Earlier in January, I traveled to D.C. to visit my sister, and she brought me to experience Rose’s Luxury. This restaurant was voted by Bon Appétit as 2014’s best new restaurant. Bon Appétit’s article on the restaurant is very thorough, and if you’re interested in the background of the restaurant, definitely take a look. Otherwise, here’s a quick rundown.
People start lining up outside the restaurant around 4pm every day (we got there around 4:15 on a Wednesday and were the fourth group in line), and the hosts come out at 5pm to start letting people in. You have the choice of dining right then or putting your name down to return at a more convenient time.
We chose to dine then because we were ravenous after a laborious day of sitting around. We chose to sit side-by-side at the kitchen counter so that we could openly creep on the staff.
For the most part, the chefs were assembling the pre-prepared components of each dish rather than actively cooking/angrily yelling at each other reality-TV-show style, but it was intriguing regardless.
We were immediately served a delicious loaf of bread paired with a masterful scoop of fluffy butter. The bread was so soft, and with the butter it just melted in your mouth. Restaurants that just serve a cold pat of butter with the bread, step your game up.
Below is the beef ribeye tartare. For anyone who is skeptical of raw meat (#LongLiveChipotle), this is the dish to change your mind.
We were gifted (!!!alarms going off for anyone who enjoys free food!!!) with these “Campfire Carrots,” a dish featuring charred vegetables. It was pretty accurately named.
This was the confit goat. We were unimpressed. It’s served with “BBQ Sea Island Red Peas,” which, in our opinion, just translated into the meat tasting like red beans without many goat flavors.
This following dish was the bomb. It’s their pork sausage, habanero, peanuts, and lychee salad, and it is amazing. You may be thinking “lychee, in a savory dish with pork sausage and what appears to be red onions, really? question mark question mark” or “wtf is lychee,” and to both I say, “
h8rs gon h8 Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.”
This was definitely my favorite dish of the night. It was so flavorful, I couldn’t help but use the phrase, “I can’t even” in an unironic way.
Below is the crispy pig’s ear salad. Normally, I am a huge fan of pig’s ear, and both my sister and I can handle spice well, my sister being my family’s renowned champion of spicy food. However, this dish was just a little off-putting with the strength of the spice, which overpowered the other flavors. It was, dare I say, a little too hot to handle.
By the time this dish, the hand-cut chitarra with caramelized cauliflower, came out, we were pretty full. It still managed to wow us though. The cauliflower was potent, in that it tasted especially cauliflower-y, and it hurt me deeply that I couldn’t finish the entire plate.
Being the Yelp fanatic I am, I perused many a Yelp review of the restaurant beforehand and was impressed by the number of reviews that mentioned the eggplant tarte tatin. When I heard the server tell the guys sitting next to us that that night was the last they would be serving the tarte tatin, I was adamant that we order it, despite my sister’s complaints of being too full to eat anything else. She insisted that she’d only be able to handle something refreshing for dessert, and the coconut milk ice cream seemed like the perfect candidate.
But eggplant!! I just needed to try it, at the very least. Where else would I ever get a tarte tatin made with eggplant? I would definitely see coconut ice cream down the line somewhere, but this was our last chance to get the acclaimed eggplant tarte tatin. On the other hand, I felt my stomach getting heavier and heavier with [food] child with every passing second. I also started leaning towards a more refreshing dessert but was still torn.
We conveyed our dilemma to our server, who immediately offered to give us a sample of the ice cream along with an order of the tarte tatin. We were so grateful for her generosity that it wasn’t until she left that we realized she had offered the opposite of what we were hoping for; we really just wanted to try the eggplant tarte tatin and actually get the ice cream, but alas.
The sample serving of ice cream was more than enough. It was quite refreshing, naturally, because it’s ice cream, but it was also very rich and creamy. A great way to end the night lol jk still have a slice of tart to consume.
The eggplant tarte tatin was very interesting. There was a very particular taste to it, something we attributed to how it acquired its glazed state, that really brought out how it is more of a savory ingredient than, say, apple.
Overall, our experience at Rose’s was great. Our server was so friendly and helpful, sitting at the kitchen counter was really cool, and the food was fantastic. Definitely a great date spot, what with its mason jar drinking glasses and the hip, vintage serving dishes. I asked about their plates and glasses, and apparently they collect them from Etsy and various shops. Even if you don’t bring a hot date here, at least Instagram the place. I did. Twice.