I love food, and that’s the beginning and end of everything. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Alright, maybe Fitzgerald didn’t exactly phrase it that way, but he might have if he’d eaten at Rosalie in the C. Baldwin. The decadence of this hotel is straight out of The Great Gatsby itself, and I swear that if Gatsby were here now, he’d throw his best parties at the C. Baldwin. Dripping in art deco charm with a side of savory dishes and stiff drinks, this isn’t just a hotel, it’s an experience.
Living walls of greenery welcome you into the lobby and splashes of dark wood and gold accents lead you throughout the entire first floor. As you pass the secret bar (yes, that’s right, I said secret bar), you’ll notice that tucked safely away into the back-right corner is Rosalie, the hotel’s eclectically delicious, Italian soul food restaurant.
Enticing you with offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Rosalie is quickly becoming a staple of the Downtown Houston cuisine scene. And, if you’re looking for that elusive downtown restaurant for sit-down breakfast meetings, Rosalie’s intimate atmosphere and delectable breakfast dishes are a match made in meeting heaven.
I was fortunate to cozy up to a tasting menu of lunch and dinner dishes available at Rosalie and below are my thoughts (spoiler alert: it was all incredible)…
- Arancini – Adult mac and cheese never had it so good. Arancini are deep-fried risotto balls served with a pesto aioli that you just want to drown your sorrows in.
- Great Grandmas Meatballs – Full of garlic goodness with a hit of thyme and oregano, these meatballs are smothered in a tangy red sauce and super flavorful.
- Caesar Salad – Can you call a Caesar salad refreshing? Well, I just did. This Caesar has a tang from the lemon juice incorporated into its dressing drizzled over top crisp romaine lettuce.
- Rigatoni – Homemade, perfectly al dente pasta rolled with ground wild boar and Rosalie’s signature red sauce will have you singing “On an evening in Roma…”
- Ravioli – Lemon cream sauce spooned over al dente cheese ravioli topped with fresh herbs, lemon, and olive oil. I licked the plate clean…zero regrets.
- Meat Lovers Pizza – A blazing hot stone pizza oven was built right into the kitchen of Rosalie that you can watch through the large plate glass window as it crisps your pizza to Napoleonic perfection. My pie emerged with a thin crust, robust tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, mortadella, peppers, and Sicilian oregano. With an oven and ingredient list like this, it’s obvious that that pizza stood zero chance.
- Rosalie Burger – I know, it sounds very strange to eat a burger at an Italian joint – do not question this, just get it. An 8-oz patty (made from impeccably seasoned, locally raised beef), balsamic onions, provolone cheese, and arugula are served with crispy tempura fries. Ask for garlic aioli on the side, trust me.
- Soft Serve – Once again, I know that the combination of chocolate soft serve with olive oil and salt sounds strange. Ignore what you think you know about ice cream and dive headfirst into this bowl of glory. The minute anyone at your table has a bite you’ll be fighting over the last spoonful. Do everyone a favor and just get one for each person.
- Fruit Crostata – Italian apple pie at its finest, people. Spiced apples nestled inside of a fresh-baked pastry shell along with whipped crème fraiche. American apple pie wishes it were this fruit crostata.
If you don’t have plans for lunch today, dinner tonight, breakfast tomorrow, or any other meal for the rest of your life, then Rosalie is about to become your best friend. This is a restaurant that stays with you – the food is impeccable, the atmosphere is fun, and the service is superb. Make your reservation for Rosalie immediately, and tell them that you’d like extra Arancini!
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