Had a positive experience at Rose Water last night. Wife and I have been cooking up a storm since Saturday's market trip and last minute decided to save ourselves the heat of a oven set to roast (plus our landlady has the heat cranked up to "hell" for whatever reason) and the dishes and go out. We were on our way to 5th Ave but decided to give Rose Water a try.
For an app we split the delicata squash, apple, goat cheese and pecan salad - it was perfectly dressed (not heavy but not dry) and the dressing provided a nice acidity to the overall dish. With the dill and celery leaves this was a well balanced plate (and attractive, definitely teased the appetite through the visual).
For entrees I had the pork chop which was served with braised bok choy, grilled lady apple and apple quince chutney. It was cooked perfectly, just (safely) enough that it was juicy and tender. Again, the other elements on the dish came together nicely to make a cohesive dish.
My wife had the pan roasted chicken which was served with kohlrabi greens, a pumpkin stuffing and a lemon jam. She commented that it was "insanely juicy" and I enjoyed a forkful to confirm this - it was possibly one of the most perfectly cooked pieces of chicken I have ever had. We thought the pumpkin stuffing was a bit too sweet and might have even doubled as a pumpkin bread pudding on a dessert menu. The kohlrabi greens were slightly bitter which balanced the sweetness of the pudding (er, stuffing) some but maybe not enough. Later in the evening I suppose they ran out of kohlrabi greens because they were substituting radicchio - another item that provides a bitter note, which confirms its purpose. The lemon jam provided a zesty contrast with everything else on the dish.
Dessert was Valrhona cardamom hot chocolate (delicious) and chai-spiced apple fritters with rosemary ice cream and cranberries. The rosemary ice cream tasted more like straight vanilla, but maybe we are used to the unusual ice cream/sorbet flavors of wd~50.
We enjoyed our meal thoroughly and would return again (and would be happy to comment on the consistency of the dishes after a few more trips). They are doing a good job of translating their food philosophy into their food, while we've found many others trumpet the "slow, local, seasonal" bit without any evidence of it in the food.
One note on service - granted this is not geared to be a high-dining experience, but we did think the waiter could have done a better job at reading us, in that we were there simply for a Monday meal and, while we certainly don't want to be rushed out, the pace of the service could have been more prompt (we waiting quite a bit for our entree, to be given the dessert menus after the entree was cleared, and to be given the check). Just a thought that occurred to us as we noted the two ladies next to us who were obviously there for a "chat and chew."
Knowing that the current chef is an alumnus of Savoy in Manhattan, I will also comment that our total experience was more positive at Rose Water than during a recent meal at Savoy.
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