2219 30th Street, South Park
Both casual and elegant, the Rose Wine Pub is ideal for catching up with a friend over a glass (or three) of wine and toothsome, sharable fare. David and I often order our wine by the bottle, but while at Rose, we tend toward the glasses, which encourages us to try new things by sipping our way around the menu.
The food here is prime for snacking and sharing, which is great for when I feel like either a quick, light dinner with my man, or a drawn-out gabfest with a friend. On this particular late afternoon, David and I had an hour to get in and out before heading downtown for an event. Because we were looking for more of a well-rounded meal than simple nibbles, we skipped the Bites section of the menu, which features various cheeses and meats, and ordered an item to share from each of the remaining sections: Greens, Morsels, and Flatbreads. I informed our friendly and efficient server about our time limit, and requested he deliver our plates as they came out of the kitchen rather than timing them as separate courses.
The Rose Salad, comprising mixed greens, watermelon radishes, candied almonds, and champagne vinaigrette was fresh, lightly dressed, and extremely satisfying. The leaves tasted as though they'd just been plucked from the earth that morning, and the radishes were sliced paper thin, making them pleasingly delicate. David, ever the gentleman, offered me the last bite of the dish we had very quickly cleared.
Next came the empanadas. The fillings and sauces change every day. These had a veggie and cheese filling, and were served with a sort of chimichurri. For all its many fresh ingredients, the filling leaned toward the bland side. This was easily fixed, however, with a dash of salt and a spoonful of the flavor-rich sauce provided.
The flatbread was both the finale and highlight of our early dinner (that reminds me, the Rose is a cozy neighborhood joint, so if you want to be guaranteed a seat, it’s best to get there early). We chose the Peach and Padron flatbread, which was also topped with mozzarella, goat cheese, and red pepper sauce. The sauce was a tad bit tangier and less sweet than the Sriracha it reminded me of, but it packed enough of a punch. The tang in the sauce was mirrored by the goat cheese, which also added a creamy component. And the subtle sweetness of the peaches brought balance to each bite.
When all was said and done, David and I had 15 minutes to spare. As we walked toward our car, we agreed to return to the Rose soon, ideally on a night when we could spare more time for tastings and wine.