On a chilly Friday afternoon in March around 4:00pm, we found our place in line on 8th Street downtown. There were about twenty people in front of us, some camped out with laptops making it seem like they’d been there awhile. Within ten minutes, the line doubled and by 4:45pm, I couldn’t see the end of it!
We were ushered back into a bright, sunlit room underneath the roof garden. I had a perfect view of the back bar, with small, booth-lined tables to our left and right. Strings of lights dangled overhead along with delicate greenery.
I remember when our friend Peter told us early on about the greatness of this restaurant. Next the local reviews started rolling in. Then, Bon Appétit named this place the #1 Best New Restaurant in America of 2014. As we looked around that night, everyone was beaming with excitement. We had all waited together and made it inside for the night’s first seating at Rose’s Luxury.
We started off with two cocktails. The first was made up of gin, grapefruit, amaro, and thai basil. The second one contained bourbon, cold brewed coffee, and cayenne. Our next round included a cocktail with old tom gin and house guajillo tonic, as well as a drink with brown butter bourbon, apple, and bitters. It was all fresh-tasting and delicious.
Next was the infamous pork sausage, habanero, lychee, raw onions, and whipped coconut milk salad. Wow. We were instructed to stir it all together and then eat it immediately. No problem at all — it disappeared in a flash!
I couldn’t resist the pastas, so we tried the whole wheat reginetti with kale & dandelion greens and the ricotta stuffed gnocchi with crispy sunchokes, mushroom butter, & dill. I expected the gnocchi to be the stand out, but the reginetti with greens was so flavorful. It was a truly a testament to the quality ingredients involved.
One of the specials, described as in between a small plate and a family style dish, was the grouper lettuce wraps. The fish was cooked perfectly and the ensemble as a whole felt very light, which was nice after all of the food we had just tried!
Rose’s is known for giving out free dishes and we got to experience this when dessert time came. We ordered the coconut milk ice cream with burnt coconut, lime, & kiwi. Feeling adventurous, we also ordered the english pea cake with mint curd, pistachios, & buttermilk. It was all very good and we were busting at the seams, but then, our waitress brought out a free order of banana ice cream! Wow.