Seizing the opportunity, I stopped out for two meals, after work, both weeknights. Fortunately, weeknights seem to be the time to go in order to assure a table with minimum wait. After being seated, handed the menu, and told about the specials, I only had to deliberate for a short time before the server came back to my table to take my order and deliver the standard Bread Service:
The butter was cold and firm, but the hot, salted bread more than made up for it. The cold nuggets of dairy that I dug out of the ramekin with my knife melted easily into the bread and I was rewarded with a delicious starter to my meal.
Hearing that one of the specials for the night was a Salad Caprese, I knew that a simple salad like this could easily be terrific or terrible. Shortly after the bread arrived at the table, my salad was delivered:
I've had many a salad caprese in my days and this one was right up there with the best of them. Really, it is a salad that is only as good as its ingredients. The mozzarella was tender and soft, the tomatoes were perfectly sweet and acidic, the fresh basil added a great herbaceous quality to the dish, and the balsamic vinaigrette tied all of the flavors together to bring home a true taste of summer.
While there were lots of interesting choices on the dinner menu, for some reason the Lobster Ziti was speaking to me tonight:
The ziti was cooked perfectly al dente and the sauce nicely coated the pasta. I would've liked a bit more lobster meat, but generally this was a pleasing and filling dish. The spinach was a nice touch in terms of color, texture, and flavor. The mushrooms and grated cheese added a bit of earthiness and body to the pasta. Overall, a very good dish.
I decided to entertain the notion of dessert and thus took a look at the four item menu. When my server handed me the menu, as I quite often do, I asked her which desserts were made in-house. She declared that only the first two, the creme brulee and the chocolate "moose" were done on premises. Seeing as the creme brulee was straight up vanilla (and by vanilla, I mean both in flavor and excitement level), I ended up choosing the Chocolate "Moose" along with a cup of decaffeinated coffee:
The Chocolate "Moose" was a parfait-like concoction of chocolate mousse and crushed oreo cookies with moose antler cookies sticking out of the top. While definitely a tasty dessert, there were a couple of items with which I took issue. First, this seemed like an awfully simple dessert for a restaurant of Rosewood Grill's caliber. It felt like a dessert a non-pastry person would have come up with. Second, and the more important of the two items, was that the mousse itself had been overwhipped slightly and the result was a slightly grainy texture. Sort of like little nuggets of butter had formed throughout the mousse.
For my second visit, I decided to skip the bread service and go with one of the on-menu salads, the Berry and Bibb Salad:
|Berry and Bibb Salad|
I love the theory of this salad. Combining Bibb lettuce with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, crumbled goat cheese, toasted almonds and dressing the whole thing in a citrus vinaigrette sounded delicious in my head. However, the execution was a bit off as most of the Bibb lettuce wasn't coated with any of the vinaigrette. This undressed lettuce had a serious bitterness that the sweetness from the vinaigrette would've gone a long way at alleviating. That being said, were this salad more properly tossed, I think it would've been a hit. I did enjoy that the toasted almonds added a lovely little crunch to each bite.
After hearing about one of the nightly entree specials, I found myself waiting with anticipation. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long as the Pan-Seared Salmon with Asparagus and Red Lentil Hash arrived shortly after my salad plate was cleared:
The preparation of the salmon was executed with immaculate textbook-like precision, seasoned perfectly and pan-seared with a crisp exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth medium rare interior. The skinny asparagus and the accompanying buerre blanc added a further lusciousness to the dish. The red lentil hash was a nice idea on paper, but it felt a bit too overworked in the ingredient department. It definitely didn't need the added pop of color from the spinach. The rather large onions (compared to the small lentils) felt out of place. Perhaps had all of the ingredients been cut to the same size and the resulting mixture been pressed into a ring mold, this might have worked better for me.
Dessert during my second visit to Rosewood took an unexpected turn. After handing me the dessert menu, I asked my server which of the desserts were made in-house, the very same question I asked the other server I had during my first visit. Expecting him to point out just the creme brulee and the chocolate "moose", I was a bit surprised when he claimed that all of the desserts (with the exception of the Mitchell's ice cream) was made in-house. When I told him what my previous server said, he claimed that she was misinformed. In fact, he had personally witnessed one of the items previously considered out-of-house being made on premises.
With that new nugget of knowledge, I decided to continue with my chocolate dessert theme and ordered the Chocoholic:
The menu didn't lie. For $6, I received an enormous portion that could've easily fed two people. Positioned between thick creamy layers of dark chocolate ganache were a brownie with nuts layer and a chocolate cake layer. Additional chocolate sauce was drizzled over the top and the plate was dressed with slightly sweetened whipped cream and macerated cherries.
I had decided to forego the usual cup of unsweetened decaffeinated coffee that I often use to cut the sweetness of desserts. My server had asked me if I wanted a cup of Mitchell's vanilla ice cream to accompany my dessert and I said, "No," thinking that I really didn't need the additional sweetness. That was a mistake on my part because you need something, ANYTHING, to help cut through the incredible chocolate flavor avalanche you are about to embark upon. I actually liked the Chocoholic quite a bit, other than there was just too damn much of it. Fortunately, this wasn't my server's first rodeo and he graciously brought me a complimentary scoop of vanilla ice cream anyway. As odd as it sounds, the vanilla flavor was a welcome relief every now and again to the intense chocolateness of the dessert.
Like my previous visit, the check before tip and tax was roughly $40-$45. Despite the various quibbling over under dressed salads and dessert provenances, I rather enjoyed both of my meals at Rosewood Grill. The service was pleasant and (mostly) well-informed both nights I went and I was able to get a table within about ten minutes of arriving. I would strongly recommend calling for reservations if you are planning a visit on a weekend.
Rosewood Grill is definitely recommended.