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Plump tomatoes. Juicy nectarines. Sweet-as-candy summer corn. Cooking with all of that seasonal produce and more excites Carrie Baird, the chef-owner of Rose’s Classic Americana at Rosetta Hall in Boulder. With the food hall once again open for dine-in service as of June 4, Baird is back in the kitchen at Rose’s—but lots has changed since the Top Chef alum and James Beard Award finalist opened her stall there in March.
Colorado’s state-mandated dine-in closures went into effect on March 17—just seven days after Baird debuted her menu of elevated burgers, sandwiches, salads, toasts, and other spins on American classics. Now, with Rosetta Hall open at limited capacity, Baird is running Rose’s on her own, with the exception of one employee who works 10 hours each week. “It’s crazy. When you’re a one-man project, you realize how much work it is. I’ve never done anything like this in my life,” says Baird, who left her post as executive chef of Highland’s Bar Dough in February to launch the concept.
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Since the pandemic, Baird also professionally parted ways with Natascha Hess, the chef-owner of the Ginger Pig, who exited Rosetta Hall last week to launch a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Berkeley. The pair established the That’s What She Said restaurant group when Baird left Bar Dough, sharing ownership of Rose’s Classic Americana and the Ginger Pig. Recently, the two chefs decided it made the most sense for each to focus on their own concepts for now.
And so, at Rosetta, Baird is running a one-woman show. Her new reality has inspired her to serve more takeout-friendly fare—with seasonal twists, of course. That means a classic burger, fried chicken sandwich, and iterations on Baird’s famed Fancy Toast will likely always be available (look for tuna melt, New England chowder, and French onion soup variations of the latter) at Rose’s. But what may bring your taste buds the most joy is Baird’s lineup of rotating specials, such as the (B)arby’s Beef and Cheddar, a barbecue-and-cheese-sauced Buckner Farm roast beef sandwich that Baird named after her mother. Or, consider the Fresh Corn Corn Dog, an all-beef frank fried in a fresh kernel-studded batter and accompanied by a custard-like corn-honey-dijon mustard dipping sauce. “I’m smiling and actually enjoying myself and changing the menu constantly. I’m doing what I want every day,” Baird says.
Rose’s new menu also includes a rotating selection of seasonal pies, which are available whole or by the slice. Baird loves coming up with “fun, interesting, odd” flavor combinations for the fillings; past offerings have included blueberry and sharp cheddar and sweet corn with sour cherry. In the coming weeks, Baird is looking forward to incorporating stone fruits and tomatoes into her cooking. “We’re coming into my favorite season. This is the best time of the year to support local chefs,” she says.
If you’d like to taste more of Baird’s culinary brilliance, she is preparing a five-course supper for the Modern Eater’s al fresco summer dinner series at Pizzeria Republica on July 7 (tickets start at $200 for a two-person table). Get your seats here.
Rosetta Hall is open for dine-in and takeout service, Wednesday–Sunday, 12–10 p.m.; 1109 Walnut St., Boulder