The restaurant is a bit dimly lit and I’m using my iPhone – so sorry my pics aren’t DSLR quality! There are a lot of little nooks in Red Roost – so if you’re there with a big group or just one other person – you an find a nook for you!
It’s an open kitchen and fairly formal dining area. Obviously not very busy – I have to say – it won’t be like this for long! (hint of things to come)
The menu is farm to table and they pride themselves on letting you know where everything comes from – good stuff.
They also have a nice selection of local beers – Larry was giddy to find another place with his beloved Bourbon Barrel Ale on tap. If you like bourbon – you gotta try this beer – and it’s a lot better on tap!
I started with crab cakes ($14) – poor Larry had to just watch and wait – but he said it was okay!
These were delicious! The crab was light and sweet and the cakes themselves were full of crab and very little “filler”; the honey chile mayo was sweet with a little kick; and the surprise was the slaw – it was crunchy and sweet and spicy and a perfect combination. The crab cake is so warm, the sauce so creamy and then the slaw is this biting crunch! Loved it!
I decided (after much debate) on the Fish & Chips ($23) – which was baked code and elephant garlic chips with a malt vinegar reduction. You also choose two sides from a list of 8 options – I chose the peppered pappardelle and roasted mushrooms. What I loved was that they didn’t just plop the pasta next to the fish. They layered it all like it was meant to be together from the beginning. It was like I created my own dish!
And I did a damn good job – cuz this was awesome! The cod – delicious: flaky, thick, rich, light, heavenly. The pappardelle was definitely al dente (I would have liked it cooked a TINY bit more) and definitely fresh pasta (yum). The mushrooms were great too – and soaked up that malt vinegar reduction like butta! The combo went together beautifully. The only thing I didn’t love were the elephant garlic chips – they were chips made of garlic. They just weren’t tasty – I did crumble a couple and sprinkle on the dish and liked that.
We debated on one of us getting beef – but we were both in the mood for fish – so Larry went for the Cedar plank wild caught salmon ($26) with mustard glaze and grapefruit butter sauce. He got grilled asparagus and sour cream & chive mashed potatoes.
His salmon was delicious! It had that full flavor that good salmon should have – so good. The mashed potatoes were creamy and thick! The asparagus was fine – a little woody on the ends. Good choice!
Lastly – I had to get dessert! I chose the Lemon Brulee with blueberries ($6). I absolutely LOVE brulee and this was exceptional! I had brulee recently somewhere and it was awful! This was a great rebound! The lemon – which can get overpowering – was delightful! Loved it!
Chef Bernard came out and chatted with us – he’s been with Hyatt for quite a long time and opened restaurants all over the country. He’s been in Vegas, Hawaii and now – Cincinnati! (eek – poor guy – JK) He’s also started The Market which has sandwiches, coffee, snacks and more. It’s in the lobby area of the Hyatt.
And then there’s this open seating area – very modern and minimal – I think it’s really unique for Cincinnati. We have plush and palatial – this is filling a void. Love it!
Why Should You Go? Our dinners were both really great! This was a wonderful date night for us – it was soooo surprising! I had been to Champs, then I knew this was called “Tavern” – so my expectations were low and were BLOWN AWAY. The service was excellent, the staff was uber-friendly (they did know I was a blogger though) and the food was great!
We both agreed we would go back in a hot minute!
* Our meal was comped but I’m being totally honest in my delight over the food. I wouldn’t steer you wrong for pricier food – I promise!