Serving homestyle and reimagined Italian plates in a comfortable, posh dining room with nods to 1970s American living, celebrity chef Chris Cosentino's Rosalie Italian Soul is now open for business.
Rosalie marks the first Houston venture for Cosentino—a Top Chef Masters champion and co-owner of Cockscomb (San Francisco), Jackrabbit (Portland, Oregon), and Acacia House (Napa Valley)—who opened the restaurant with business partner Oliver Wharton. Rosalie is inside the renovated C. Baldwin Hotel in downtown Houston, and is named after Cosentino's great-grandmother, who emigrated to America from Italy.
The food, which will be executed daily by chef Sasha Grumman, who comes from Austin's Launderette to run the show at Rosalie, follows the same narrative. There are red sauce dishes with homemade pasta, crab manicotti with crab sauce Américaine, chicken Milanese, fritto misto, the stuffed pasta-and-protein adventure timpano, and eggplant parmesan with Sunday gravy. Pizzas like four cheese, pepperoni, and meat lovers—cooked in a gas pizza oven made by Washington-based manufacturer Wood Stone—will also be available. Look for touches of the Houston food experience sprinkled into the menu, as well, like Gulf shrimp served in fra diavolo sauce, and double pork chop with hatch green chili salsa verde.
“This food represents immigrant cuisine in America,” says Cosentino in a press release. “When Italians immigrated to the U.S., it was difficult to acquire the same product that they had at home in Italy. This is why Italian-American food was created. Ingenuity happened. I’m taking a lot of the dishes that I grew up with and breathing in a little bit of new life—in this little region of Italy known as Houston.”
Desserts by pastry chef Valerie Trasatti include Italian favorites like tiramisu, panna cotta, and cannoli, plus a colorful cookie plate. Jay Pyle, beverage director and assistant general manager, is overseeing a wine list with about 100 Italian bottles, plus other old- and new-world items. He also put together a cocktail list inspired by Italian ingredients like fernet and prosecco.
Rosalie is now open for dinner and is also offering breakfast service. Lunch serves begins October 23. C. Baldwin guests can order room service from the Rosalie menu, and that has already begun.