Restaurant: Rose Tree Inn
Address: 1243 N. Providence Road, Media
Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★
Style: Sit-down dining for lunch and dinner
Food: Hot and cold appetizers, soups, salads, and seafood, beef, and chicken entrée selections
Atmosphere: Quiet, upscale dining and bar
Parking: Ample parking lot
Service: Friendly and well-paced
Price Range: Moderately Expensive
Unique Feature: Seasonal and small plate menus
I had heard from a friend that Rose Tree Inn is a lovely place to visit for a special occasion because the food is consistently good, but on the higher-priced side.
I have driven by the restaurant dozens of times, and there always seems to be a fair amount of people dining there, but on this particular rainy eeknight, it was rather quiet. If you’re looking for a more low-key dining experience with a date or a friend, this is a good choice.
We were seated right away in the main dining room, and greeted almost immediately by our server, who seemed pleasant and fairly knowledgeable.
I started with the baked French onion soup ($7.50). The broth had a good consistency, and was full of sweet onions and a slice of crusty bread on the bottom. It was topped off by bubbling provolone cheese and crunchy fried onion rings. What I did not care for was my last bite or two, which to my surprise had whole peppercorns. It was a bit shocking to my taste buds.
My dining partner ordered the lobster bisque soup ($8.50). I usually shy away from soups and other foods that have a cream base, but I sampled it, and there were decent pieces of lobster meat in a smooth seafood broth.
We were looking forward to trying the tomato and mozzarella salad, but the server explained Heirloom tomatoes are out of season, and the menu hadn’t been updated yet. Instead, we opted for the house salad that came with the meal. The fresh mixed lettuce and tomatoes were drizzled with a tangy and sweet raspberry vinaigrette, so all in all, it was a solid second choice.
For the smaller appetite, the menu offers small plate selections, which sounded perfect to me after devouring my onion soup. Items include beef filet tips, braised short ribs with mashed potatoes, and seafood risotto. I chose the shrimp, scallops, and mussels capellini dish ($13.50). Unfortunately, they were out of Capellini and substituted the thin pasta with Cavatelli, which proved too thick of a pasta for the delicate seafood and subtle broth. I imagine, though, that the flavorful broth with diced tomatoes, combined with the sweet scallops, and sautéed shrimp and mussels, would be delightful over a bed of Capellini or angel hair.
The entrée selections include seafood, such as flounder and crab cakes, as well as stuffed chicken and steaks, but my dining partner chose the special—pan seared diver scallops with a Thai chili sauce, mashed potatoes, and asparagus ($35). Though it was the most expensive entrée that evening, the portion was generous, with six large diver scallops cooked just right. That said, the homemade mashed potatoes needed another dash or two of seasoning, and the asparagus were a tad overcooked, and lost the al dente quality I prefer.
Overall, the dining experience was a pleasant one, and we left feeling full and satisfied. I recommend visiting on a busier night for a livelier atmosphere and live music. Reservations are suggested for dinner, or you can pop into the bar during happy hour for a reduced bar menu and drinks.
For more information, visit rosetreeinn.net.