How Best to Wait In Line at Rose’s Luxury

You probably have heard that one of DC’s best restaurants – if not *the* best new restaurant according to some – doesn’t take reservations. Sure, Rose’s Luxury has 78 seats, so it’s almost threetimes the size of fellow no-reservation, foodie favorite Little Serow. But still.


It’s on Capitol Hill. That means for those of us who live in Dupont Circle or West (or North or South for that matter), it’s a haul. For a restaurant where we aren’t guaranteed to get anything to eat. At all.

If you thought the line was bad before, now the cat is really out of the bag. Lines have spawned their own news stories! We had one or two passersby ask why everyone was waiting in line …

And did I mention it’s on Capitol Hill? Unless you live on the Hill, it’s a hike.


Thus, the questions from those who like to eat out:

Have you been to Rose’s Luxury?

What did you think? In other words, is it really all that?

When did you go? In other words, what’s your secret?

Everyone seems to come up with their own system. So here’s what we did. And for what it’s worth, it seemed to work:

Go early in the week. We went on Monday

Go in August or on a holiday weekend when “everyone” gets out of town. We chose late August.

Have one person get there early, but everyone in the group has to be there by 5 pm when they open if you want to get seated.

Pack supplies. In fact, I brought an entire shopping bag.

When G got in line at 3:45, he was about 10th in line. He was prepared with a bottle of coconut water and a printed version of The New York Times (who reads the physical paper anymore, right?). Just before 4 pm, another 15 or so people got in line. Clearly, their strategy: get in line before 4.

I showed up with my bag of goodies somewhere around 4:15 or so. I picked up additional bottles of Gatorade at the 7-11 on 8th Street (got a text from G that he was running low on hydration). I had 2 more bottles of water, which we didn’t need.

I also had 2 Kind bars, in case the wait got long, and we got hungry. Again, no need. Better to be prepared though. I definitely didn’t relish the idea of standing in line waiting for dinner … with a hungry G. Or worse, a hangry me!

My great fear – standing in the sun. Flashback to waiting at Little Serow. So I brought a crushable hat and sunscreen. No need for either. Whew. The sidewalk in front of the restaurant was shaded, and everyone really appreciated the occasional breeze.

I wore my Merrells and carried my heels in my bag. Good call there. A poor woman a few spots behind us in line was wearing Louboutins. (How can you tell, asked G. A: Telltale red soles.) That must have hurt. The smart people wore flip flops which kept them nice and cool.

I responded to email and played on my phone. I even brought a power bank in case the wait was longer than anticipated. Most people in line were on their phones. Several had e-readers or books. Some had actual magazines or papers like G.

On this Monday night in August, we were among the first group seated. We settled in at the bar in front of the kitchen – a great spot for the two of us – looked over the cocktail list and got ready for our night out.

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