Roses and the Luxury of Homemade

It’s an interesting juxtaposition that something homemade can be luxurious but I’ve recently experienced the luxury of homemade and there’s an art to making it work. The “homemade” I’m meaning is the essence of making one feel at home and making something from scratch — not mass produced. This post is timed with the appreciation of this upcoming Mother’s Day when mothers’ “homemade” talents are nationally celebrated.

Rose’s Luxury is well known restaurant in DC where it’s expected to wait in line. It’s where my friend Patsie wanted to celebrate her birthday. Our ELDC group decided to make it happen. We took an Uber ride from Alexandria into the city. We weren’t anticipating a Cap’s game; otherwise, we would have been there 30 minutes earlier than 5pm. It didn’t really matter because the line would have still been there. As it turned out we only waited about 20 minutes when the hostess came out to ask which seating those in line wanted. We chose the earlier seating @ 6:00 pm.

Roses Luxury on Art Is Everywhere

Roses Luxury outside on Art Is Everywhere

Front of Rose’s Luxury. Photo credit by Alice Wang

The restaurant is located near the Naval Barracks on 8th Street, SE, near my old haunting ground while living in DC, right up the street, so many years ago. It’s actually located near where the former Homebody store was and where I had staged a photo shoot of my Peacock Damask reusable wallcovering. This is a unique home store that has moved just around the corner. Rose’s entrance is unassuming and reminds me of someone’s home. Seeing inside further confirmed this notion and surprisingly made me think of the Georgetown townhouse where I first lived when moving to DC. The ambience has the perfect combination between being welcoming and magical. It also seems to bring that magical feeling of eating outdoors while being in the comfort of dining inside — without worrying about weather.

Roses Front Exterior on Art Is Everywhere

Roses exterior front. Photo credit Ahmad Ibrahim

While eating downstairs, you’re under a ceiling of skylights, letting the sun and sky shine through with natural lighting. I’ll have to go back for the later seating to see the evening stars. Outdoor patio lights are strung overhead. Upstairs has an enclosed front dining room with a bar area that seems dark in comparison — except from the front windows & bright overhead bar lights. There is an intimate “back porch” area for private dinners. What’s noticeable about the downstairs dining is it appears as if it might have been a side alley that was enclosed. Part of an exterior brick wall and possible door opening remains by the wide-open kitchen.

Rose's Luxury downstairs with kitchen_Art Is Everywhere

Rose’s Luxury downstairs with kitchen via DC Dining

Roses Luxury entrance on Art Is Everywhere

Entrance. Photo credit Michel Thouati

Roses Luxury view from our table on Art Is Everywhere

view from our table downstairs. Photo credit via thestreet.com

Regrettably the website doesn’t really have a full menu, perhaps because it changes so often. I can’t exactly remember what I had over a month ago — it was the week before a fabulous week to remember — but I remember I had these dishes below and they were delicious, as was everything, even the cocktails.

FOIE GRAS TART W/ HAZELNUT, WHITE CHOCOLATE & ASIAN PEAR

EGG YOLK & RICOTTA RAVIOLO W/ SPRING ONION & PEAS

This dish looks below familiar because it was ordered by someone else in my group and passed around to share. All the dishes were meant to share.

Rose's Dish on Art Is Everywhere

Rose’s Dish. Photo credit via Curt Barnard

Tom Sietsema, the Washington Post food critic’s, recent review in the Spring Dining Guide knocks down his first rating by 1/2 star but still excellent, if not a little over salty. Fortunately, his descriptions of his most recent meal compare with mine and with what I had above along with the Rose’s Signature Cocktail with gin, lavender and lemon – delicious, simple, refined and balanced.

What’s so impressive to me about Rose’s Luxury is the experience is not only eating exceptional food but enjoying the company of your friends as if it was in your own home, without you having to do any of the work, or more importantly, the cleanup.

I was inspired when I read recently in the Washington Post a reader’s question about where could one linger for dinner in DC on a similar scale to The Inn at Little Washington for under $300 / person? Well, Rose’s isn’t this expensive or this high-end but it reminds of the top-notch dinner one would remember with friends while eating gourmet food but without being ostentatious.

The answer was Kinship, which happens to be Eric Ziebold’s restaurant — the lower end version of Metier, where we were lucky enough to eat with friends — as their guests.

We’re looking forward to having our own friends over soon to leisurely spend time enjoying fresh food without rushing or worrying about it being too complicated.

We’ll be using lettuce from our rooftop garden for homemade Caprese salad – simple, tasty, fresh and uncomplicated.

Homemade Caprese salad on Art Is Everywhere

Homemade Caprese salad with fresh home-grown basil,  bibb and arugula lettuce

Happy Mother’s Day and hope you receive a homemade experience with a meal and maybe a rose or two.

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Boutique Birthday Update

But what about the actual birthday, you may ask, as a follow up to the last post? Well, it was another surprise at one of our favorite restaurants, Vermilion, right down the street from us.

Vermillion_Art Is Everywhere

I had called in advance to let them know that Piers, our oldest son, would be joining us for drinks and to please seat us somewhere that would accommodate this. We arrived and Peter saw an empty 2-seater table in the window downstairs, which he wanted. The hostess asked, “Will a third party still be joining you?” Peter was confused of course and said, “huh, no let’s sit at that table.” She said that they had us upstairs. A little Italian, you messin’ with me attitude started to get in his craw and I just diffused it by saying, “I think they already have us situated upstairs and that other table is reserved.” I explained to the hostess on the way up that our son was still joining us but just for drinks.

Vermillion_Art Is Everywhere

Piers showed up just after our Vieux Carrés arrived and Peter was very surprised. They know how to fix a good drink. Best one I’ve tasted in a while. I like them better than Sazeracs and felt transported back to my New Orleans hometown. I think Piers showing up was the highlight. Of course we wanted him to stay for dinner just not to order their Tasting Menu. Peter completed his meal with a special birthday single-serving, apple pie tart with a candle and profiteroles (part of his Tasting Menu). They do not disappoint at Vermilion.

vieux-carre_via Art-of-drink on Art Is Everywhere

Classic Vieux Carré is described quite accurately + with recipe on Art of Drink

The establishment has seen a lot of change over the years but this restaurant has proved its staying power with a top notch chef and lucky-for-us, just listed in the paper today as being one of the Obamas’ favorite restaurants, which may impact us being able to dine there. I also like their décor. Stephanie Babin, one of the original owners and also from Louisiana, has done a good job giving it a funky New Orleans vibe but I’d call it “bordello hip” with the flocked damask wallpaper panels and lots of red. If you want to take a virtual tour, click here.

The Bar at Vermillion on Art Is Everywhere

The Bar at Vermilion reminds me of Mardi Gras!

Meanwhile, we are off to meet friends for drinks, at Vermilion! Lucky for us, we scooped in and got the banquet in the back of the bar.

Vermillion_Art Is Everywhere

Just one more thought, I’m thinking about my 25th wedding anniversary this year and thought having a party here would be perfect!

Special events via Vermillion, on Art Is Everywhere

Special events via Vermilion – Wow!