Perched atop a hill overlooking Austin's bustling East 11th Street corridor is an 1890's Victorian building home to a restaurant dedicated to preserving its original character. Opened in 2018 by Chef Jesse DeLeon and his partners, Rosewood Gulf Coast Chophouse features a menu that pays homage to Rosewood’s historic setting. With ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and Gulf Coast fishers, Rosewood celebrates the traditions and inspirations of South Texas cuisine.
Chef DeLeon’s unexpected interpretations of sentimental regional dishes are complemented by a compelling wine program and a rotating cocktail menu that echo the South Texas roots found on the menu. The lively restaurant features a boisterous bar, two dining rooms, a Chef's Counter, and a variety of outdoor seating options including a pergola-covered dining area overlooking a grand lawn.
During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Rosewood, like most restaurants, was struggling to stay open and keep staff employed. With reduced patronage, the ripple effect was immediately felt by the partners, staff, and the local farmers who supply the restaurant's provisions. Seeking creative ways to support all members of their ecosystem and fueled by a passion for the community, the partners leveraged their access to an underutilized kitchen and a culinary team in need of employment to hatch a plan that would help address the problem.
DeLeon, his sister Laura and her husband and Rosewood partner Chas Spence formed the East Side Alliance, a non-profit organization committed to simplifying access to nutritious meals by delivering fresh meal kits to families for preparation in their homes. On days Rosewood is closed, the chefs utilize the kitchen to prepare the kits, available for purchase through Rosebud ATX and delivered weekly. For each meal that is sold, a nutritious meal is donated and delivered to an East Austin family.
The dedication to serving a deeper purpose can be seen all the way through to the clothing the Rosewood partners choose to wear. There are many similarities between Rosewood's goals and the mission of Austin-based men’s clothing company, Texas Standard. Both companies take pride in their ability to honor and celebrate Texas traditions and culture while adding a modern and exciting flavor to their offerings. Texas Standard believes in the ethos of the Texas Gentleman and gives Texans a brand that allows them to represent where they are from. In the same way that Rosebud ATX was created give back to the local community, Texas Standard operates the Texas Standard Foundation, dedicated to serving Texas communities and directly giving back to partner charities.
Whether you're talking about the Tejas Guayaberas, worn by Chef DeLeon and General Manager Jeb Russell, the Borderland Vest worn by partner Chas Spence, the made-in-Texas Texas Flannel worn by partner Clark Evans, or any of the 8-9 courses on the Chef's Counter tasting menu, the dedication to the craft and quality, the importance of community, and the modern interpretation on classic staples are clearly visible.