This weekend we finally had the chance to visit Roseville and had an overall very disappointing evening.
There were some impressive cars in their parking lot – Ferrari, Bentley, Jaguar, high-end Mercedes etc. which was evidence for an interesting mix of people in the restaurant. The first impression of the ambience when you come into the restaurant is quite good and we got a nice semi-private booth. Unfortunately that’s when the good part of the evening stopped. As we experienced throughout the evening Roseville is one of the restaurants were the dishes look very interesting written on the menu but what comes out of the kitchen is very disappointing especially for these prices. As starters we had the asparagus salad with truffle vinaigrette, watercress, egg and pancetta which was not bad even though the asparagus was too cold and the overall flavor would have benefited if it would have been warmer. The second starter were the ricotta gnudi which were very dense, dry and disappointing and for $14 one would expect more than three gnudi (smaller than a teaspoon) and some average sides like shitake etc. As entrees we choose the salmon and braised pork cheeks and they clearly showed what is lacking at Roseville – It is not enough to put just a big piece of protein on the plate and don’t care about the sides if you want to be a serious restaurant. And if a restaurant decides to go this way they should better make sure that their protein part of the dishes is outstanding and beyond any critiscm. The salmon was overcooked and came out colder than it should be. The sides were about a spoonfull of lentils and some small amount of apple-parsnip (?) mash – for $30 absolutely overpriced. The braised pork cheeks were surpringly tasteless and needed some salt. The braised greens were again tasteless and not more than a tablespoon. The white polenta was the best part of the dish. The desserts were an apple-berry crisp which was OK but nothing special whereas the second dessert – chocolate cake with chocolate mousse was very dense and was accompanied by a blackberry sorbet which instead of being smooth had very large ice crystals as evidence of bad storage. Somehow it wasn’t really surprising at that night that Roseville only had drip coffee and no cappucchino, espresso or french press.
Another great disappointment at Roseville was the service or better the lack of. I doubt we have ever seen a more impersonal, cold and uninterested waitress in SD before. For example Roseville has a papilotte du jour on their menu but she wasn’t interested to tell us anything about. In general Roseville has a serious problem with the service personal. We had a booth close to the entrance to the kitchen and we have never seen so many waiters and busboys in a restaurant standing around and talking to each other and being just bored. A good organized restaurant could work with half of better trained waiters and could thereby lower their prices to a reasonable level.
I could be very cynical and use a cliche by saying that the restaurant is something you would expect by the expensive cars outside – something for rich people who don’t care if they pay too high prices (the quite short wine list has some wines for up to $3000) for average food at best as long it is a hip place were they could see their buddies. Unfortunately the booth next to us proofed that it is not only a cliché as they got louder and louder throughout the evening and half of the restaurant could listened to what they are talking. They seemed to know the owner (?) who visited them several time in their booth but didn’t seem to care about the noise which made it difficult for others to talk to each other.
Overall Roseville was one big disappointment and there are many restaurant now in SD which serve much better food for a much better price.