If you want to know the full experience of going to Rose’s Luxury, read on. If you just want to know about the food, click here!
Also, I don’t’ have a lot of pictures. Jay hates it when I take pics in restaurants (and to be honest, so do I) so I try to get one good one and let it be.
Update: The day after I posted this, Rose’s Luxury announced they will start taking limited reservations for groups of 6 to 8. Let’s pretend this post had something to do with it.
I was wrong.
They say people have trouble admitting when they are wrong. I don’t have that issue. I’m wrong A LOT. So I just don’t say it often, because, guys, we don’t have that much time.
But dammit, I was wrong about you, Rose’s Luxury.
Rose’s Luxury is a newish restaurant here in our nation’s capital. It’s received high praise, both from well-renowned food critics and us lowly people who just like to eat. Some great friends of ours bought us a gift certificate to Rose’s Luxury as a wedding present. It was such a wonderful gift and perfect for us. We were stoked.
A setback is that Rose’s Luxury doesn’t take reservations. And it is incredibly popular thanks to word of mouth and stellar reviews. So what does that mean?
Note: This was our experience on an October Friday. It will be different depending on when you go.
It means that around 3:00, people start lining up for the restaurant’s 5:00 opening, just to put their name down. I mean, if you want to eat at 5, you can sit then, but very few people want to do that. But if you want to eat at 7, you need to be there by 4:30-5:00 (this is for a Friday) to have a chance.
If you know anything about me, you know I have no patience or capacity for this. “JUST TAKE RESERVATIONS.” Jay and I yelled all week. I bitched. I grumbled. I kvetched.
You might be asking, why would you go on a Friday? Go on a random Tuesday! I work a shifted schedule, so I tend to get off between 6:30 and 8:00 most nights, with the exception of Fridays, when I don’t work. So Friday it is.
So last Friday, my plan was to get in line at RL around 4:00. I did a drive-by around 3:30 (I was early for the first time in my life) and saw that there were already 5 people in line. Wow. By the time I found parking and walked to the restaurant, the line had doubled.
“Alright,” I thought. “People are taking this shit seriously.”
Not quite ready to get in line yet, I sidled up to the Ugly Mug for a couple of cocktails beforehand. What, you thought I’d do this sober? From the bar, I could keep an eye on the line and make sure I hopped in before we weren’t ensured seat.
At about 4:20, my tipsy self grabbed my tailgating chair (you read that right. I came prepared!) and I settled into the line, armed with a fully charged computer and cell phone. I watched a few minutes of Mindy Project, but mostly chatted with my line neighbors. The woman in front of me was pregnant (yes, I offered her my chair). The guy behind me was being paid $35 per hour to stand there for other people. Can we talk about how insane that is??? But that’s a whole other post.
Jay joined me at about 4:45 and the line started moving right at 5:00. An employee came through the line before we got to the front to offer us a seat at the patio. We weren’t quite ready to eat so we declined. When we got to the hostess stand, they also offered us a table inside. We declined again and were told our table would be ready between 6:30 and 7:30. Perfect. Barrack’s Row is full of other bars and restaurants which we were happy to hang out at.
Let’s start with the bread. I have thought about this bread every day for the past week. I can’t even give it it’s proper due. It was a warm, potato bread with a crusty outside and soft inside. Served with a whipped butter, chives and crispy teeny potato skins. It was divine. I want to eat that bread every day for the rest of my life. But let’s move on.
The next thing we ate was the pork sausage, accompanied with peanuts, habanero peppers and lychee salad. I love flavors like this, so was thrilled at first bite. But the second bite included a lychee and then nothing would ever be the same. The mingling of the sweet, salty and spicy was perfect. I loved this dish.
We then had the hanger steak, which was great. Perfectly cooked, if you like rare to medium rare. Served with Japanese mustard and eel sauce, it was wonderful. There were also fried cucumbers which Jay enjoyed all of them (no cuke zone here). Another “A” dish.
But then…came the Crispy Pig Ear Salad. I think I cried. Or had an orgasm. Or both – a crying orgasm? I don’t know, remember, at this point, I’ve been drinking since 4. But it was amazing. It was perfectly sweet, spicy, crunchy and flavorful. I want this dish now. Why aren’t I eating it at this moment?
Next up came the bean salad with confit goat, which honestly, was probably really good, but was totally overshadowed by what I had just eaten. At that point I was wondering if we should order another round of the pig ear salad, when our server hit us with the following:
“Oh, let me tell you about our special – it’s a truffle pasta, covered with 3 grams of actual truffles. It’s simple, but delicious.”
Um, lady, if you don’t bring that to my table as fast as possible…
Let’s talk about truffle dishes – a lot of restaurants will throw some crappy truffle oil on a food, upcharge you and pretend they just rocked your world. It’s the equivalent of going home with the incredibly overconfident guy who is just terrible in bed.
This dish was not that. The pasta was in a delicate sauce that featured truffle oil. AND THEN IT WAS TOPPED WITH A BILLION TRUFFLES. LOOK AT THAT PICTURE. I hate the term “food porn” but this is the rare moment where it could be appropriately used. The flavors were so amazing. It was decadent, without being rich; filling, but not heavy.
We thought we were going to get the Hawaiian Pork Shoulder, but our server convinced us that the brisket was the way to go – she brought us a smaller version of the regular sized entrée and it was great. It was on a nice bread (might have been the same from earlier) and the slaw was awesome.
We enjoyed our cocktails. I got the Rye and Rose water which was a little sweet for me, but the Greenpoint drink (made with one of my favorites, Whistle Pig Rye) was amazing. As for desserts, we liked the corn crème brulee some, but the coconut ice cream we received on the house was really the better of the two.
The space is gorgeous and they have an amazing rooftop you can rent, if you can find 8-10 folks who want to spend $125pp for an all-you-can-eat experience.
“Dammit,” I said as we waddled out of the restaurant. “I needed that to not be good. But that was amazing. I would bring my tailgating chair back here in a heartbeat.”
And I really would. There’s a lot of good food out there. But there’s not a lot of special food. And that’s exactly what that meal was. If I have to give up an hour of my time to do what I’d be doing at home (drinking Titos and catching up on my shows), so be it. That meal was worth every single amount of effort that we put in. Thanks for proving me wrong, Rose’s Luxury.