A little Greek, a little American BBQ, a whole lot of Love. A while back I visited a cozy restaurant along Rose St. in Franklin Park, appropriately named Smoked on Rose. Although the menu I experienced was created for a private event, the restaurants menu focuses on Smoked BBQ with traditional southern side dishes alongside Greek entrees and sides. An interesting combination that is pulled off very well.
While there I had the chance to speak briefly with Kostas, the restaurants owner, who was raised on the Greek island of Kefalonia. His fond memories of his upbringing and the food from his childhood ultimately led him to focus on the fusion of Greek and American classics. Kostas, his wife Stephanie and their chef Francisco share the same philosophy for creating dishes that aren’t filled with additives and pre-made seasoning mixes. They focus on doing everything from scratch, the hard way, void of some of the modern time-savers.
I was immediately able to pick up on their food philosophy when I tasted the smoked brisket, both with and without BBQ sauce. The meat was well seasoned, but totally different than I expected and have experienced at other Midwestern BBQ restaurants. The spice blend that they’ve come up with is delicious, I could definitely taste components other than salt and sugar, which I enjoyed.
During this visit I had the pleasure of experiencing a special multi course meal that included regular menu items and some of their family recipes.
Here’s what I had:
Eggplant Relish on Toast
Grilled Watermelon with Goat Cheese, Basil and Pine Nuts
Smoked Brisket with Spanakorizo
Broiled Octopus salad with Endive, Capers and Olives
Smoked Pork Butt & Roasted Suckling Pig
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream topped with wild berry and bourbon caramel
It’s #nationalmilkchocolateday and I’m reminded of the flourless cake I had @smokedonrose during a recent visit. It was so decadent and the vanilla ice cream with bourbon caramel sauce was unforgettable. It was on our special menu but I sure hope it makes it into the regular menu #eattheburbs in #franklinpark 🍰🔥🍴
Everything was really good, although there were some standout favorites for me, the Eggplant relish, which I would buy a big Vat of was amazing! I can’t even explain the taste, but it’s something that you can eat a lot of, even if you HATE Eggplant, it’s really that good. Stephanie shared with me that it took her more than 30 years to perfect the recipe. She experienced the relish early on in her and Kostas courtship while in Greece. I applaud her determination to recreate it, because now I’m hooked.
Although I could go on and on about the Eggplant relish, I truly enjoyed everything, my other favorites were the Greek gazpacho, smoked brisket, and suckling pig. The various meats at Smoked on Rose spend hours in a vintage smoker from the 1960s. They are cooked at low temperatures for an extended period of time to achieve the right amount of smokiness and a tenderness that is unmatched.
As the owners put it, Smoked on Rose is definitely not a BBQ Joint. I find that it’s more of a Greek/BBQ fusion restaurant. Don’t go there expecting the sticky BBQ ribs and saucy rib tips that are inherent to Chicago BBQ. Instead be prepared for a full restaurant experience, complete with silver flatware and ceramic plates.
Address: 3531 Rose St, Franklin Park, IL 60131