best new restaurant

RosesFrontWhen Bon Appetit names a restaurant in your own back yard, the best new restaurant in America one has to brave the line — a line that starts dutifully at 4 PM everyday for a 5:30 PM first seating — and try it.

Is it worth it?

Let me first say that I, who got stuck on a non-moving metro train, did not have the pleasure of waiting in line for an hour and a half. But I understand I missed the camaraderie of the line dwellers. So maybe it is all part of the experience. Next, eating a big dinner at 5:30 PM was a bit disorienting. It felt like midnight when we left yet was only a bit after 8 PM. And I was mighty drunk at that early hour. The cocktails are strong and shall I say, FANTASTIC!

So in short, yes. Rose’s Luxury is damn good and worth it. Here’s their schtick and why the place is so beloved — FREE FOOD!  You order 2-3 small plates per person and add in a large plate (there’s only two on the menu each slightly larger than a typical single entree) and they throw in a few tasting size plates along the way of the stuff you didn’t order. In our case, because we were there drowning our sorrows as a group, not only did we get a free tasting small plate and dessert, our waitress took pity on us and presented a free large plate of brisket to our already gluttonous mix.

What makes the food so good is an interesting mix of ingredients and flavors. Sorry my photos aren’t great — let’s chalk that up to the copious amounts of alcohol that accompanied our meal:

IMG_4575Pork Sausage, habanero & lychee salad (before mixing up)

IMG_4591Martelli spaghetti with tomato, spicy lobster and mint

Caramelized cauliflower, Greek yogurt & some other stuff — whatever that other stuff was, this was the winning dish of the night

Whole grilled quail with fall greens and mulled cider glaze

Sfoglini rigatoni with parmesan cream, breadcrumbs and a blizzard of white truffles — our second favorite.

Classic cacio e pepe (butter & pepper spaghetti)

IMG_4601Lemongrass shellfish stew, fennel salad & garlic bread (for dipping)

And the Freebies:

Charred broccoli with ceasar dressing and white anchovies

IMG_4592Smoked brisket, white bread, horseradish & slaw (the only disappointment of the night — while the smokey flavor was great the meat was a bit dry)

IMG_4602Stracciatella with raspberry sauce and spicy meringue

IMG_4604Oh but that’s not all. We ordered our own full size dessert that while it looks a fright and hardly dessert like, is totally worth going back for. Green Pea sponge cake donned with buttermilk, pea shoots & glazed pistachio nuts.

And if that’s not enough, the bread that starts the meal served with butter and honey is to die for. But so are the sesame brittle bites that come with your bill. And don’t think those freebies aren’t noted on that bill where exclamation points take the place of prices. This is a marketing ploy after all, they want you to know the good will that has been bestowed on you. And you know what, it works.

Rose’s Luxury
717 8th Street SE
Washington, DC, 20003

No reservations, just get on line. Approximately $100 per person including excess alcohol.

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