Katharine Shilcutt's 10 Favorite Dishes in Houston
9. Roasted cauliflower at Roost
Photo by Mai Pham
If I had unlimited time and resources, I would probably eat at Roost once or twice a week. I can't seem to get tired of chef/owner Kevin Naderi's constantly shifting seasonal menu, and I love enjoying Roost's food inside the casual, cute, low-slung bistro with its clapboard-and-old-shutter-lined walls. Roost is every bit the low-key neighborhood cafe although its food is anything but.
The melting pot menu pulls influences from all over Houston and the world, mixing Texas-produced ingredients and locally-made foodstuffs with Vietnamese, Persian, French, Cajun, Japanese and other flavors. The short menu is also surprisingly vegetable-focused, with the roasted cauliflower as a personal favorite. The dish is also a favorite with nearly everyone who eats here, and as such is one of the few constants on the menu.
Roost's cauliflower gets a dual treatment of being roasted and fried, then piled into a satiny miso broth that coats each buttery chunk of cauliflower with a rich, salty, earthy sheen. Delicate flakes of bonito that dance across the top and provide a briny bite while crunchy pine nuts and bright slivers of green onion that provide a final, buoyant boost to the whole dish.