Best Restaurant in Washington DC: Rose’s Luxury

It’s five o’clock and Rose’s Luxury in Washington DC opens at 5:30 pm. I figured I’d beat the crowds by getting there early. My dining companion and I planned to grab a drink nearby before sitting down for an early dinner around six o’clock. The 50-strong line up outside the restaurant soon put an end to that plan.

Rose’s Luxury doesn’t take reservations. The only way to get a table at what Bon Appétit called the best new restaurant of 2014 is to join the line of hungry diners waiting outside. Five minutes after the doors opened, every table was full. At 6:30, the hostess beckoned us in — only an hour and a half wait, we lucked out.

Best Restaurant in Washington DC Roses Luxury Experience 1

The US capital has no shortage of great restaurants, especially around the Capitol Hill area, so I’m not usually inclined to wait in line for dinner. But when it comes to tasting the creations of the best restaurant in Washington DC – Rose’s Luxury sure merits the effort.

This award-winning restaurant isn’t what you’d expect. With an ambiance that’s half trendy wine bar, half cosy farmhouse; an eclectic menu that blends familiar North American favourites with Asian, Italian and French influences; and casually dressed servers for whom nothing is too much trouble; people don’t queue at Rose’s simply for the food, they come for the experience.

Best Restaurant in Washington DC Roses Luxury Experience 2

Creating exceptional dining experiences is the top priority for chef-owner Aaron Silverman. While training under David Chang, Sean Brock, Marco Canora and George Mendes, Silverman acquired an impressive range of culinary skills, but it’s his commitment to ensuring his guests leave happy that makes Rose’s stand out from the crowd.

The staff go out of their way to provide the best service. The barrage of questions from my companion, who’s allergic to peanuts, was met with undivided attention. My request for salad dressing on the side received nods from the chefs and the bar was happy to replace my cocktail after it was made too sweet for my liking. We were the definition of demanding customers, but our waiter remained unfazed and even treated us to a complimentary dish of sausage, habanero and lychee salad. It was listed on the bill alongside the words “from us”.

Best Restaurant in Washington DC Roses Luxury Experience 3

The staff’s enthusiasm to indulge this obsession with service doesn’t come from nowhere. Each member of the team is treated as family. They share a meal together each day, enjoy weekly wine tastings guided by the general managers and after two months on the job everyone gets full medical coverage. The best part is the restaurant is overstaffed, allowing servers time to interact with guests and not feel rushed off their feet.

After poring over the menu, we ordered ten of the twelve small dishes on offer. They threw the eleventh in for free (the sausage, habanero and lychee salad). It turned out to be our favourite. When mixed together the pork sausage, sweet lychees, red onion and habanero chili with basil, mint and cilantro produce a beautifully unique twist on Asian cuisine.

Best Restaurant in Washington DC Roses Luxury Experience 4

The “Hot Chicken” came out last, a considered decision on the part of the chefs I suspect. The succulent slices of chicken were spicy and could have ruined the palate for the rest of the meal if served too early. The hot sauce with onions delivered a dish that we could have happily devoured our way through again and again despite our burning tongues.

Alongside the small plates concept, Rose’s also offers a couple of Family Style dining options that certainly come family sized. You can choose between either eggplant parmigiana or smoked brisket. Despite our enthusiasm, we had to admit defeat following eleven plates; the smoked brisket will have to wait for our next visit.

Best Restaurant in Washington DC Roses Luxury Experience 5

There’s always room for dessert, however. We finished off the meal with English pea cake with mint curds and pistachios, one of the restaurant’s more adventurous offerings. As I devoured the last morsel of creamy, subtly sweet dessert, I had to agree with the neon sign that hangs above the open kitchen. It spells the word “awesome”.

Charlotte Claxton

Charlie is a freelance writer who specialises in travel, luxury and food. Having earned her chops as a staff writer for international travel brands and digital marketing companies, she now writes for freelance clients and runs her own travel blog. Charlie grew up in London and has since lived in Canada and Australia. She currently writes from various cafés, hammocks and beaches as she travels the world, bringing LuxeInACity readers first-hand insight into the best luxury experiences worldwide. Get to know Charlie better at www.charlieclaxtonwrites.com