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May 11, 2007 10:06 PM

Rose Water in Park Slope

Went for a celebratory dinner with high expectations since Rose Water has many positive supporters on Chowhound. The menu is a bit misleading, touting specialized organic ingredients and innovative preparations. The smoked mackerel with crème fraise and pickled vegetables was equivalent to the preparation you'd randomly pick up at a local grocery. The pork loin was overdone in an underwhelming sauce. The accompaniment to the loin was lackluster paella with mushy, inedible, miniscule shrimp. The flank steak was the only decent dish, but at that point who really cares? With all of the 1st rate choices in the Slope, why would you bother with this place?

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  1. Unfortunately it seems as though this once consistent quality and attention to detail have slipped after years of adornment. We used to love coming here, but a couple of off-putting situations like this have left us heading for other digs. A shame really, b/c they used to do such a great job.

    1. Just had dinner there last week on a slow Friday early evening at the end of March and was very pleased with what we had. Roasted chicken on a bed of watercess with fingerling potatoes was comfort food at its finest with the pan juices mingling with potatoes and greens. A spring risotto with fiddlehead ferns and nettles was a vivid green reminder of the warmer part of Spring to come. While Rosewater may not blow you away with any really far out or "innovative preparations," it can deliver solid food with great ingredients.

      1. I use to love Rose Water in the early part of this decade, before they remodelled sometime between 2002 and 2004. Before that, it was this wild, tiny, dimly lit place strewn with old bookshelves. Really quirky/romantic, like eating an the library of a wealthy relative.

        I still love the people who run the place and their seasonal/organic philosophy (I even go there for Thanksgiving when I have no other plans), but agree with other posters that getting dinner there can be inconsistent.

        The best things about Rose Water are their bread (yum), their winelist (focused and intelligent) and brunch (I am against brunch as an institution/concept, but if I must go, I go here; everything is delicious, well priced, generously portioned and much more consistent than dinner).

        1. Rose Water on Union St. was OK but I cant believe it got a zagat 24. Small place, it was so uncomfortably hot in there and noone did anything to help resolve that issue.
          The pumpkin soup was good, a bit too much cream in it, but good. The duck was very good, juicy and tender. The pear sauce that was supposed to go with it was horrible , very very sweet, wrong taste match. There were lentils on the dish that were ok. There was something else on the plate , so bitter and bad tasting , it looked like celery , could have been a piece of fennel but didnt taste like fennel. Not sure what it was. They should keep doin what they do , with the duck but change the sauce etc. The short ribs were ok nothing special.
          The cappuccino wasnt too good, maybe they should switch to Illy beans. The dessert menu had nothing appealing to me. A peanut butter chocolate thing with peanut butter icecream, i'm not a peanut butter fan so i refrained. They had apple fritters and sorbets on the dessert menu, very limited, i was hoping for some creme brulee, or flan, or cheesecake, or ice cream , even chocolate cake but nothing even close. The wine list was somewhat acceptable and they had a sirah/merlot blend that was decent for $30.
          The service was exceptional. For Park Slope the place is good compared to other restaurants there, although I like Al Di La alot. I tried 200 5th and was very disappointed with the food there. So I will be back to Rose Water, but I think it's more of a 20 than a 24.

          Al Di La
          248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          Rose Water
          787 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodwhisperer

            Over the years Rose Water has definitely gone down hill. I always thought dinner was good, but brunch was great. Last brunch I had there was rather poor and we haven't been back. For the money I'd pick Stone Park (for brunch), Al Di La, Applewood or range of other spots.

            Al Di La
            248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

            501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

            Stone Park Cafe
            324 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

            Rose Water
            787 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215