In a word - delicious! The tantalizing aroma of roasting meats greeted us when we walked through the very charming outdoor patio into the restaurant. It made my mouth water in anticipation. The ambiance was lovely, a very European feel and I could imagine myself somewhere in the south of France (or what I imagine the south of France feels like-something for my bucket list). We were seated at a square table for eight and I have to say it was perfect for easy conversation and comfort. (Photo courtesy of Roast website)
I had the Cornish Game Hen with Madeira Creamed Mushrooms, Spinach and Fingerling Potatoes – ooh la la yummy. Hubby had the NY Strip and “he liked it!” (We all know he’s a tough food critic). The special of the day was Roast Beef served with Creamed Cauliflower and String Beans – a very generous portion. Kathy had the Salmon; Hollie had Seared Scallops and Boudain Noir (blood sausage!)on a bed of cauliflower puree with red wine. And of course Mike had their signature burger (I’m going to suggest Mike write a column solely on burgers since that is nearly always his choice when we dine out and by now he’s a connoisseur.)
Our waitress was attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. None of us had ever eaten Duck Fat Fries and she heartily recommended we try them. We’re so happy we did because they were quite amazing. We ordered them well done and they were crispy perfection! For anyone wondering about using duck fat you should know that it’s a very versatile fat with a high smoke point. It’s low in saturated fat (20% less than butter) and high in unsaturated fat, making it one of the healthiest animal fats you can eat. See below for Guy Fieri’s Recipe and try them yourself.
And what better way to wash down all that good food but to enjoy it with a glass of Malbec?
We chose the Trivento Amado Sur - a deep red wine with violet hues. Aromas of strawberries and red cherries intertwined with hints of clove and vanilla. The lush red berry flavor gives way to velvety tannins and a pleasant, persistent finish. Are you impressed with my knowledge of wine? Ha, I learned all that from wine.com where you can order a bottle for about $15. All I know is it went down real smooth and Cheryl and I left with a buzz on!
We’ll definitely return to try some of the other unique dishes they offer. And by the way, from June 1-14 this restaurant is participating in the Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week event so you can enjoy a 3-course meal for about $15/person for lunch & $29/person for dinner – a great value.
Dessert was at Kathy’s place where she’d organized a luscious birthday cake to surprise our birthday girl Hollie. A very nice way to cap the evening, another successful Great Escape.
Guy Fieri’s Recipe for Duck Fat FriesIngredients
4 medium russet potatoes;
8 cups canola oil;
2 cups duck fat (you can purchase at gourmet stores $6-$11 for an 11 oz. container);
Sea salt or truffle salt
Peel the sides of the potatoes but leave some skin on the ends. As you peel, place the potatoes in a bowl filled with cool water. Cut the potatoes into matchsticks (1/8-inch square) and place back into the bowl of clean cool water. Allow the potatoes to sit for 1 hour, changing the water as it becomes cloudy to remove the starch.
Heat the canola oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven or deep skillet to 325 degrees F.
Drain the potatoes and dry well with paper towels. Carefully add the potatoes to the oil, in batches if necessary, and cook until they just lose their opaque look and are starting to firm up, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain well on paper towels.
Heat the duck fat in a heavy saucepan to 375 degrees F; ideally you want the duck fat 3 to 4 inches deep.
Carefully add the fries to the duck fat and cook until crispy and evenly golden, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season with the sea salt or truffle salt.
Cook's Note: Strain the duck fat through a fine mesh strainer and transfer to a glass container. Keep refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.
1296 1st St, Sarasota, FL 34236 941.953.1971