Last night I went with Yelp to its Happier hour at Red Roost Tavern. I had never heard of this place before last night; now I’m bursting at the seams to go back! First off I can not say enough about how amazing the staff was. Like over the top awesome! That alone warranted a revisit before I even tried some of the wonderful food.
First was a champagne spritzer and a spicy quinoa salad. The salad had fava beans, tomato, asparagus, and a lemon vinaigrette. I didn’t care for this, but that was because I generally detest quinoa and the texture of it. Everyone else there seemed to love it.
Then they served a tomato bisque, crabcakes, and asparagus with Parmesan and a quail egg. The crabcakes were packed full of flavor. Probably the best I’ve had in Cincinnati since the Oceanaire closed down. It tied for my new favorite with Jimmy G’s crabcakes! The bisque was also good, but I would have liked more goat cheese flavor. If you tell me its in there, I want to taste it. The asparagus with the egg was just perfect. It slid off the bamboo plate and made that perfect rich yolk flavor as it broke in your mouth. Great little hors d’oeuvres.
The next thing on the tasting was the smoked habanero wings and the goetta croquettes. I am not one for too much spice, so the wing about killed me. I drank two glasses of water just to try and get the flavor out of my mouth. The meat was good and juicy; but the flavor was out of bounds for me. The goetta croquette was much more my speed. Perfect amount of breading to meat and the mustard on top was really sweet and balanced it out.
Next was the veggie slider. This will be perfect for the vegetarian in your life. The “meat” was black bean mixture that wasn’t overpowering but gave a beefy feel to the slider. With that they served the Poutine. It was the traditional fries, gravy and short ribs, and cheese curds. It was good, but nothing will hold a candle to The Senates poutine.
The only thing I really disliked was the grits with mushrooms. My friend Andy who came with me, however said this was his favorite thing. This is the first time I’ve ever eaten grits and the texture was too much like uncooked rice for me to enjoy it. But like I said, it was his favorite so it must be good for grits.
Then the small entree courses came and they were OUTSTANDING! I would happily pay to come and eat either of these again. The salmon was crispy skinned, but perfectly cooked on the inside. And that lamb- ridiculous. I ate THREE pieces it was so good. Each piece was cooked differently but its hard to stay so consistent with small pieces like that.
The evening rounded out with little mini desserts. A chocolate flowerless cake that was the moistest cake I have ever eaten. And this burger doughnut. I fell in love with this. I know Lauren will absolutely flip when we come back and she gets this. They dont serve it anymore, but the manager said to email him and they will special make one for her. I told you- the service was top notch!
Why should you go? Because it is good and the service is one of the best I have ever had anywhere ever.