Is The Wait Really Worth It? The Expert Guide On How To Score a Table at Roses Luxury.
I'm sorta (but not really) ashamed to say that I've had dinner at Roses Luxury 7 times and that IS A LOT for this Place. So, to answer your question on whether or not it's worth waiting in long lines to get in, I'd say, -- oh yeeeeaas, it Totally is.
A Brief History Lesson
In 2014, Roses Luxury was named the 'Best New Restaurant In America' by Bon Appétit magazine-- HUGE deal in the restaurant & hospitality world. Soon after the announcement was made, foodies from all over the nation started traveling to Washington D.C. to test Roses out for themselves, forming long lines H-O-U-R-S before they opened.
Now fast-forward two years later, and the Roses Luxury hype has yet to die down. The line outside to grab a table for dinner is still averaging about 40+ people by the time they open their doors at 5PM. Foot traffic is split with Bad Saint now, The 2nd Best New Restaurant in The Country in 2016, but a large crowd, similar to the line of folks you see camping out in front of your local Best Buy on Black Friday, still swear it's worth the wait to eat here.
Aaron Silverman's 6 Secrets To Snagging A Table (via Food & Wine Mag)
Last April, Food & Wine magazine interviewed owner Aaron Silverman and asked him for his personal tips & tricks on how to master the famous rollercoaster-like-lines outside his restaurant. So Silverman gave the mag his "6 Secrets to Getting a Table," which were the following...
- Don't stress.
- Go on a weeknight. "The weekend is the weekend....Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are usually the best days to come."
- Get a beer (or cocktail) somewhere close by. "The building past Pineapple and Pearls [Silverman's new spot] is an Irish pub...they named a cocktail for us called Waiting on Rose's."
- Call for wait times. "We answer the phones all day long, so if you call and say, 'What's the wait?' we'll tell you. We've definitely had some crazy stories over the last two and a half years, though. There are definitely some people who feel like they shouldn't wait for things. I won't mention names."
- Hire a TaskRabbit.
- Use a non-human stand-in (see pic --->).
SEV CITIES - Dining At Roses For Dummies
Silverman's tips were really good but we decided to elaborate a bit and also came up with a few good pointers of our own too....
- Regardless of who you are, who you know, or what day of the week it is, there's almost ALWAYS a wait here.
- ^ that being said, even though 99.9% of the time you won't be able to just walk in and get seated right away, veeerrry RARE occurrences when they're not on a wait can still happen. Follow @RosesLuxury on Twitter for these type of updates.
- Check the bar. If you're lucky enough to find a spot at the bar, you can order the full menu from there too.
- Go on weekdays or around the holidays when D.C. turns into a ghost town.
- For parties of 4 people or less - If your group wants to sit down for dinner right at 5PM, have someone from your party get in line around 4:15-4:20 PM. You CAN still get in line around 4:30-4:45 PM to get a table, but your seat time might have to be later on in the evening.
- For parties of 5-6 people - This is really the max # of people you can have in your group if you want to eat at Roses. To be safe, have someone stand in line at 2:45-3:00 PM to get the reservation spot that you want.
- When it's your turn to talk to the hostess - If you're one of the first 40-ish people in line (just eyeball it) the hostess will ask you whether or not you want to sit now, or later. If you choose the later seat time, most likely because the people you're eating with aren't off work just yet, they'll put your name on the list of people that are guaranteed a table later. The hostess will also ask you for your cell number to send you a text when your table is ready. Pro Tip: Before you walk away, ask the hostess how many people are ahead of you just so you can get a good idea of where your group stands on their waiting list.
- Pay someone to stand in line for you! It's actually pretty common to see adds on Craigslist from people looking to hire someone to stand in line for them at Roses. FYI, paid people generally get in line as early as 2:30 PM.
- Call in advance. If you're set on having dinner at Rose's on a particular night, call them a day or two before you go in and ask them what time they'd suggest your group get in line. This is because... I dunno... if for some reason The Obamas are having dinner there that same night, even though the staff won't blatantly tell you why the wait is longer, they'll still suggest the best time for you to get in line.
What To expect Once You're In
- A hot loaf of their amazing (/free) bread & butter; house-made potato bread with a side of whipped butter that's topped with chives and fried potato skin crumbs
- Hipster-esque / cool looking culinary experts that really love their job and know what the hell they're doing behind the open air kitchen.
- A menu that you "won't really get" - don't let the foreign-sounding food items scare you, it's all amazing. Ask your server what their current favorite menu items are and tell them what you generally like/dislike.
- Good music. Last time we dropped to have dinner at Roses Luxury they were playing Pretty Lights.
- Good vibes. The ambience rocks, their artwork is punny, the hung up string lights add an outdoorsy-magical feel, and the crowd of people dining there/servers all dress somewhat hip to their own personal style. Roses is like the perfect in between restaurant -- really nice without being annoyingly fancy.
What To Order: Current Menu
PORK SAUSAGE, HABANERO, PEANUTS & LYCHEE SALAD - Always order at least one. This is the most popular dish at Roses. Guests can substitute the pork for veggie sausage instead.
ROMAINE HEART, DUCK EGG, CRISPY POTATO, HERB BUTTERMILK - BEST wedge salad. HAND-CUT TRENETTE "CACIO E PEPE" - Their staple pasta dish.
SMOKED BRISKET, WHITE BREAD, HORSERADISH & SLAW - Their staple family style dish. GREEK CHICKEN W/HOUSEMADE PITA & PICKLED VEGGIES - Order this over the brisket.
FARRO REGINETTI W/ GARLIC, KALE & MUSTARD GREENS - Amazing. RIGATONI W/ TOMATO, EGGPLANT, ANCHOVY & MINT - Amazing x2.
Other Tasting Tips:
1. Split everything so that you can try everything.
2. Order at least one pasta dish...or two.
3. Someone at the table has to get the lychee salad.
4. Dessert is unique and even though it's nowhere near the best thing on the menu, if you've still got room after dinner it's worth trying at least once.
5. Cocktails are small, order a glass of wine instead.
6. If the Rigatoni with Parmesan Cream and Truffled Breadcrumbs, Lobster Popcorn Soup, Goat Confit (see below) or Buttermilk Biscuits with Burnt Onion Butter are on the menu when you're visiting, it's your lucky night.
7. Instagram the food puns on your receipt.
We love looking at food pics...