There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Chef Aaron Silverman has been teasing diners with pop-ups previewing his Barracks Row restaurant Rose’s Luxury for more than a year. Now, the veteran of McCrady’s in South Carolina and Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York is nearing his restaurant’s official debut, scheduled for next Wednesday.
The menu is broken down into four sections of small dishes ($11-13): cold, warm & grill, pasta, and “other goods.” Among the eclectic offerings: popcorn soup with grilled lobster, fennel-stuffed gnocchi, and fried eggplant with melted feta and Todesco honey. Larger “family-style” dishes ($24-27) include grilled clams, smoked brisket, and a Southern-style chicken with “trimmins.” (Check out the full menu here.)
Silverman and his team have created more than 20 vinegars, which will be incorporated into dishes and drinks. All summer, they’ve picked strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries at farms and stocked up on peach, nectarine, and plum “seconds” from an Eastern Market vendor to turn into vinegars. On the opening menu, look out for peach vinegar and peach barbecue sauce for the smoked baby back ribs.
In addition, there are vinegars created out of cocktails: dark and stormy, bourbon ginger ale, tequila agave, pineapple rum—even Dos Equis and lime vinegar. “You can make nonalcoholic cocktails out of them and they taste just like the ones with the booze,” Silverman says. Some of the vinegars will be used as granita for oysters, while others may sit on the shelf until Silverman finds the right use for them.
The restaurant feels almost like a designer rowhouse, with lots of very different dining areas spread throughout the two-story building. Upstairs is a bar/lounge (where the full menu will be available) and an outdoor patio where there will eventually be a picnic table and small garden with flowers and herbs used by the kitchen. That picnic table, the downstairs bench backs, and other woodwork are being built by Ed Cornell, one of the founders of ice cream sandwich-slinging motorcycle Milk Cult. Additional wood tables were created by Silverman’s uncle (a son of Rose, Silverman’s grandmother, after whom the restaurant is named).
What used to be an outdoor alley is now covered with skylights to create an enclosed courtyard full of hanging plants and light. An eight-seat chef’s counter straddles the courtyard and an open kitchen with wood-burning stove. Further back are 14 more seats, a small bar, and a nook for parties of six to eight with string lights hanging above.
A month or two down the line, Silverman plans to use that nook table for family-style dinners where guests will pay a fixed price and the kitchen will continue sending out food and wine until the table says stop. A similar $56 prix-fixe food menu will also eventually roll out for the rest of the dining room. “You can say if you want all fish, all meat, you want a three-courser, you want a 10-courser, whatever you want,” Silverman says. “Basically, we’re going to create a menu and cook for you, and we’re going to say, ‘Hey, if there’s anything you really want, let us know, we’ll incorporate it in the menu.'”
Final construction is ongoing, but check out the photos below to get an idea of the space:
Rose’s Luxury, 717 8th St. SE; rosesluxury.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman