Budget Bites: Rosalie Italian Soul
Pro tip: Make a reservation on OpenTable in advance.
Budgeting as a college student can be difficult, especially when it comes to finding places to eat. Ordering in can lead to hefty delivery costs and fees, and cheap fast food can become repetitive quickly. Although at first glance, the price of the menu may appear comparatively steep, Rosalie Italian Soul offers a number of finds for both lunch and dinner under $20.
Located in the C. Baldwin Hotel in Downtown about a 15-minute drive from Rice campus, Rosalie is dressed to impress. Upon entering, guests stroll through the hotel’s lobby before locating a bright neon pink sign in front of a vine-covered wall. From the modern-tiled floors to the elements of gold decor to the pink napkins, the first word that came to my mind when walking through the restaurant is upscale. Plants and cozy benches with flower embroidery surround the general dining area, creating a fun, warm atmosphere. The restaurant itself is decently crowded and popular, so guests should make a reservation in advance.
The menu offers everything from salads to margarita pizzas to burgers to homemade pastas, all individually priced under $20. Considering it’s an Italian restaurant, I felt obligated to try Rosalie’s homemade rigatoni for $17. It was made out of a Texas wild boar ragu and was absolutely delicious. The warm rigatoni certainly embodied that fresh, chewy pasta quality and had very strong notes of bolognese from the ragu. The tomato and basil flavors shined through the dish, and the freshly shaved parmesan added a nice garnish. The boar itself was tender and perfectly cooked, and the portion given was quite filling.
If you still manage to have room for dessert, Rosalie’s weekend brunch menu also offers doughboys for $9 to share with your friends. Once again, the portion is quite large, so customers definitely get their money’s worth. The doughboys resemble something between a New Orleans style beignet and traditional donut, coated in powdered sugar with a denser texture than I expected. They arrived warm with a side of fig jam, which could have offered a more intense, fruity flavor. Other than that, the doughboys were quite tasty without being ladened with a greasy feel.
Overall, Rosalie is a great place to get dressed up for with friends to indulge in a high quality, delicious meal. It’s modern Italian, upscale dining for surprisingly good value and not too far from campus. Check out this enjoyably elegant spot for both satisfied wallets and palates.
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