Restaurants & Bars 9

Rooster's - Charlotte

mcap | Jan 23, 2008 09:01 AM

I'm sure many of you have visted Rooster's, but I wanted to put my two cents in after another visit last Friday night.

Really like this place.

The concept is small plates to share a la tapas, but with more American comfort foods. The menu consists of various appetizers (soups, cheeses, olives, cured meats, salads), fish, meats, veggies, a couple pizzas, pasta, sandwiches... It sounds like a mish-mash, but everything works well together. You order your meal by plates, so you get a lot of choice.

We sat at the "kitchen counter" I guess I'll call it, where you can watch the chef and line cooks in action. There are prep stations in front on both sides, a wood-fired grill, a wood-fired oven, two gas-stove tops, and the expediting counter in front.

As we watched, at first it seemed like chaos and confusion in the kitchen. The longer you watch however, you start to see the rhythm of the kitchen. It is fun to watch it all and see everything come together - you can even locate your own meal being fired.

The one thing that really stood out was how little the stove-tops were used. Pretty much anything that is cooked is done on the wood-fired grill or in the wood-burning oven. So everything has a nice smoky background flavor to it.

For our meal, we had mixed olives to start, a half natural chicken (breast & leg), pan roasted corn, brussel sprouts with bacon, and fingerling potatoes. The chicken was exceptionally juicy, but also a bit greasy. The bowl it was served in had a puddle of juice on the bottom, which was nice to sop up with bread. The fingerling potatoes were okay - they were cut at such different sizes though, so some were cooked well but the bigger ones were too dry.

The stars of the meal were the roasted corn and the brussel sprouts. We watched both being made, and they were done in pans in the wood-oven. They came out perfectly cooked, with so much flavor. I am a brussel sprout freak, and these were good. Like the chicken, both the corn and the brussel sprouts were a little greasy, but real good.

They have a nice wine list - a little pricey (I think) but a good selection.

For all the above, with two glasses of wine, our total was $59 plus tip for two people. We shared everything and there was more than enough for both of us.

Good food, fun to watch the kitchen, nice atmosphere, decent prices. Fun place.

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