By now, you've probably heard about Sprout's takeover of The Rose Café* in Venice, leading to (what we can only assume to be) a multi-million dollar overhaul, redesign, and build out. Since re-opening in November, The Rose has been only serving brunch and lunch in its huge, beautiful space. However, as of just a few weeks ago, The Rose has officially launched it's dinner service, and it. is. good. What's incredibly impressive about this re-launch is not only the huge space, beautiful design, and attraction of top talent (Bill Chait, Jason Neroni), but also the sheer ambition of this project. It's usually worrisome when a restaurant has a bakery, a raw bar, a coffee bar, a cocktail bar, a wood grill, and a wood fired oven (*phew*); with so many different elements, most restaurants can seem a little all over the place. And yet the dinner menu is surprisingly well-composed, concentrating all of these different elements into a smattering of small plates and appetizers, focused vegetable dishes, meat driven entrees, pasta, and pizza. There's definitely a little something for everyone, and plenty for foodies and the less adventurous alike.
The restaurant is incredibly large (below), and the space is beautifully designed. With a large back patio fit with heaters, the space boasts a modern eclectic design with trendy rustic details.
We had to order the "Obligatory Vodka Drink," mostly because we weren't in the mood for something super alcoholic (this was right before that lovely week of fever + respiratory infection + nausea that I recently experienced), which was basically like a hard lemonade. It was updated with grapefruit and bitters, and was a nice refreshing cocktail.
Our waiter (who was great) highly recommended the baguette (made in house) with creamy butter and schmaltz butter. We're so glad he did. The baguette itself was ridiculous: crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. The creamy butter was some of the best butter I've had in awhile. It actually reminds me of the kind of butter you get in the UK-- it's really creamy and dense in flavor, but still light and whipped to perfection. The schmaltz butter was really fun too. It's a melted butter that's filled with garlic and herbs and the perfect thing to soak this fluffy baguette in.
Next up, we had to get the Bone Marrow (since we're suckers for it). Melt-in-your-mouth fatty, the bone marrow was really good. It was a bit hard to extract and spread on bread, and maybe a tad salty, but still a nice treat. I enjoyed the turnip salad as well, which added some much needed acidy to our thus-far rich meal.
One of our favorite dishes of the night were the Foie Gras Beignets. These things honestly could've been dessert, and they're exactly what they sound like. Light and fluffy donuts filled with creamy, umami-rich foie gras and topped off with a rhubarb compote for a little sweetness and acid. The ultimate #treatyoself dish, the beignets were so decadent and delicious. We would come back just for these!
After the foie, we mixed things up with a yellowtail sashimi. As opposed to most of our previous dishes, the yellowtail was very mild, light, and acidic. A nice dish.
Since we couldn't stay away from the rich and heavy, we decided to go with the Bucatini pasta. The pasta itself was thick and cooked a bit al dente, which gave it a nice bite. The egg on top was decadent and silky, while the bacon and parmesan lent a really rich flavor to the dish. There was a hair too much cracked pepper, but it didn't detract from how much we loved this dish overall.
For our entree, we got the lamb osso bucco (apologies for the photo-- it's a bit hard to actually see the lamb). The lamb was fall-off-the-bone tender, and the polenta was a nice creamy aspect (though maybe a tad salty). The lamb itself was so delicious, I felt like the veggie accroutements weren't really necessary, especially since we got the Brussel Sprouts alongside the lamb.
Finally, the Brussels Sprouts. It's no secret that pretty much every hot restaurant has a sexy brussels sprout dish (those are 4 words I never thought I'd string together), but we definitely appreciated the small differences in this one. Soaked in a dashi broth with an egg on top, the crispy and bitter sprouts were given a nice punch of richness.
For dessert, we were so full that we really couldn't take full advantage of all that the bakery had to offer. Instead, we opted for a single scoop of Masala Chai Ice Cream. Sweet and spicy, the ice cream was a nice way to end the meal.
Overall, we loved our dinner at The Rose. It's the perfect atmosphere for everything from a romantic date to a night out with friends, and every dish we were served was well done and seemingly made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. We're really impressed with what Sprout has done with this old space, and we would love to come back sometime soon for another delicious dinner.
Products/restaurants marked with an asterisk* denote gifted or free items/meals. For more information about how this affects my editorial policy, please click here.