Rose’s Luxury is a luxury we won't have for another few months, but the forthcoming Barracks Row restaurant's recent pop-up at Hogo, which concluded last weekend, revealed a lot about what diners might taste when the 40-seat restaurant does open at 717 Eighth St. SE: playful fare with globe-spanning influences.
Goat came nestled on a bed of goat's milk ricotta, while a pork and lychee salad channeled both Thailand and Portugal with its habanero-spiked coconut milk, peanuts and mint. "Popcorn soup" was fizzed into a mini mason jar with a whipped cream dispenser, and "foie gras French toast" came with a side of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream. (Yes, it sounds fussy, but have faith, foodies, it's really not.)
And for me, a curious surprise: When I told my server at Hogo I wouldn't be dining because I don't eat meat, he emerged with the popcorn-scented soup, sans lobster, and a kicky, flavorful lychee salad -- with veggie sausage. I had come only to throw back a rum punch, but I was smitten.
"We like to make stuff that people like to eat," says chef Aaron Silverman, the tattooed Wootton High School grad who scurried off for New York to turn out ramen and buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar in its early days, in addition to a stint at 2941. In the fall, Silverman raised more than $25,000 to launch Rose's Luxury with a Kickstarter campaign. Now, he says, he spends most of his days working on the two-story space, which he plans to open this summer.
The no-reservations restaurant will feature an upstairs bar and full dining room on the first floor, where diners can pay $46 per person for five courses. "60 to 70 percent of the menu will be vegetarian at all times," says Silverman, insisting the vibe will be casual. He has plans for an "interior courtyard," an enclosed space surrounded by various flora to give diners the feeling of al fresco dining, without, you know, the rain. "I really wanted outdoor space," he said. "But it’s only good 60 days a year, at the most.”
Until the restaurant opens, look for more pop-ups from the busy Rose's staff, who have already hosted dinners at Miss Pixie's, Lost Society, Seasonal Pantry and Sundevich.
“Five years ago, I said I’d never move back," says Silverman. Now, with the area's culinary stock rapidly rising, "I really want to be a part of that. There’s so many great restaurants opening up. It’s a really great place to be.”
Related stories on the Going Out Guide: