently that we've really enjoyed.  We can't wait to see what they do for spring.  

 

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47 minutes ago, MichaelBDC said:

I don't know that I've ever seen Sietsema give a place three stars.  Especially on a first review.  Thankfully @eatruneat read something about the restaurant in Washingtonian prior to Sietsema's review coming out so we were able to get a reservation before the madness began.  After meeting up with her at Franklin Hall - my god that place is big - and getting my ass handed to me at a few games of Simon while she cackled in delight, we walked around the corner to the subterranean entrance.  We were greeted by the chef's wife and General Manager, Carey Tang and shown to our table.  For the $65 per person pre-fixe menu you get to choose an item from each of the four sections, so we got to try two from each section.

We started with the kanpachi and an order of carrots.  The thinly sliced kanpachi with coconut and citrus was a great way to start off the meal.  Subtle tartness from the citrus and sweetness from the coconut lends themselves well to the velvety texture of the fish.  The carrots live up to the hype.  They are cooked to the perfect softness and their barbecue flavor is spot on.  The accompanying 'cornbread' ice cream is a good foil to the their spiciness but not great.    

While waiting for the next set of dishes we noticed that people were getting bread, so we inquired with our server.  She was surprised that we had not received any and went to get us some.  Make sure to speak with your server if the same thing happens to you.  The reward is sweet, light and fluffy rolls that taste great and don't fill you up.  Imagine a MUCH better King's Hawaiian role and that's what they are like.

Next up we got the lobster etouffee and 'pot roast'  I can't eat the former due to an allergy, but with the speed and thoroughness that @eatruneat polished it off, I'm guessing it's pretty good.  I was able to eat the braised oxtail in the 'pot roast' and it took every fiber of my being to share a bite with @eatruneat.  I devoured it along with the mashed potatoes and diced rutabaga it came with in about two minutes and was left wondering where I could get more.  

We got somewhat lucky with the next round when we were brought the NY strip steak instead of the quail.  Not that the quail is bad.  It's fantastic.  But because they let us keep the steak and brought us the quail as well.  Also, I say somewhat because the steak isn't anything great.  Meat and potatoes people will love it, but it's not memorable.

Lacking a sweet tooth, dessert was just dessert for me.  I'll let @eatruneat comment on those.

Rooster & Owl was one of the very few restaurants @eatruneat  and I have gone to recently that we've really enjoyed.  We can't wait to see what they do for spring.  

 

The lobster etouffee was indeed delicious, but the kanpachi and carrots were the best dishes of the night.

You forgot the Parisian Gnocchi, which was probably the weakest dish we had. Taste was good but the gnocchi were a little too doughy and soft for me. 

@MichaelBDC had the winter citrus for dessert and I had the eclair. The eclair was very good but the savory dishes stole the show.

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Short review:  really enjoyed this place, but kind of over tasting menus and don't feel any desire to go back in the near future.  The cooking is good, but I just felt...constrained by the small menu and lack of choices. 

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E-mail alerts on Resy for the win!  Our original plan was to eat at Chloe, but a table here opened up and we pounced.  The app even automatically cancels the old booking when you're making a new one.  Really looking forward to it.  We usually swap plates while dining out anyway, so it will be like an 8-course tasting menu for us.

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On 5/10/2019 at 2:17 PM, silentbob said:

E-mail alerts on Resy for the win!  Our original plan was to eat at Chloe, but a table here opened up and we pounced.  The app even automatically cancels the old booking when you're making a new one.  Really looking forward to it.  We usually swap plates while dining out anyway, so it will be like an 8-course tasting menu for us.

How was it?

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