At 8:30 on a Wednesday night, Marnay and I and six of our friends had the incredible fortune to dine (with reservations!) at one of the best restaurants in DC for a five course pre-fixe meal.
All eight of us started the night off with a cocktail, the best way to start a meal at Rose’s. Since the food options were decided ahead of time, we sat back and let the talented staff put on a show. The first hit of the night was Rose’s whimsical bread course, a take on a baked potato with potato brioche and a side of whipped sour cream butter topped with chives and crumbled potato skins. After devouring the bread, the staff brought over a single-bite amuse bouche: a potato chip with crème fraiche and salty orbs of trout roe, or, for the vegetarians, capers.
Our first full course was foie gras and chicken liver pate with plum mostarda and slices of toasted brioche on a bed of plums. While the rich pate was great on the toast, one of our dining companions noted that it was even better on the soft potato brioche.
Next up was grilled romaine heart with hard-boiled duck egg, crispy potato, herbs and creamy buttermilk dressing. The strong flavor of the grill on the romaine made this dish a winner. It tasted like we were all hanging out at someone’s backyard barbecue.
The servers and staff at Rose’s Luxury want to make sure that you are having fun. They are extremely skilled and knowledgeable, but they are equally laid back and funny. While the restaurant has received numerous accolades (2016 James Beard Award Best-Chef Mid-Atlantic Aaron Silverman, Bon Appetit Best New Restaurant), and its heart Rose’s is just a neighborhood restaurant. It just happens to have incredible food and be nationally recognized.
Anyway, our next dish was their signature dish and the one that I was looking forward to the most: Pork sausage, lychee and habanero salad. The salad comes in a bowl topped with a poof of coconut milk cream, which acts as the dressing. As our server explained, the fifteen-ingredient salad tastes best when all of the ingredients are mixed together so that the disparate salty-sweet-spicy components become one. While I loved this dish, if you are not a fan of very spicy foods, like one of our companions, this is not the dish for you at Rose’s.
My favorite dish of the night was the confit goat with BBQ Sea Island red peas, creamy Carolina Gold rice and garlic bread crumbs. This dish received universal praise from everyone at the table. It was layered together with the confit goat on top, the BBQ peas and breadcrumbs in the middle and the rice on the bottom soaking up all of the umami-flavor.
Now I know that this seems like a lot of food, but we still have four more courses! The pasta course of bucatini with sungold tomato sauce, basil and parmesan was one of my surprise favorites. Best parts: the texture and chew from the housemade bucatini and the sweetness of the fresh tomatoes. Our main course was smoked brisket, better than at any barbecue restaurant I have ever been to, with Sunbeam white bread, horseradish cream and slaw. We had this the only other time we were at Rose’s and I thought it was better this time, more tender.
Dessert was two courses—first up, a deceptively simple bowl of vanilla ice cream with sea salt and olive oil. This was another dish that received universal praise at the table. Finally, our last course of the night was coconut ice cream with kiwi, lime zest and edible flowers on top of a caramel sauce with what I think were pieces of sugar cone. This was a good dish, no doubt, but I think we all would have been fine without it.
Out of all the meals we have reviewed on this blog, I would put Rose’s in a tie with Vernick Food & Drink in Philadelphia for the best meal ever. A truly special experience.
Paul and Marnay: Goat confit
Rose’s Luxury: 717 8th Street, SE Washington, DC 20003
Closest Metro: Eastern Market