Statesman critic Matthew Odam reviewed Rosewood this week, and his overall impression was disappointment. While initially intrigued by the upscale South Texas-inspired restaurant’s point of view and promising menu, which opened in May, he found the execution of these dishes to be a mixed bag. Ultimately, he gave the restaurant his lowest rating of the year: a quite dismal 5.5 out of 10.
Some of Rosewood’s dishes successfully accomplished a sense of place, as with the snapper: “salty with sprinkled furikake and swept up and blown through by floral cilantro and avocado purée,” or the “lush” barbacoa. Odam particularly liked the “tender” filet accompanied by a kind of green bean casserole, though he noted the dish’s $50 price tag, “resembles swanky steakhouse prices.”
However, the “mushy and gravelly” pea risotto and the shrimp which was “slimy with squid ink,” and the grilled octopus were less successful. He was mystified to find that the smoked pork was sourced from Micklethwait Craft Meats, since the restaurant emphasizes whole animal butchery.
Odam’s thoughts on desserts echoed his general feelings about Rosewood:
I would have thought on paper that I’d like cheddar apple pie with oatmeal stout ice cream ($14) more than the spiced squash cake ($12). But the stubborn crust and clumpy cheddar spuma of the former and the piquant ginger sorbet and pecan toffee of the latter proved once again why we don’t judge meals before eating them.
Hollern noted that servers were helpful in guiding her through the Eastern European menu. She tried “indulgent” fried pierogi with spinach and feta and borsch that “could have used a bit more seasoning.” She was also complimentary towards the “hearty” beef stroganoff paired with kvass, “a nonalcoholic brew made from rye bread that tastes like a mixture of kombucha and coffee.”
Hollern’s favorite dish was the golubtsi, cabbage leave wraps with pork and rice with tomato sauce and carrots:
Be sure to add the mushroom sauce on the side. Though not visually appealing — the golubtsi looks like an unattractive piece of lasagna — the dish brims with umami goodness.
ON THE BLOGS: Big Bite Out stopped by Italian-Southern restaurant La Volpe and loved the mushroom pappardelle and sweet tea tiramisu. This Doesn’t Suck had a more pleasant experience with brunch at Rosewood, particularly praising the paper-thin potato chips.
- Restaurant Review: All is not rosy at East Austin’s Rosewood [Austin360]
- All Coverage of Rosewood [EATX]
- Restaurant Review: Brama [Austin Monthly]
- All Coverage of Brama [EATX]