At Rose’s Luxury the cozy dining rooms and open kitchen help the restaurant stand apart from its Barracks Row neighbors.
A three-bone stack of glazed pork ribs proved mouthwatering. The fork-tender swine smacks of sour fruit — “The ribs are sprayed with peach vinegar while they are on the grill,” Silverman shared — and sweet fire, thanks to a swipe of roasted poblano-fueled sauce.
A summery twist on traditional Italian cuisine, strawberry pasta features a sauce of the red-skinned berries and their acidic fruit cousin, the tomato. The reduced strawberries are quite prominent (almost jammy) but are complemented by piquant red onion and defiant black pepper. A dab of tangy ricotta ties the whole thing together, producing a salty-sweet-savory-tangy union not often exhibited at noodle joints.
Desserts are no less ambitious, starting with the homemade ice creams.
Silverman said sous chef B.J. Lieberman, a Northern Virginia native and fellow McCrady’s alumnus, takes sweets-making to heart, tempting guests with everything from a plain vanilla to the ambitious cinnamon toast crunch creation married to dredged brioche and flash-seared foie gras for a reimagining of French toast.
Dark chocolate cremeux did not disappoint. The dense chocolate — staff makes sure to warn guests that it falls somewhere between mousse and ganache on the thickness scale — brightened as it is by a sprinkling of sea salt and rose petals, seemed much too decadent to just lick from the spoon. When spread on the companion slice of olive-oil-brushed crostini, however, the rich chocolate immediately gelled with the toasted bread and nutty oil. A bonus pour of vermouth (“It actually smells like chocolate and roses,” Silverman said) cuts right through the chocolate, drenching the taste buds with hints of aged cherry and burnt orange.
According to Silverman, folks can’t seem to get enough of an Asian salad tossing together pork sausage and lychee, as well as the popcorn soup. To wit, of all the dishes his maternal grandfather sampled while visiting earlier this week, the soup was the one recipe he asked Silverman to share.
Silverman is still smitten with the strawberry pasta. Just don’t expect it to stick around too much longer. While the dinner-only establishment is unlikely to try cutting into other meal times in the immediate future, Silverman et al. want to keep diners intrigued every time they pull up a chair at Rose’s.
“You need everything at the super peak of its season. That’s how I want to eat,” Silverman said.
Food Court is an ongoing series of semi-regular spot checks of new and evolving eateries with ties to Capitol Hill. Rose’s Luxury: 717 Eighth St. SE; 202-608-5988; rosesluxury.com. Average entree: $13-$20 ($$). Open for dinner Monday through Saturday.