This weekend, Mr. B’s family was in town and his parents requested to try a new restaurant near our house – Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar. Four years ago, when we first moved to Davis Square, we visited the old Rosebud Diner one time. Unfortunately, Mr. B had a traumatic experience with a very vinegar-y chicken “pot pie” in a tostada shell and vowed never to return. It wasn’t until we heard that the place was being taken over and restyled by Joe Cassinelli (of Davis Square favorites Posto and The Painted Burro), that he softened his resolve.
The new Rosebud is a swanky, sleek affair with a bit of Southern charm and a honky tonk soundtrack. The menu is perplexing and unfocused. Barbecue classics are accompanied by odd, but fascinating Asian twists. Then you notice an eclectic handful of dishes that seem to come out of nowhere (French onion soup? Falafel?). They call it “regional comfort food.” It’s a little odd, but I don’t think I mind.
I ordered the Grilled Cauliflower, which had a sweet, tangy sauce that everyone “ooh’d” and “mmm’d” when they tasted. I shared it with Mr. B’s mom, who ordered the Texas Rachel in a Skirt. This was essentially a Reuben sandwich, made with brisket. It was delicious – layered with smoky meat, tangy horseradish slaw, and soft, sweet slivers of onion. And what took it over the top was when they surrounded it in a crisped puddle of griddled cheese. I would definitely order it again.
The shrimp & grits were spicy, but good. The fried green tomato salad was well executed, but forgettable. The fried pickles burned my mouth. (I recommend that you let those cool – the crust will stay on better anyway.) The server was patient and kind, even when we had a mix-up with the reservation time, and the music wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t hear each other. All in all, I found it to be a fun, tasty, and surprisingly unique addition to Davis Square.
Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar
381 Summer St.
Rating: 3 Cotton Eye Joes