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Brunch at Rooster Co., Newington, CT: Stick with the bird, ignore the rest.

zammdogg | May 17, 201510:58 AM

We just returned from a pretty solid brunch at Rooster. We've salivated over the menu for a month now and were celebrating (casually) two new jobs and the end of school. At 12, the restaurant was sparse, but picked up within the hour. The space is massive and somewhat awkward with how sprawling it is, but they have done well with the area and they are in a good location.

Excellent: Cracklins, roast chicken, cola BBQ sauce, house hot sauce.
Good: Beet juice, coffee, hummingbird cake, chicken leg confit, pâté
Bad: Lobster benedict

We were served quickly and all of our inquiries were answered- I had a few questions about the art. The menu is different than the one online, not too much, but with a few neat additions like an Elvis sandwich and no more muffins with 'an equal amount of blueberries in each,' which we found cute. I ordered the chef's plate, with 1/2 a rotisserie chicken, chicken leg confit, cracklins, and pâté, my partner, the lobster benedict.

It was like night and day- I all but licked the chef's plate clean. The two sauces were impeccable and the chicken was generously portioned and moist. The confit was moist and flavorful, though some bites moreso than others and the toast point was but a tease for the bowlfuls I could have easily consumed. The generous scoop of pâté went well with the apricot gastrique and a drizzle of barbecue sauce and the pistachios on top made for a nice slider with the homemade roll. The chicken was the star of the show- hot, juicy, flavorful, and tender, but the cracklins stole my heart. I could have eaten a bowl of those alone and am looking forward to a happy hour where I can do just that.

The lobster benedict was inedible and we are not sure why. The eggs were overcooked, the English muffin was stale and crumbly, and the lobster had a very watery, stringy texture and 'off' flavor. I say this warning you not to order it, being dubious of any lobster outside of a roll for $15, but know that they were impeccable about returning the order and took it off our bill promptly. They were courteous and gave us no trouble at all.

Following last week's praise in the NYT, we tried the hummingbird cake. Cute presentation, rustic, and well-balanced. Overall, a decent meal. We'd go back for happy hour but for more expensive meals it might be too hit or miss for anything other than the bird.

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