“Anything goes as long as it’s enjoyable,” says Rose’s Luxury chef-owner Aaron Silverman, standing in his kitchen on opening night.
This (non) guiding principle extends throughout the Capitol Hill restaurant, which opened Wednesday and is named for Silverman’s grandmother. The 100-year-old building on Barrack’s Row exudes the feel of an eclectic townhouse, with each dining space possessing its own feel. The same menu is served throughout, but you might be seated in the first-floor atrium amid potted plants and dangling string lights, perch on white leather stools across from the open kitchen and its wood-burning stove, or gather at the rooftop picnic table in warmer weather. Climb the narrow staircase and you’ll find a living-room-esque bar on the second floor, set with a trim couch for drinks before dinner. Despite spreading out over the entire structure, the rooms only seat around 75 diners total.
The menu is just as diverse as the decor, and similarly concise in size. Silverman’s résumé includes impressive stops at restaurants such as McCrady’s in Charleston and New York’s Momofuku Noodle Bar and Insieme, and you can spot influences of all. Small dishes dominate. You might start with Vietnamese pâté, chicken liver mousse crowned with Asian herbs and a layer of fat skimmed from Silverman’s pork pho (coming soon). A section of pastas such as spaghetti with a savory combination of strawberry ragout and ricotta or classic cacio e pepe speak to the chef’s Italian training, while smoked beef ribs with house-made peach vinegar head back to South Carolina.
Family-style plates currently also draw from the South. Chicken is brined in bread-and-butter pickle juice, fried, and served alongside “trimmins” like pot liquor lima beans with confit leg meat, deviled eggs, hot sauce, and honey. Brisket gets a five-day cure and low-temperature smoke before being piled alongside horseradish, slaw, and slices of white Sunbeam bread for DIY sandwiches. (Beer sounds like a good accompaniment for this, divided on the menu into three categories: “fancy,” “cheap,” and “Mexican.”) The platters are meant for two, and you’ll find several more options across the menu once the kitchen has settled in.
In addition to a slightly expanded menu, look for late-night service in the coming weeks, with most of the dishes offered until 1 AM on weekend nights. Another upcoming feature: the option to let the kitchen riff a little and cook an off-menu meal for the table based on personal preferences. Courses could range from three to ten depending on the guests’ mood, with a tentative price of $56 per diner.
“It all depends what you want,” says Silverman. “This isn’t a food business or a restaurant business. It’s the making people happy business.”
Rose’s Luxury. 717 Eighth St., SE. Opening hours: Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10, Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 11. Closed Sunday. The bar remains open until 1 AM on Friday and Saturday.