Roost – A Cozy Neighborhood Spot

America, Featured, Modern American — By on October 5, 2012 1:18 pm

This week I visited with Kevin Naderi, Owner and Executive Chef of Roost, Houston’s newest farm-to-table restaurant.  Located in the space where a Cuban café stood for over 40 years, Naderi got the idea to open his own restaurant when he saw the café listed for sale on Craig’s List.  Without prior plans to start up a restaurant, he bought it.

Chef Naderi became interested in the culinary arts in high school. He graduated from The Art Institute of Houston’s culinary program, and later went on to become the sous chef at Haven, another of Houston’s well known farm-to-table restaurants, and has also done some consulting work for St. Genevieve at West Ave. on Upper Kirby.

Roost has an intimate feeling that many Inner Loop restaurants are trying to capture. Customers routinely say that Roost reminds them of European, Austin and New York restaurants, sentiments that I agree with.

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On to the food. Roost’s menu is geared towards making excellent food accessible to everyone. The restaurant does not use fillers, and many of its items are gluten free. I tried the Bacalao fritters first, served on a chorizo vinaigrette and saffron sauce. They were perfectly crisp. When I tasted the saffron sauce mixed a little with the chorizo vinaigrette, I could have sworn it was homemade mustard. Tangy, a little sweet and a little salty. Perfection.

Next, I dug into the crab cakes. We’re talking big chunks of pure crabmeat, with curry mayo set on light jalapeno sauce and topped with chayote squash slaw and red cabbage. An outstanding dish.

Naderi’s version of chicken and dumplings (chicken and gnocchi) served with vegetables and saucy broth, I can only describe as a taste of home. Simple and full of childhood memories to me.

From the “Gimme Some Suga” part of the menu, I tried smoky barbequed banana ice cream with drunk raisins.

If you haven’t yet tried Roost, do yourself a favor and try it soon.

 

 

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