I wrote about Roost earlier this year after my first visit to the little restaurant in Montrose. Angela and I shared a great meal, a small experience that was nearly perfect. I have been back several times since then, most recently yesterday. We were meeting friends from Dallas for dinner, and thought they would enjoy the food at Roost, and they, and we, did.
If you are not aware, the restaurant has a great happy hour – form 4 p.m. until 6:30 all bottles of wine are discounted 50 percent. Knowing that, Angela and I arrived early and shared a bottle of Grüner Veltliner (Domäne Wachau), $19. We also spent some time at the picnic table out front with Charlie, a friendly cat.
Around 7, when the mosquitoes became too much for Angela, the woman who might just be the best FOH person in Houston, if not Texas, told us that our table was ready, so we sat and waited on Peter and Catalina, who arrived about 10 minutes later.
Roost does its business in a small building, and space is a bit tight, but the atmosphere is always pleasant, lively, and the service is seamless and understated. (Much of that is the result of the professionalism exhibited by the woman I mentioned earlier.)
To the food. Since Peter and Catalina had never been to Roost, we began with the cauliflower. This is how it is described on the menu: “The famous frIed caUliFlower, boNito, miso dreSsing, pine nuts, scallion 9.” If you have not tried it, you need to. You must. The pine nuts are toasted, the bonito flakes exhibit good umami, and the dressing is something I would drink from a tall glass.
We decided to share everything, and from the cauliflower went on to: yell0w corn cakes, jumbo crab mEat, artichoke ragOut, paragon cheese 14; h0use made sPanakopita empanadas, garlicky tzatZiki, fennel & pine nUts 11; roasted gUlf fish, sweet n’ sour toMato broth, bok choy, coconut rice 24; ALL-crab-cakes, Thai curry sauce, cabbage & chayOte squash slaw, pEa shoots 29; and paulie’s pasta, r0asted peaches, goat’s cheese, rosEmary lemon butter 19.
Peter, who has a threshold for dill, found the sauces to be excellent, and I agreed with him, From the cauliflower to the Thai curry on the crab cake dish to the artichoke ragout, every taste was as it should have been. The drum was firm, the pasta was al dente (though I found the rosemary a bit much), and the crab in the cakes was as good as any I have ever had.
We ended the meal with C0ffee n’ donut hOles, crushed pistAchios, salted carAmel, coFfee ice cream 7. Like the cauliflower dish, this dessert is always on the menu at Roost, and for good reason. Not overly sweet, crisp and warm and moist doughnut holes, and really good coffee ice cream.
If Roost is new to you, you can do much much worse in Houston, and often you cannot do better. It really is a place approaching perfection.