September 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm , by Serina Patrick
Sweet name. It conjures up images of vintage furniture, doilies and Southern charm. Makes me think of little old ladies sipping mint juleps on their verandas in the stuffy heat of Savannah. Chef Ron Eyester, who had been with Food 101 for several years, took over their defunct location in the Virginia Highlands with his own project, calling it Rosebud.
However, there is nothing vintage about Eyester’s place. His tagline is local folks, kind flavors, reinventing American classic dishes with a strong emphasis on creating a sense of neighborhood. I had no idea they were doing such a brisk business, but on Saturday night at 7pm, they were on a 45 minute wait for a four-top. The place was buzzing.
No worries, our foursome was ready to enjoy some cocktails and get better aquainted. LC and his friend R, and B and I, spontaneously chose Rosebud for dinner as the two gentlemen had already stopped there for a pre-dinner drink.
Most of us opted for red wine, the smooth Powers Pinot Noir I believe, and stationed ourselves at a tiny bar table, poised to pounce on the larger table beside us as soon as they paid.
I ordered the warm mushroom and country ham bruschetta for us to share while we waited. Served over thickly sliced white toast, a medley of mushrooms were woodsy, their texture almost meaty. Chunks of ham made the dish swoon-worthy.
Our server brought out bread and butter with our wine. The bread would have been great if it had been heated in the oven, but it was room temperature making for a chewy instead of crisp crust. Rather than sweet cream butter, theirs was soft, yellow and salty, reminding me of margarine. Was it?
The guys had ordered some eggplant chips with blue cheese and the tuna appetizer on their first visit so they weren’t too hungry. We shared the scallops to start. Two big ones resting in a vanilla-sage apple butter were lightly seared, leaving the centers cooked just to medium. Like my Dad, I usually prefer shellfish thoroughly cooked but these were so good I couldn’t complain.
Me and LC also shared an entree called “Dude, it’s a salad!”. A sirloin burger, cooked a perfect medium, was served on a big bed of chopped iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, all dressed with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Just what it sounds like. Not bad, dude.
Then there was B’s trout. My fork ventured across the table at her invitation, sampling the delicate fish and tasty whipped potatoes with grain mustard. Brussels sprouts that surrounded the fish were totally undercooked, saved only slightly be the bacon they were cooked with. Only other complaint was the skin on the fish….I’m just not a fan of it.
We polished off a bottle of the Powers and ordered one dessert to share, the cherry bread pudding. Served with vanilla ice cream, it was very well executed, not overly sweet which so often ruins bread pudding.
A few menu items have a Southern accent like the wild Georgia shrimp and grits and the crispy Mississippi catfish, also served with grits. They also do brunch. But Rosebud is mostly regular food for regular folks. Not too fancy, not too expensive, but certainly competent and worth a visit.
1397 North Highland Avenue 404-347-9747
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