“Is it okay if the food comes out as it’s done?” The question from the server at Rose’s Luxury leaves me momentarily speechless. Since small plates became the standard in many modern American restaurants, diners have more or less surrendered to a style of service that puts chefs in control of when your food reaches you. Then again, one of the many luxuries extended by Rose’s is uncommon hospitality.
This is the rare restaurant where freebies flow to the table just because, requests for substitutions are met with nods … and bobby pins are part of the restroom inventory. Unless you’ve just returned from a lunar mission, you probably know that Rose’s Luxury is (a) the Capitol Hill restaurant that serves such offbeat but fabulous combinations as ground pork, lychees and habaneros; (b) the quirky handiwork of a son of Maryland, Aaron Silverman, who ditched accounting for cooking; and (c) the dining destination that accepts exactly one reservation, for its rooftop table for 10, and makes the rest of us — even the chef’s mom and dad — line up outside, sometimes for hours.
Worth the wait: challah served with black sesame butter, scarlet dominos of raw tuna striped with crisp tempura crumbs, ethereal gnocchi beneath a hint of black pepper and a blizzard of Parmesan. Smoky jerk chicken with cool shredded papaya brings a taste of Jamaica to Washington, and a mint curd dressed with pieces of pea cake and edible flowers prompts a pal to anoint it “an English garden in a bowl.”
Can we talk? Rose’s sometimes sends out a lesser dish, and the pacing of food isn’t always ideal. On more visits than not, however, I agree with the neon sign (“awesome”) that lights up this restaurant.