I think I've mentioned before that on Wednesday nights, I usually go to dinner with one or both of my parents. This week was dad week, and we joined by a work colleague of his.
I wanted to go to Roost because I had gone there the week before and absolutely loved everything I had. I needed to eat it again, soon. You guys, this does not happen often. I prefer to keep trying new things, even when I find what I think is my new favorite. Roost really called for a repeat visit, and since my first was with my mom, I did not feel bad repeating it so soon with my dad. He needed to eat here.
Roost is an unassuming little place in a brick building on Belmont. The dining room is small, but that doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. It was also relatively empty on a Wednesday night, so it made me feel like we might have stumbled upon an underrated spot.
The menu is not huge, but is jam-packed with plates that sound delectable. The cocktail menu is particularly interesting, with several drinks featuring mint, and a few bourbon cocktails. I started off with the Brown Derby, a cocktail made of bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey. I think I may have found my new signature cocktail- it had everything I love in a drink. Manly bourbon, girly sweetness, and a kick of juice. My dinner companions enjoyed the gruner veltliner and the prosecco, each having two glasses of their chosen drink. So the verdict on the drinks is: good!
We also started out with some small plates to share: the salt cod cakes and the zucchini fries. In all honesty, the zucchini fries were a bit on the salty side for me (I'm sensitive to salt and prefer dishes that go easy on it), but the special ketchup they were served with was pretty tasty. The salt cod cakes, on the other hand, were divine. They were sizable fried balls filled with potato and cod and coated with breading. We drizzled the accompanying lemon over the cakes, and dipped them in the dilly sauce that came with them. Seriously, these were good, and they were pretty big. There were three of them, so we each got to have one each.
For the main course, I went for the same dish I had had the week before. It is probably my favorite savory dish I have ever eaten, ever. Vegetarian smoked gouda dumplings with mushrooms, mustard greens, brown butter sauce and lemon. Is your mouth watering yet? I seriously want to go back and eat it again. Those dumplings were the right combination of soft and chewy, with some of them being slightly crispy from browning. The mustard greens tasted like mustardy spinach, which is awesome, because I happen to love both mustard and spinach. Major win. And the mushrooms- cooked to perfection, nice and juicy. You guys, this dish is heaven.
My dinner companions both ordered the chicken, and since I am a vegetarian, I cannot attest to its quality, but I can say that my dad wolfed his down and his colleague ate as much as she possibly could. My dad said he enjoyed it, and his colleague absolutely raved about it.
Given that I cannot leave a restaurant without eating dessert, I had to check out their offerings. The week before my mom and I split the s'mores pie and the vanilla custard cake, but the desserts were so big it was impossible to finish. So this week, the three of us split the vanilla custard cake. It's not often that vanilla gets the spotlight at a restaurant. It's too easy for vanilla to come off as plain. Not so here. This is more of a pastry- two layers of puff pastry filled with thick vanilla bean custard. I love me some custard, and this did not let me down. It was thick, rich, and full of vanilla flavor. Seriously, you guys, it's good.
I hope that if you're in town, you'll give this place a shot. The food is so amazing, and the service was very friendly. Parking was also very easy to find on the side street, and I'm sure buses pass nearby. So really, you have no reason not to go.
Portland folks- have you been to Roost? Let me know in the comments!