Roost Bistro Debuts a New Menu That May Be the Best Yet
Maybe it's because it's nearly spring, and more and more wonderful fruits and vegetables are coming into season. Maybe it's because chef/owner Kevin Naderi celebrated the restaurant's two-year anniversary back in December, so now he's really pulling out all the stops. Perhaps it's because he's practicing for the Menu of Menus®'s Iron Fork competition, which will pit Naderi against Kevin Bryant.
Photo by Jodie Eisenhardt You say tomato, I say delicious.
Okay, maybe we're giving ourselves too much credit there, but whatever the reason, the newest menu at Roost is pretty spectacular. We checked out the new offerings recently and were very impressed with the unique brand of comfort/fusion food Naderi has to offer. From his take on oysters "Rockefeller" to a Korean-inspired hanger steak to not-quite-classic poutine, the March menu has a little something for every palate.
Perhaps the best dish I tried there is the plate of sweet potato samosas topped with cilantro chutney and a mild tamarind yogurt. The samosas are almost like fried pies, with a perfectly crisp and flaky crust and an orange filling with a surprising bit of heat from Indian spices like cumin and coriander. The chutney and yogurt drizzles provide a cool counter to the thick, warm sweet potato filling, and the outer shell remains firm enough to hold the potato and toppings. The only thing more I could have asked for? Extra chutney for dipping, because that stuff is seriously addictive.
Photo by Jodie Eisenhardt The Indian samosas have just the right amount of sweet and spicy.
By the time I got to my main course, I was pretty full from the samosas and a lovely salad of heirloom tomatoes from a Texas farm. The salad features arugula and frisée with generous portions of funky blue cheese and beautiful, jewel-like sweet tomatoes. It was wonderful, but it was no cast-iron scallops and shrimp, which I couldn't help but eat far too much of, even though I was no longer hungry.
The seafood dish is incredibly soothing, with two large shrimp and two large, wonderfully tender scallops, both of which had been lightly seared and placed atop a non-traditional New England chowder with soft chunks of potato and raw cherry tomatoes that burst in your mouth with a refreshing pop. The chowder broth is thick and hearty with just enough seafood flavor that it tastes like a great seafood soup without being overwhelming. Swimming throughout are strips of chorizo, which add some heat and a great textural element to the dish. It's even good cold the next day.
Photo by Jodie Eisenhardt New England chowder with a twist.
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