Join us today at 11 AM for a chat with Ann Limpert. Want to know which fall restaurants she’s most looking forward to? Have a question about our 2019 Eat Great Cheap list? Or maybe you just need a dinner recommendation. Leave a question now for Ann, and she’ll get to as many as she can this morning.
Ann: Good morning, chatters!
One of the most fascinating aspects of doing my job is tracking restaurant trajectories. The celebrity-chef driven bistros and steakhouses that are many-star-worthy when they start out, then fade to faint replicas just a year later. The hyper-creative but uneven chef who finally finds his stride a couple years into his run and turns his restaurant into one of the top dining rooms in town. And a place like Rose’s Luxury—an indie upstart that was walloped with attention and fame from the very beginning, then lost its way a little bit.
I still remember the first dinner I had there just a few weeks after it opened. Sitting at the downstairs chef’s counter, I was cared for by a server that was so cool (and warm) I wanted her to stick around and have a drink. The food was the most exciting I’d had in a long, long time—inventive, but intent on hitting nostalgic pleasure centers (like a meringue that tasted just like Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream, or a soup that was the essence of a bag of popcorn). We all know what happened from there—the Bon Appetit cover, the most famous line out the door in DC (some waited for upwards of four hours to snag one of the no-reservations tables).
Then I ate at Rose’s two years ago, and I came close to taking it off our 100 Best Restaurants list. I remember thinking, ‘if this were a new restaurant and this was my first visit, there’s no way it’d make it.’ But it wasn’t, and in cases like that, we give a second look to make sure a bum night is or isn’t a fluke. Our second meal was good enough to land it a spot on the list, though at a much lower ranking than in the past.
I’m so happy to say that Rose’s is BACK. I would say better than ever, but in truth it’s as good as it was in the very beginning. The opening salvo is a knockout: buttery monkey bread infused with the flavors of cacio e pepe pasta (meaning a ton of pepper and parmesan). From there, we polished off a fabulous panzanella of shaved green tomatoes, cocktails that hinted at peas and peaches, spicy-sweet oysters, and the sun-gold tomato bucatini that’s been on the peak-summer iteration of the menu forever.
And the desserts! Gone are the vegetal granitas and blue-cheese chocolate cakes (for a restaurant so intent on satisfaction, they were always an odd match for the rest of the menu). In their place are things like a Nancy Silverton homage in the form of a creme fraiche tart with a brioche crust, a dollop of sabayon, and lightly poached plums. I can’t wait to go back.
Anyway, onto your questions! Ask them in the form below; the chat transcript shows up underneath.