Our Saturday night out with friends Lee and Peter started pretty well – rock star parking right in front of the restaurant – and it got better as the night progressed. We were dining at Rosebud in Virginia Highlands, the restaurant which occupies the space formerly known as Food 101 Morningside. Ron Eyester, formerly a chef at Food 101, is the executive chef/owner of Rosebud and has created a classy-casual place that still has the feel of the true neighborhood gathering place. Ron can be seen regularly out in the dining area, meeting and greeting patrons, obviously enjoying himself and making everyone feel welcome. When he’s not out front, he’s cooking up marvelous goodies, like the cream cheese and rosemary pound cake with whipped cream and blueberries pictured above. Or the drunken cherry bread pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream pictured below.
Named for Jerry Garcia’s guitar, Rosebud features plenty of Grateful Dead references in the decor with photos of Garcia and the gang, murals of Dead song titles, etc, that along with TVs over the bar and rock & roll on the stereo give it a casual air that complements, rather than clashes with, the overall elegance of the restaurant’s atmosphere. In other words, a comfy, classy place.
Our waiter, Thomas, was very helpful as we constructed a veggie platter from the side dishes, even arranging for us to order some items that were not listed as sides but were really meant to accompany an entree. I led off with the eggplant tempura app, and followed with mustard-grain whipped potatoes, red wine braised mushrooms, and creamy greens. Lip-smacking good and totally satisfying. Kathy had pretty much the same except she subbed some tasty Brussel sprouts for the mushrooms.
The staff at Rosebud is rightfully proud of their devotion to locally grown foods. Their bread comes from Alon’s Bakery right across the street; the authentic Italian, certified organic pasta is made fresh locally by Domenic Lucas, Jr. of Zio Micu’s Garden; chicken comes from Springer Mountain Farms of Mt. Airy, Georgia; pork and sausage, along with locally milled grits, come from Riverview Farms in Range, Georgia. Not all their meat comes from local producers. Beef and seafood originate in Chicago and Boston, respectively, but they use certified wild-caught Georgia shrimp whenever possible.
For their fresh produce, Rosebud goes to Woodland Farms in Winterville, Split Cedar Farms (www.ultimateyoutubeguide.com/camera-reviews/best-camera-for-youtube/) in Henry County, Crystal Organic Farm in Newborn, Garmon Family Farm in Whitesburg, and Moore Farms in Woodland, Alabama. The buttermilk for their fried chicken (and soon, hopefully, ice cream for desserts) comes from Sparkman’s, a family-owned, all natural, artificial hormone free dairy in Moultrie, Georgia.
Another green practice of Rosebud’s is their use of compostable take-out containers.
So the next time you’re in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, and in the mood for a true neighborhood eatery, try Rosebud. You won’t be disappointed.