Attention foodies: if you haven't gotten yourself ot Washington D.C. yet, it's time for a visit. And your first stop? None other than Rose's Luxury, Michelle Obama's favorite local restaurant. There, Chef Aaron Silverman is dazzling customers with his much-lauded tapas-style menu. Every day, like clockwork, eager patrons queue up outside in a block-long line hours before opening. The secret to its success? "We treat our clients with empathy," assistant general manager Michael Richmond tells InStyle. "We treat them the way we'd want to be served on any night out."
Case in point: If you happen to have food allergies, Rose's Luxury's team of sous chefs courteously mark up menus with dietary restrictions. And each table receives at least one item on the house. "It's our way of saying thank you for stopping by," says Richmond. It's the awe-inspiring staff etiquette that keeps everyone from curious tourists to Michelle Obama coming back for seconds.
The food doesn't disappoint, either. For patient guests who make it past the wait list, it's easy to see what the hype is all about. The homey yet eclectic selection includes such hits as potato brioche, whole-wheat reginetti, and grilled hanger steak with scallions. Time just fly, as well, owing to Silverman's cozy aesthetic (think: vintage sofas, exposed brick walls, and strings of dangling lightbulbs and lanterns that evoke an al fresco-like dining experience no matter what time of the year).
After a recent visit, we put together this cheat sheet so you can make the most out of your visit to this culinary hotspot.
What to Eat
First-timers should skip the family-sized platters and sample a selection of tapas dishes instead. (Thankfully, most of the plates ring in at less than $15, so you can try a few without breaking the bank.) The popular lychee salad, mixed with pork sausage, coconut and habanero is a delectable blend of spicy and sweet. We also loved the grilled avocado, covered with cojita cheese, tomato and cilantro (pictured, above)— a creamy, satisfying dish.
When to Go
Unless you're FLOTUS, expect to wait in line, as they don't take reservations. One strategy is to arrive at least an hour before opening (5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday), or else you could be in a queue for up to three hours. If you're put on the wait list, make the most of your time and head upstairs to the cozy bar for a glass (or two) of bubbly.
What to Wear
Follow the lead of the staff's laid-back style; they're clad in lightweight cotton dresses and easy sandals.
Rose's Luxury, 717 8th Street SE, Washington, DC, 20003. 202-580-8889.