Charlotte · Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Rooster’s Southpark

mixing

If you haven’t been to Rooster’s in a while, do yourself a favor and get over there.  We decided to go after a chef friend recommended it so highly.  She told us that the Executive Chef, Zack Renner, was amazing and that they served her farm’s pork.  That’s all she had to say, we were there.

We reserved a table for 8 so they put us in a room that looked like it might once have been the hallway of a small strip mall.  BUT they’d doctored it up with pretty twinkle lights and a nice fountain in the middle.  And then there was this adorable pig door holder we were all entranced with…and we weren’t alone.  A few people stopped to take pictures of Porky.

15940961_1840960259520084_7340782310527640987_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our waitress was so kind and deftly handled our large(ish) group by giving us suggestions, fixing drinks when we weren’t satisfied and delivering the bad news about dessert.  The management also stopped by a time or two to make sure our night was going well..which it very much was.

copy-of-copy-of-springtime-2

Cocktails are the best way to begin Girl Nosh.  Rooster’s has a fine selection of wine, brews and mixed drinks.  This one (I forget the name) was muddled cucumbers, raspberry and gin.  I have to admit it wasn’t for me, but others at the table found it refreshing and light.

cocktails

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-springtime

To soak up all of this alcohol, they brought us an assortment of delicious baked breads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread was hearty and delicious.  Very nutty.

roostersbread

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-springtime

Housemade bresaola.  I didn’t try, but doesn’t it look great?

roostersbresaola

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-springtime-1

The French Onion soup was not one of my favorite soups.  It was hearty, but not as flavorful as it should have been for such murky and dark broth.  I didn’t opt for it on my second visit.

roostersfrenchonionsoup

springtime

The salads were all so fresh and dressed perfectly.  This one was on their daily offerings page, meaning it was what was fresh at the farmer’s market:  Whole romaine leaves topped with walnuts, tangerine slices and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.  Perfect.

15977022_10210160734788911_7105559659917142568_n

The next salad was baby arugula, chopped pears and chevre cheese. Yum!

baby-arugula-chevre-pears

My salad was a wedge.  I don’t know why I’m not more adventurous.  I just love a wedge.  And this one was perfect.  The cold, crispy iceberg lettuce topped with creamy, tangy blue cheese dressing is a comfort food.  This one had some pickled red onions on top that were both sweet and tart, and really gave the salad a punch!

wedge

copy-of-copy-of-springtime

When you go to Rooster’s, you must have something that was wood-fired or wood-grilled.  Shannon got the salmon, and it was perfectly cooked…charred on the outside and tender on the inside.  She was so happy with her choice!

15966205_385874758443054_2596249858138974736_n

Other dishes I didn’t try but were reported to be delicious:  Wood-Fired Joyce Farms Natural Chicken.  Laurie said it was tender, full of flavor and really juicy.  

joyce-farms-natural-chicken

Anessa got roasted veal with mushrooms and blue potatoes.  It sat in a deliciously flavored jus and drizzled with aioli.  Perfection.

lamb

One of the best dishes for the night was Jennifer’s braised beef short rib.  Tender as a a slow-roasted pot roast, but packed with flavor.  The meat just melted in your mouth!

beef-short-rib

I have mixed feelings about my entree.  I got the fried oysters, and while they were perfectly delicious: crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside with a nice briny flavor, I’d come to a restaurant that has “wood-fired” in its name and didn’t get something from the grill.  Supremely stupid.  You can get oysters at a fish camp.  Stick with something with the taste of fire.

oysters

Have you ever seen a cheeseburger that looked this yummy?  And shoestring onion rings to accompany.  That’s not even fair.

roosterscheeseburgeronionrings

Amazingly simple spaghetti.  Perfectly balanced and flavored.

roostersspaghettitomatobasilparm

Buttery seared scallops.  Oh my.

roosterssearedseascallops

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-springtime

You know, sometimes side dishes are predictable or dialed in.  An afterthought.  At Rooster’s the sides are at center stage alongside the entrees.  All sides here are designed for two people, but are so good you may not want (or be able) to share.

The fried corn should be your first choice.  It’s real corn.  Not from a can.  And it is pan-fried with spices that make is lip-smacking good.

The stone ground grits are another perfect choice.  Little nuggets of corny goodness are buried in them and there is plenty of heavy cream to make them rich and velvety.

15977553_10210164711208319_3043479830487444755_n

One of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth was the wood-fired sunchoke.  It sure didn’t look like much more than a ginger root when it came to the table, but the taste was amazing.  When I saw the word “sunchoke” I immediately conjured images or the artichoke.  The sunchoke, however, is a tuber, like a potato.  It was creamy and had a little bit of sweetness to it.  The wood firing brought out a nuttiness in it as well.  Very complex for such a simple dish.  One of my favorites for the night!

grilled-sunchokes

Another favorite is this mess 🙂  This is a mix of mushrooms, which is probably one of my favorite foods in the world.  The table agreed that these were a favorite.  They were lightly seasoned and gently cooked, so their true flavors shown through.

mixed-mushrooms

Macaroni and cheese: soupy and creamy…yum!!

roostersmacandcheese

 

copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-springtime

By the time we were done eating, most of the tables around us were empty.  And they’d take our top dessert choice with them: the coconut cake.  We didn’t let that stop us, though.  We all ordered the back up dessert which was an apple tarte.  The waitress called it something else, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what that was.  To describe it I’d say it was dried apples (re-hydrated, of course) placed atop a buttery and light croissant crust.  It was accompanied by a scoop of vanilla bean gelato and a spill of rich caramel sauce.  Even though apples aren’t my favorite dessert fruit, this reminded me of the fried pies my grandmother used to make.  The apples had a tart but sweet taste and were very soft.  The crust wasn’t overly sweet, so it was perfect with the gelato and the caramel.  Decadent and delicious!

apple-tartme

Chocolate Milkshake:  Runny and chocolately, just like I like it.

roosterschocolatemilkshake

We at Girl Nosh all agreed that this was one of our favorite places we’d been to.  That’s saying something, because we’ve been to some fine restaurants.  You will need a reservation, but you can make them on OpenTable.com.  Go on and get that done now.  You are welcome.

Rooster's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements
Davidson · Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Kindred in Davidson

12194514_10153647714426886_7434025480815181616_o (2)

Girl Nosh goes to Kindred on Halloween!  Not only were we adorable, but we were well fed.  Kindred is the real deal, people.  We decided to bump Kindred up on our list due to this article in Bon Appetit Magazine:  Kindred, Davidson NC.

Kindredericaandanessakindrederickasuzanne

I had a large group of ladies able to attend on this night.  So large that I had to call the manager and arrange a special table (I think there were 10 of us) since the place is a bit small and seating is limited.  I thought it worth the extra trouble.

kindredtoastThe place was PACKED.  When we arrived, we did have to be patient and waited around for nearly 30 minutes for our table to be set up and ready for us.  They were gracious about the delay, and allowed us to sit at separate tables until the party beside us was ready to leave, allowing us to push these two tables together so our whole party could be together.

Googling dishes, of course
Googling dishes, of course

 

The Deal

This establishment serves small plates.  Everything is a la carte, so the server recommended we each get 2 or 3 items, not including dessert.  Some of us liked the small plate concept, and some of us did not.  One of our party members thought that this concept should have been explained better, and felt that we were a bit condescended to when we didn’t quite know how to order.

We all agreed that people who post pictures of their food are the best people.  As you can see from the photo at the right, we Googled dishes we wanted to try to see what they looked like.  Wish I’d have Googled the crudo before I ordered.

The Food

kindredbread3

When we finally sat down (after standing in the bar for a bit) the server brought us this most amazing Milk Bread.  It reminded me of the rolls we used to get at school (when they were homemade) only better.  Lighter, fluffier and sprinkled on top with chips of kosher salt.  Served with a side of REAL whipped creamy butter…I’d go back just for that bread.  All of us are STILL talking about that darn bread.  Be warned, they don’t serve it at lunch, only dinner.

kindredfriedoysters

The Crispy Oysters were a favorite of the table.  Lucky for me, Laurie thought they were too spicy and traded her oysters with my crudo.  The oysters were perfectly fried in a light batter and they sat atop a puddle of dill aioli and Calabrian chili oil.  I thought it was the perfect balance of heat and a nice cool down from the aioli.  This dish is a hit!  As good as the oysters were, I was just as charmed by the plate they served them on.  I felt like I was at my grandmother’s house…my gourmet grandmother.

kindredmushroomcrudo

The biggest disappointment of the night was the Matsutake Mushroom Crudo.  Shaved Asian pear slices, Matsutake Mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.  Not one bit of skill needed, unless you count the mandolin?  The idea is that the ingredients paired work well, and the quality of the ingredients are allowed to shine.  But the mushrooms tasted like dirt.  And I NEVER met a mushroom I didn’t love.  One person at our table loved it, but the rest of us…no.

Kindredcheeseboard

Another nifty thing they offer is the Farmhouse Cheese Tray.  They give you a selection of four and each cheese is $4.  It is served with thin baguette slices.  It was good, the cheese was great quality, but you know…it’s a hunk of cheese.  Get something the chef makes.

kindredsalad

The Apple Salad was pretty and tasty, too.  Hazelnuts, sliced apples and Serrano ham all nestled on a bed of peppery arugula made for a fresh start to dinner.

kindred guinnea hen pasta

See above?  That’s called Pappardelle and it is the best thing you will ever put in your mouth.  It is a perfectly seasoned hand-made pasta tossed with a guinea hen ragu.  Guinea hen tastes suspiciously like chicken, but this is so good, I don’t care if they tricked me.  You see those little shavings that look like mushrooms?  Those are fried chestnuts, for crunch. They used a tiny mandolin, shaved little chestnuts and then deep-fried them, just to give you a little crunch with your pasta.  All I could say was thank you.  Amazing.

kindredbuccatiniscallops

So, the other not-as-lucky folks at my table opted to try the Bucatini.  I snuck a bite of Erika’s, just for the purpose of this review, of course, and while it was yummy, it wasn’t as good as mine 🙂  This bucatini was in a buttery sauce with bay scallops, miso, shishito peppers and black truffle.  It was rich and spicy and it was yummy…just not AS yummy as the papardelle.

kindredchicken

Anessa ordered the Pasture Raised Chicken.  She also got that with a side of Creamed Mustard Greens with Bread Crumbs. The chicken was baked to perfection, very tender and juicy and it sat atop a pile of polenta, collards and guanciale. Guanciale is an Italian cured meat or salami product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. I know this because I just Googled it.  So, the chicken was great.  The mustard greens?  Well….not so much.  Anessa enjoyed them, but they were so bitter I had to spit them out.  I’ll admit I’m not a “greens” lover, but this was too much.

kindredcookiesandicecream

Dessert…aaaahhhh.  We were pretty full, but we took one for the team and ordered dessert.  We actually ordered dessert with our meal, since we were informed they might run out.  No sense taking chances like that.  First up is the Cookies with Cinnamon Ice Cream.  The cookies were thick and chewy and the ice cream was perfectly creamy with just a warm hint of cinnamon.  So perfect.

12244441_10153647714511886_8107732504191503093_o

But the most perfect dessert was the Roasted Apple Galette.  Sugar sprinkled flaky pie dough enfolds sweet yet tart apples, on a puddle of milk jam (tasted like caramel to me) and topped with buttermilk ice cream.  That weed on top?  Sugared thyme.  I might have sucked on a leaf or two.

Kindredpumpkinmousse

The Pumpkin Pot de Creme was a most requested dessert that night.  They ran out!  It was a smooth, spiced pumpkin custard (like a super smooth pumpkin pie filling, elevated) topped with Chantilly cream and hazelnuts.  It was perfect, light and refined.

This was one of my favorite restaurants that the Girl Nosh group has been to.  We had a few snags, but the experience was so unique and so personal, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it.  kindredgirlnosh

Kindred Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato