Tar & Roses at long last - brief review

Even though I live and work on the westside, somehow I had managed not to go to Tar & Roses in the 4 [?] years it’s been open (less the time they were closed last year post-fire) until this week. It was definitely worth the wait. It’s one of those places where the initial buzz never seemed to die down, and after several unsuccessful attempts to make a reservation on a week’s notice or less (because I don’t tend to plan my dinners far in advance), last week I took a shot and was actually able to get a 7pm res for 2 this past Wednesday night.

Friend and I were seated on the back patio, which I would guess is usually relatively quiet, but this particular night a large celebratory group was seated down the middle of the space which upped the noise level. Still, we were able to carry on a conversation.

Neither of us is a vegetarian, but we do love our vegetables, and I don’t eat fish or shellfish, so our ordering was vegetable-heavy. We had:

lemon ricotta gnocchi / butternut squash / brussels / saba
charred gem lettuce / dates / pancetta / bay blue cheese
roasted beets / feta / tarragon / horseradish
brussels sprouts / chestnuts / crisp pancetta / mustard
lamb sirloin with eggplant, couscous and a couple other things (the one item we ordered that’s not on the current online menu so I can’t cut and paste the description :grin:)

Everything was really, really outstanding except for the beets, which were just ok, and I love beets. They were roasted whole - peels, stems, and all - which was a bit of a novelty but meant they didn’t absorb much flavor from the other elements of the dish. All the dishes were small-plate-sized except for the lamb which was a full entree, and for two women with medium appetites this was just a little too much food. I.e., we could have easily skipped the beets.

Service was excellent, attentive but not at all rushed. My one complaint/critique is that the wine mark-ups seem particularly steep, based upon the couple of bottles that I was familiar with. But I can live with that, and I’m definitely looking forward to a return visit.

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That gnocchi is a great dish!

Been back twice since they opened. So glad they’re back. Pig tails! Here’s my review: http://theoffalo.com/2016/01/tar-and-roses-returns/

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Sad those chermoula carrots aren’t there anymore =(

How is that half chicken there btw?

Went for the first time post pandemic last night. I thought it was great.

Morel toast. The leadoff and maybe highlight of the meal. Parmesan and morel and crunchy and soft and salty and great.

Artichoke hearts with Parmesan crisps and roasted garlic. I thought the artichoke flavor came through really clearly in a way it often doesn’t. Not quite as awesome as the morels, but still very good

Fried cauliflower. Very well cooked I thought. Great mouthfeel. Some sweetness to it that was very additive

Corn. I thought the sauce/cream was really good but the corn itself wasn’t super flavorful.

Bone marrow toast. Impossible to mess up, and I thought the vinegary hit of the onions worked well with the richness of the marrow

Oxtail dumplings. Up there with the morels for the standout part of the meal. Perfectly delicate casings, super flavorful filling. I could eat this every day.

Strawberry crostata with honeycomb ice cream. Everybody loves this; I thought it was just ok (the ice cream was incredible, crostata just pretty good). I can’t point to anything individually wrong with it and the crunch and sweetness were there, so i was probably just too full at that point :slight_smile:

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