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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.

      7 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: 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.

                    1. I arrived at 5:15 or so on Tuesday after Bon Appétit announced Rose's as the best/hottest new restaurant of 2014. Luckily my friend arrived before me by about 10 minutes because I don't think I would've been able to get in the first seating based on my arrival time.

                      We sat at the counter and ordered (i) bigeye tuna w/ freshly grated matsumoto wasabi, (ii)pork sausage, habanero & lychee salad, (iii) pickle brined fried chicken with honey and benne seed, (iv)lemongrass-shellfish stew, fennel salad & garlic bread, and (v)smoked brisket, white bread, horseradish & slaw.

                      Our cut of the tuna sashimi (we paid a slight upcharge for toro) had a chewy strand running through it - kind of like chewing on a piece of floss. Is it the fish or poor slicing? I don't know.

                      The lychee salad is fabulous. Definitely get this unless you're from Laos/Thailand and you don't want to eat anything that reminds you of home.

                      The fried chicken was moist and tender (all dark meat) with a nice crunchy crust; however, I think the sesame seeds and honey drowned out the pickle brining and other seasoning in the crust. We were told the chicken tastes much better with Crystal hot sauce. By that point, I had already eaten a piece of chicken and I wasn't going to try another piece. My friend said the hot sauce did improve the chicken.

                      As for the shellfish stew, it's bouillabaisse meet lemongrass, with some herbs thrown on top. I eat a lot of Vietnamese food and I love herbs in my noodle soups. In this case, I'm not so sure that the east-west combo worked. I thought the mussels and octupous were perfectly cooked but the clams and shrimps were overcooked. I know it's tough to cook everything perfectly in a seafood stew.

                      The brisket was really good. I enjoyed it with the coleslaw and horseradish.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                        That brisket looks serious. Thanks for the photos.