When a meal transcends taste and becomes an experience, your soul smiles.
Your soul starts being fed as soon as you walk into the 1890-era home that is now the Rosewood restaurant. The craftsmanship, attention to detail, and creative innovation immediately suggest what’s to come. As you begin to take in the surroundings of the dark wood, stately bar, arched doorways and the cozy table tucked away in the beautiful window (perhaps the best table of any restaurant in Austin), you’ll realize you’ve upped your game simply by walking in.
It gets better. The restaurant, located in the historic Haynes-DeLashwah House, was once home to Thomas DeLashwah, Austin’s first African-American pharmacist. Today, the restaurant embodies what a group of innovative and creative co-owners can do to honor and celebrate this home’s rich history.
As you take your seat your attention will be drawn to the drawer by your place setting. Want a new fork or different knife? Would you like to refer to the menu as you enjoy your meal? Need a pair of readers? They’re all right there in your personally stocked drawer. A nod to the pharmacist and his apothecary history? Perhaps. Regardless, your soul has begun to be fed with carefully planned attention to detail.
Part of the Rosewood menu changes daily and the wait staff are well-versed in daily additions and can suggest the perfect starter cocktail or wine pairing to accommodate every item on the menu.
“Innovation can really change a dish,” commented our attentive and knowledgeable waitress, who receives the unofficial Understatement Award. At Rosewood, dishes step outside their comfort zone and every dish is made from scratch. Anyone who loves carrots must try the Grilled Carrots. Anyone who doesn’t love carrots must try the Grilled Carrots. Served with chicken skin granola (yes, you read that correctly), the dish was a favorite among the diners. As the food began to feed souls, the souls almost contagiously began to talk and share with their fellow diners. With each round of food delivered by a designated food preparer and presenter, who described in detail the meal placed on the table, the camaraderie within the restaurant grew.
Some diners enjoyed the evening’s Tasting Menu, comprised of house specialties of the day while others chose from the expansive selection of small plate entrées, designed to be shared. It is impossible to focus on any one standout dish as diners discovered the most difficult part of the meal was determining what to order – each item seemed more tantalizing. Smoked mushrooms in breaded egg were served with a chili pequin pesto; the arugula pear salad included ricotta, bacon, sourdough and romesco.
The integrity of the chef resonates throughout the menu (more soul-feeding). Farmers, ranchers and Gulf Coast fishers meet stringent guidelines in order to supply Rosewood in their philosophy of whole animal utilization. Everything is butchered in-house and, to experience the Beef Parisa with cheddar, jalapeno and bone marrow served in the bone, is indeed an experience.
For those who prefer to dine al fresco, there are lots of options. Rosewood has recently opened up its expansive lawn for movies on Thursday nights and picnics every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. And, diners have the option to enjoy a drink and a meal on the patio, overlooking the lawn and a seldom-seen westerly view of downtown.
And don’t forget the picnic option. Guests can enjoy a lazy weekend afternoon on the lawn with a basket of Rosewood specialties of charcuterie, snacks, cookies and a bottle of Rose’. If that’s not enough, Sunday Supper is a special offering of a throwback to a simpler time. Enjoy an assortment of made-from-scratch dishes specifically planned by the chef with foods based on the season.
Austin is a town for foodies. Almost every type of food and specialty can be found to fill your stomach and share with friends. When you’re ready to venture beyond and feed your soul, Rosewood is your destination.
Located in East Austin, Rosewood is open for dinner from 5 – 10pm and weekend brunch is served from 10:30am – 2:00pm.
Cover: East Austin’s Rosewood. Photo Chase Daniel
Haven Lindsey resides in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience writing on topics including healthcare, addiction, public policy, education, travel, food and human interest stories