One of these reviews has been rolling around in my head for some time. And the other is rolling around in my belly right now.
When you go to Rosinha’s for dinner – not if, when – give yourself plenty of time. Really good food takes time to prepare and it takes time to enjoy. The problem was that we remembered just after we ordered that we had an obligation. It’s terrible to try to rush through a meal of well-prepared food.
Rosinha’s is upscale – as upscale as the Madhouse. At some point, I’ll write up my economic development analysis that contrasts those two restaurants. For our purposes, suffice it to say that it’s nice to dress nice every now and again. The elegant atmosphere isn’t overly snobby. Just nice. I did see several high-ranking municipal employees at the bar. Can you blame them? It’s a nice place.
I ordered my favorite Cape Verdean dish of shrimp in garlic sauce. It was superb. My companion ordered the salmon with tropical fruit which was also superb. My experiences with this cuisine is that it is overly salted. But not the case here. Both dishes were wonderfully balanced, the tropical fruit in particular were distinct and sweet. As they say on the Twitter: nomnomnom.
My only quibble was with the wine list. I’m not a fan of sweet wines like vinho verde of which several varieties were offered. I would have liked to have seen more varieties of ‘traditional’ blends. The Pinot Noir was Australian as I recall and quite good. But it was one of just a handful of non-vinho verde wines available by the glass.
When that’s the criticism, you know you’ve got something you can work with.
PS. I left my credit card in our rush to get out the door. Weeks later when I attended an event at Rosinha’s our waiter immediately recognized me and returned the cards. So the service couldn’t be better.
Rosinha’s, 999 Main Street
After the liquor license kerfuffle, I HAD to go check out Rosa’s. It is exactly as described: a cute, simple family place with a big menu served all day. We ordered off the dinner menu at 1:30 in the afternoon. We could also have ordered breakfast.
I enjoyed – you guessed it – camarao (shrimp) in garlic sauce on pasta and my companion had chicken portabello. While not fancy like Rosinha’s, these were full dinners of massive proportion. I can eat quite well, thank you, but could only work through half my plate. The same went for my companion. At $8 – 10, this is a tremendous bargain.
Rosa’s simple hearty fare and solid value should do quite well in this city of changing demography. They had steady traffic at tables and take out. And it was the “dead” period between 2 and 4.
I saw some lovely chilled bottles of Becks beer in the cooler, but went for the ginger ale. My drinking day doesn’t start until 4 under normal circumstances.
As a side note, I didn’t see any drug dealers. I think it’s the $1.50 breakfast (2 eggs, toast, homefries) that attracts the teenagers. Based on my work with youth and youth groups, I’d say it’s entirely possible that that breakfast special is the one and only good meal a day that some of these kids are getting.
Rosa’s Kitchen, 757 Main Street
LATE EDIT: Rosa’s is now officially my new favorite place. Now that I’m hanging around the place a bit, I see why people like the WNA would look at the activity and think there’s lots of gangster-drug-dealer-whatnot. And I’m thoroughly convinced that they are DEAD WRONG.
For example, a youth-type person was waiting on take-out, of which there’s quite a lot. He got a phone call. Out of courtesy, he went outside where he paced up and down. He was still on the phone when he came in to get the order. Not courteous, but he was in deep doo-doo and needed to keep talking. Was he arranging a big drugs deal? No. He was backing-and-filling like a pro because his girlfriend’s girlfriend told his girlfriend that she saw another girl coming out of his apartment.
Apparently, young people spend a lot of time talking about and engaging in their social life. Who knew?