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Nov 11, 2013 07:11 PM

Rose's Luxury

I just got back from a dinner at Rose's Luxury, and I found the hype to be quite well deserved. It was rather crowded for a Monday evening, but we were luckily able to get two seats at the bar by the kitchen.

To begin with, the build out is really quite nice. I love the ambiance. It reminds me in certain respects of Baby Wale -- these spots have got to be two of the most interesting new dining rooms in town. They make much of the dinner party concept; there is absolutely no show of pretension here.

We started with the Vietnamese Pate. It was a very generous portion, great bread, and interesting house pickles. I'll definitely do that again.

A loaf of exceptionally fresh potato bread came next. It was wonderful -- so airy and delicate. And some luscious butter to accompany.

Next arrived the popcorn soup. It was really quite something. Unlike any dish I can recall. (The kitchen is kind to plate it in separate dishes). Absolutely delicious. This strikes me as a must order here.

At our waiter's recommendation, we ordered the fried chicken. Very good, though a slight step down in my mind from the prior two dishes. Certainly worth trying for those who love fried chicken, but I'll be ordering the pork sausage and crispy octopus first before a repeat here. (Both were being enjoyed next to me and look incredible.)

We next had the black pepper strawberry pasta. It was a unique dish; that said, it's not something I necessarily loved. Although the pepper did some to cut through the sweetness, it still felt more like a dessert than a main.

Given we weren't particularly hungry and we wanted to try a variety of small plates, we skipped the larger family style meals. But they looked great going out the kitchen, so I'll plan to try the brisket next time I'm back.

Although we planned to call it at that, the dessert menu had a foie gras dish we decided to try. Foie gras french toast with a cinnamon ice cream. The piece of foie gras was modest, but given how full we were from the dishes prior, that was certainly for the best. The dish was delightful, and a particularly unique pairing with the addition of the ice cream. I'd certainly repeat this.

All in all, this was an incredibly enjoyable casual dining experience. Rose's Luxury is certainly a fitting name, as the menu is nothing but rich, decadent dishes from top to bottom. The food is excellent, and the restaurant is inviting. If it were in Logan or Shaw, I'd go weekly.

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  1. I've had foie gras ice cream before, but never foie gras with ice cream. Was it a slice of foie gras entier, or was it a paté?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      It was a slice of entier, lightly seared. Although average to thickly sliced, it was either a half slice of a small lobe, or more likely a quarter slice of an average size lobe. Again, the foie gras was modest, but delightful. As full as we were, a larger portion would have been just too much.

      It was in accord with what I take to be the clear theme of the menu -- exceptional decadence.

      1. re: shawington

        Did you think it was a bit too savory? It honestly could've been an appetizer.

        1. re: shake N baik

          Absent the ice cream and the crunch on the dish, it certainly would have felt more like an appetizer. (Note, I seem to recall that Belga Cafe across the street often does a foie + waffle starter. Not too dissimilar.) But I think the ice cream sweetened it to dessert territory.

          That said, this was certainly on the savory end of dessert dishes (which I like). Likewise, as noted above, the strawberry pasta was certainly on the sweet end of non-dessert dishes. It seems Rose's has little problem with flexibility in their interpretation of what goes where. (In fact, if you asked for it, I'm sure they'd be happy to serve you the foie as an appetizer rather than a dessert, if you so desire.)

    2. The lack of a reservation system is inexcusable and the "usual " two-three hour wait is offensive. This place is just a tad too precious-- they should treat their customers with more respect.

      20 Replies
      1. re: morgan46

        Only if you wish to book your reservation far in advance, such as Komi. Supply and demand.

        1. re: morgan46

          How did they disrespect you? Why is not taking reservation inexcusable? You wouldn't have to wait 2-3 hrs if you got there early.

          I think what you mean to say is you are inconvenienced by this restaurant's policy of not taking reservation. The answer to that is vote with your wallet and not eat there. It seems absurd to say the wait is offensive when you're the one who chose to wait.

          1. re: Worldwide Diner

            Listen--don't get excited --remember its just a nice meal out. A customers time should be treated with respect. Waiting for for 1-3 hours is just the opposite particularly when it is not necessary- a reservation system does work-places with a precious attitude don't last and my guess is that this one won't.

            1. re: morgan46

              Minibar has a reservation system, but it's almost impossible to get in. Even those who do get in, advance planning is necessary.

              Maybe the customers who are enjoying Rose's Luxury are delighted that they don't follow the Minibar example......

              Anyway, plenty of restaurants don't last, including ones that do take reservations.

              1. re: morgan46

                I personally like that I don't have to book in advance to dine here. And it's not like they make you wait there the whole time. Get there early to put your name on the list, grab a drink or two somewhere nearby, and they'll text you when your table is ready. I see no disrespect. If you go there when you're hungry, then you're doing it wrong...

                I believe when they first opened their website said that they don't take reservations "yet". That has since been deleted. So I guess they figured the no reservation system works best for them.

                1. re: Guy Incognito

                  The problem with that is that I have no desire to spend an hour or two to "grab a drink or two." At our age, my wife and I don't hang out in bars, no matter how nice they are. I also have no desire to have to leave work early in order to get in line at 5:30 and eat way, way before I want or need to.

                  I agree that it is up to them to decide on their reservation policy, but they will not get my business. So be it.

                  1. re: dinwiddie

                    I can't understand why places like this with such huge demand don't offer some reservations and leave the rest for walk-ins. Clearly there are people on both sides of the argument so why not cater to the customers who are paying for the privilege of eating there?

                    As someone who lives in Baltimore that would love to check out Rose's, I doubt I will and they'll be perfectly fine with that.

                    1. re: gregb

                      Doesn't it go without saying that they don't need to accept reservations unless they can? If they can go without it, why add the expense of a reservation system which only reduces revenue? Yes they can implement a reservation system so you (gregb) would be enticed to eat there, but they obviously figured they don't need your (gregb) business. That's just the reality.

                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                        Don't they already have a reservation system on their website for the Roof Garden?

                        They clearly don't care about me, I realize that and I'm OK with it. My OPINION is that's not a sustainable business model.

                        1. re: gregb

                          They have a reservation system through their website for the roof garden. They jack up the prices for those who really wants to make that reservation (you would be hard pressed to spend $125 on food alone per peson in the restaurant). I also suspect it doesn't cost much to book reservation through their own website.

                          You're probably right, that the no reservation system will not last.

                          1. re: gregb

                            Restaurants like this don't need a sustainable business model, they need to make a killing and move on when someone else becomes the latest and greatest thing.

                            Some are gone in less than 5 years, those that are hanging in probably take reservations. If Rose's is still around five years from now, you'll probably be able to have dinner there without a hassle. But by then there'll probably be another place you'll want to try.

                            1. re: MikeR

                              To name a few that must have ignored those statistics.

                              Chad Robertson, Chris Bianco, Aaron Franklin, Andy Ricker, April Bloomfield, Zak Pelaccio, David Chang.

                              1. re: oysterspearls

                                I have no idea who those people are, but do they refuse to take reservations?

                                Sure, there are restaurants that seem to stay around forever. We have a few threads about them on here. But if you were to go back 10 years in this forum (I think it was around then) and list all the restaurants that people were talking about, then cross off the ones that no longer exist, you'd have a pretty short list.

                                But I have better things to do, so I'll just stick by my postulate and let the fight between Five Guys and In-N-Out continue. They don't take reservations, but they must have a good business plan.

                        2. re: gregb

                          A restaurants philosophy should be the same as any other business. To be successful and make a profit. It appears to me that to this point they have succeeded.

                          I have been three times since June. And not only do I not mind waiting, I also don't mind the 400 mile drive.

                          To each their own.

                          1. re: oysterspearls

                            I think I know you from ;-)

                            1. re: oysterspearls

                              To each their own sums it up nicely, and I agree with you.

                              I would argue that being successful and making a profit are attainable by treating your customers well, however.

                              1. re: gregb

                                Actually, I find it a anomaly how Roses Luxury has been able to satisfy such a broad customer base. A quick Google search will find far and few people disappointed after going. Truly very rare for any restaurant.

                                I should also note. I also wish I did not have to wait in line as I am 100% disabled with severe heart disease and multiple sclerosis. So I won't allow myself to be discouraged by waiting for something I enjoy, because after all. Soon I won't have the option.

                      2. re: morgan46

                        What does a quick Google search of Little Serow, Franklin Barbecue, Pizzeria Bianco, Momofuku Ssäm Bar etc etc prove? They are doing a booming business and each customers interpretation of their policies are highly subjective.

                    2. re: morgan46

                      You should be able to easily get a table at 9:30 or so on a weekend with little to no wait.

                    3. The pork sausage lychee habanero "salad" was the best dish I've had in over a year.

                      I thought the fried chicken was overcooked and pickling it is unique but way overdone and it it ruined the flavor of something that is already really good. You want to brine it? Be my guest. Pickle it a little? Sure. But it tasted like I was eating pickles with my friend chicken, only not as good.

                      1. Any recent info on how the wait is for dinner on a weekday? I'm thinking about getting there about 6pm tonight (opens at 5:30).

                        1. Rose's Luxury has certainly touched a nerve in DC. There is no simple explanation for this, except to look at what they say on the menu:
                          "Choose a couple of small/family style dishes. Eat, go home, come back tomorrow."

                          It is as casual and friendly a place as you could hope to find. Choose to eat at the kitchen counter, maybe the best spot in DC for a tasty, casual, quick meal.

                          Is it the best restuarant in DC, as proffered by City Paper? Typical of their food critic's poor writing, of course not. But it is pure pleasure, and I get the feeling everything they serve is good.

                          Complimentary potato bread is excellent, and in addition ordered:
                          sausage, habanero, lychee salad
                          fried oyster with raw oyster tzatziki
                          ricotta stuffed gnocchi
                          uni scrambled eggs
                          rhubarb shortcake
                          smoked mascarpone with granita and brown sugar crumble
                          A couple of complimentary pieces of sesame brittle (very delicious) came with the check.

                          Most of it is very pleasant tasting, with the only radical dish - the sausage and lychee salad- being the best dish I tried.
                          It's all good and does invite returning.

                          For the record: on a cold, rainy, blustery day arrived at 5:21pm for the 5:30pm opening, and there were 15 people ahead of me. The restaurant looks small from the ouside, but not on the inside. There is a lot of seating on two levels. Possibly a couple of tables outside in nice weather.