Everything’s coming up roses for D.C. restaurants

March 22, 2013

It's cherry blossom season, but that's not the only flower sprouting in D.C. Get ready for Rose's Luxury in Capitol Hill and Compass Rose on 14th Street, which join a small garden patch of other floral restaurants. Let's sniff out where all of these Roses are coming from:

Compass Rose:
The restaurant:  A yet-to-open restaurant at 1346 T Street NW, across from Matchbox on 14th Street. Its focus will be on international street food: "Think kabobs, baked pies and Georgian cheese bread." Right now, the restaurant is circulating a Change.org petition to help convince the ANC to issue it a liquor license. They're aiming for a summer opening.
A rose by any other name? The owner's name is Rose Previte. Plus, the idea of a compass rose fits in well with a globetrotting street food menu.

Rose's Luxury:
The restaurant: A 40-seat Capitol Hill restaurant with an eclectic focus that draws upon chef Aaron Silverman's experiences cooking French, Japanese, Italian, Korean and Southern cuisines. The restaurant raised funds through Kickstarter and recently held a pop-up at Hogo. Its opening is expected this summer.
A rose by any other name? The restaurant is named after Silverman's grandmother, Rose, who ran a bakery in Pittsburgh.


Bill Thomas, proprietor of JackRose, pulls several bottles Willett Single Barrel Bourbon from Kentucky for a customer to taste test on September 23, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Jack Rose:
The restaurant: An attractive whiskey-centric bar with a vast roof deck near Adams Morgan. It opened in June 2011. Go for the drinks, not the food, advises Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema.
A rose by any other name? A "Jack Rose" is a classic cocktail made with applejack and grenadine. It merited a mention in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises": The narrator, Jake, drinks one while while waiting to meet Lady Brett Ashley at a bar in Paris.

Rosa Mexicano: The restaurant: An upscale Mexican chain. Locations in the area include Chinatown, National Harbor and Friendship Heights.
A rose by any other name? You might think the restaurant is named after a woman named Rosa, but you'd be wrong. According to the restaurant's Web site, "Rosa Mexicano" means "Mexican Pink": "An exciting combination of blue, red, and white. It is different from other pinks and very difficult to achieve outside of the particular luminosity of Mexico." Founder Josefina Howard was inspired by a small Mexican village that was painted entirely pink.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
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Lavanya Ramanathan · March 22, 2013