Posted: June 20, 2016
As one of the most upscale dining options in Dayton’s Oregon District, Roost Modern Italian is the favored creation of Chef Dana Downs, one of the best chefs in the city. The spot doesn’t occupy a lot of real estate, but in its short time in operation the restaurant has driven a huge following for its refined menu. The innovative concept takes numerous classic Italian dishes and gives them a contemporary tint with some refinement. It’s not always easy to get in, but there’s a good reason; the restaurant blends European flavors with Midwestern palettes.
The menu here can change frequently, but at the same time it has kept some classic elements, and that definite focus on quality. Among my favorite things:
Asiago Crusted Chicken
The salty Asiago cheese gives this chicken a very distinct and stronger flavor. The lightly fried chicken is served over a bed of linguine. Still filling.
Grilled North Atlantic Swordfish
Swordfish is a delicate thing to pick, the dish balances the strong swordfish flavor with pecans, Brussels sprouts and bacon. The textures and flavors are individually unique but come together tastefully.
Pesto Cream Linguine
It’s the pine nuts, tomatoes and spinach that make this pasta very tasty. A good vegetarian option.
These fries are served up as an appetizer, crusted with Parmesan cheese and a great ketchup and garlic crema. Great start to a meal, or side.
A frozen fruit served up with an Italian sorbet that complements it. I tried the peach, delicious, especially as the fruit softens and comes with the sorbet.
This pudding is heavy on the bread and a bit crispy on the outside, still topped with a cream for good taste.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is what makes it really fly; it’s an island of calm in the otherwise high-energy Oregon District, with the pleasant bar and intimate tables making for a very quality dining experiences. All told, well worth a visit for a special occasion. The fine dining here is well worth the experience. That said, you will want to get reservations; the restaurant is a small space and walk-ins are allowed, though it’s unusual for you to find them able to accommodate.
That said, Downs’ reputation as a master restaurateur is well-deserved. Roost is one of the true gems in the city. This is well worth a stop.
1. Reservations are definitely recommended, the small footprint of this restaurant means it’s unlikely to be able to accommodate too many walk-ins.
2. The cocktail menu is incredibly well-defined, and that’s going to be something you’ll want to explore.
3. The menu can change, but overall it’s a place you’ll want to visit with a date or a group of friends. Fine dining experience.