Like many Boulder public spaces, immersive food hall Rosetta Hall has experienced big Covid-19 challenges. Some of its eight restaurants remained open for pick-up and delivery, Rosetta, like all restaurants, shut its doors about seven weeks ago.
So Rosetta Hall decided to pull inspiration from its diverse mix of restaurateurs and remix a menu featuring great hits from cultures around the world. The remixed restaurant opened on April 28. People can place orders online Wednesday through Sunday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The process, and menu, forms a group collaboration between the owners and chefs of all the restaurants: a chance to experiment with things they wanted to cook but had not put on the menu before.
“None of the dishes have ever been sold and will never be sold again,” says Rosetta Hall CEO, who told us that it plans to shut down the pop-up as soon as government regulations allow the food hall to reopen. There will be no overlap.
Some of these dishes include a modern riff on Pad See Ew inspired by a well known restaurant called Soul Food Mahanakorn in Bangkok, and Taiwanese ice cream burritos. The ice cream burrito, found at any night market in Taiwan as an organic phenomenon not tied to any one restaurant, includes candied peanuts shaved onto a rice flower wrap with two scoops of ice cream topped with cilantro, parsley or other greens.
Another item on the menu comes from one of the cook’s mothers. Luis Alaniz, who works at La Tigella, grew up in Mexico City and brought to the Greatest Hits menu two of his mother’s quesadillas: a Quesadilla de Tinga (a chicken version with chipotle sauce) and a Quesadilla de Oaxaca with oaxaca cheese and nopales (cactus.) The Hall makes all of its corn tortillas from scratch.
Since many people still struggle financially with Covid’s economic repercussions, the Hall made all of its entrees a flat fee of $10, with sides at $4 and cocktails at $5.
It also has a 20 percent discount for anyone in the service industry. The Hall still sources everything locally, with all its proteins coming from Clint Buckner’s Boulder Lamb and Meats, and Mary’s Free Range Chickens and flour from Moxie Bread Co.
For now, the PPP loan allowed the Hall to move all of its chefs onto payroll, keeping them at their full salary, so none have taken a financial cut. In keeping with the allowed 10-person capacity working at a time, the Hall was also able to bring some cooks on from different stalls and a few bartenders to make drinks to-go.
The menu, along with a name that nods to Rosetta’s history and connection to show biz, does not feature any dishes previously on any of its menus. Instead, it features the Hall’s favorite dishes from the best restaurants around the world.
Despite the Covid furloughs, Rosetta retained 28 full-time equivalent employees, though many of them work remotely on different projects like menu costing, labor costing, the website and database and other research projects. The hall also tapped a $50,000 Covid-19 fund to pay every employee in the Hall for two weeks following closure.
Header image: compiled from photos found on Rosetta Hall’s Instagram.