Rosebud’s offers a typical steakhouse setting, along with eternal favorites like prime rib and baked potato, shrimp cocktail and a slice of carrot cake for dessert.
Even when it opened in 1995, Rosebud’s Steak & Seafood House was on a bit of a nostalgia trip, serving food that local retirees fell in love with back in the 1950s. The restaurant has been owned by the Mike Kodra family from the beginning, and they’ve stayed true to those old-school favorites over the years. Don’t expect me to denigrate. I’ve been looking for a place that refuses to have anything to do with kale. It also means that no pomegranate seeds will rain down on your salad. No truffle salt will be sprinkled on your steak fries, and they will not be cooked in duck fat. When our dish of fries was delivered to the table on a recent visit, the sweet-natured server plunked down a bottle of unopened Heinz ketchup. And honestly, it was just what I wanted to go along with an 11-ounce aged hand-cut Black Angus sirloin ($19.99) and my slightly overcooked vegetables.
Just so you know, those steak fries were delicious—fat planks that were hot and crisped on the outside while soft and chewy inside. My dinner partner had liver and onions for $16.99 and said it was just what it was supposed to be. Warm bread arrives before you place your order and on the side is a little bowl of butter pats wrapped in gold foil. You can order a shrimp cocktail for an appetizer or oysters on the half-shell or escargot, which is quite toothsome with bits of shallot in the butter sauce ($8.99).
The tables are bare (cloth napkins) and there’s a white faux rose in a bud vase for ambiance. The lights are bright, the steak knives are big, and the dining rooms are arranged with tables, banquettes and booths in a typical steakhouse setting. Some of the assorted chairs are upholstered in faux hide; stacked stone walls are inside and outside. Nothing fancy, but everything serviceable and comfortable. You can wear shorts to dinner.
There’s always a good buzz inside Rosebud’s, because it attracts big parties and multigenerational families, as well as snowbirds renewing seasonal friendships.
The bar is a major deal. A steakhouse needs a thriving bar because restaurants don’t make much profit on high-quality steak. It’s too expensive to begin with. The bar has to come to the rescue, and this one does with a wide range of supermarket label wines marked up three times as well as a half dozen premier wines that top out at $200 a bottle. There are some 20 wines by the glass, and the restaurant charges a $15 corkage fee if you want to bring your own bottle. For specialty cocktails you can get a Brandy Alexander or a Grasshopper (remember those?) as well as seven signature martinis, beer, mixed drinks and special liquor-laced coffee sippers for after dinner. A Cappuccino Royal is $8.75.
Along with familiar American food, the menu includes a smattering of Italian-American favorites that were somewhat exotic 65 years ago—dishes such as eggplant Parmesan ($13.99) or veal Marsala ($18.99) or pasta rigatoni with Bolognese for $13.99. Entrées average about $19, but the lavish steak and lobster platter escalates to $41.99. Other dishes include grilled salmon, fried oysters, roast duck, BBQ pork, lamb and pork chops, shrimp, prime rib, a couple of surf & turf platters and all cuts of steak as well as a few more modern specialties (some Asian and Cajun offerings) from chef Rick Kodra.
In general, Rosebud’s believes in a generous plate and a generous pour. Desserts are big and come around on a tray and you choose. We ordered one piece of carrot cake for the table and ended up taking some home. Apple crisp, cheesecake and similar items are offered, ranging from $8 to $14. Rosebud’s has a children’s menu and there is an early bird opportunity from 4 to 5:30 p.m. from an abbreviated menu of 13 dishes.
I used to think that Rosebud’s catered to the age group that’s reached Medicare and beyond, but there are plenty of younger people in the bar and in the dining rooms. Rosebud’s is not romantic, nor does it have the ambiance you want for a serious date night or special occasions. But it’s fine for every other kind of night, especially when you want to eat steak in a big friendly place with the chance to order a cocktail that your mother or grandmother used to find special. That Grasshopper brought back memories.
2215 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey
Dinner nightly, 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Major credit cards accepted
Handicapped accessible; parking on site
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