Monday, May 7, 2012

The Roosevelt

Photo from The Roosevelt's Facebook page
Rating: 5 stars

This is the story of the best fish sandwich I have ever had ...

Back in December my friend suggested we try a new restaurant he had been hearing alot about. I myself had never heard of the place, but always being game for new adventures I decided it was a great idea. So we ventured out on a chilly and rainy Friday night to take a chance with two other good friends. Eating out is always more fun in a group!

Let's just say I am not a huge fan of cold nasty weather, so walking into the warm cozy glow of The Roosevelt was like coming home to sit by the fire. With it's high dark ceiling, open feeling, and dark wood tables, it is very welcoming. Sadly though, the place was full.

We wandered over to the bar because there was not really a clear hostess stand, and stood there to check out our surroundings for a few moments. Graciously, someone took notice of us quickly. When we told her we had four, she scanned the room and discovered that there were two smaller tables that they could put together for us, but they were on opposite sides of the room. Swiftly, she and two other guys proceeded to lift the table and chairs over and through the crowd to get them together for us! I must say I have never seen such great customer service in a restaurant before. It was like they didn't think twice about doing whatever it took to get us a seat. Awesome.

Our table was right at the front window, which worried me a little, but the spot was perfectly warm and enjoyable. The restaurant was full of several other small groups and couples, and one large table taken up by a birthday party. The group was joyously enjoying tons of dishes and champagne, and it was great to have that fun atmosphere around us but without it interrupting our night. I never felt crowded or that it was too loud, like I often do at other small Richmond restaurants. It felt just right.

Photo from The Roosevelt's Facebook page

And the waiters are very cool, with a chill hipster vibe, which I did not expect from the style of the restaurant. Ours was very knowledgeable about the menu and was more than willing to explain dishes to us. Their laid back attitude and attire allows you to relax instead of feeling like you are in a stuffy highbrow establishment, which you might expect when you first walk in.

Ok, so on to the food. First off, The Roosevelt has a nice wine and beer list (VA wines only!). It's not overwhelming, forcing you to stare at it in a panic trying to decide what to have, but seems to provide something for everyone. And there are several options from Charlottesville wineries, which is a nice touch (esp. if you went to UVA). Their cocktail list is very intriguing as well. If you like mixed drinks this would be a great place to try out one, or a few...

After selecting a nice red from Barboursville we moved onto the dining options. As for the food menu, it seems that they have made some changes since December according to their website (though the fish sandwich is still on there...but we'll get to that later). I am sure there will be a continual evolution as they strive to keep fresh and exciting, which is always a good thing. For our appetizer we ordered the Southern Poutine, which is pimento cheese and ham gravy over french fries ... basically fancy cheese fries (which I certainly don't have a problem with!). It was a good starter, though I guess I was expecting something a little more gourmet when we ordered it due to the description in the menu, but once I accepted that it was cheese fries I settled on in.

Couldn't find a photo of the fish sandwich, so you have to settle for the  Southern Poutine. Photo from Style Weekly.

For the entree I ordered the gnocchi because I had heard the name often but had never had it, and since you don't see it in that many restaurants in Richmond, I decided to go for it. My friends had steak, a sausage dish  (which I no longer see on the menu), and the catfish sandwich. I must note that he only ordered the fish after we told him he was not allowed to get a cheeseburger! Though I am sure the burger is good, we felt he needed to branch out a little, even if he didn't agree.

The gnocchi was good, but I guess since I've never had any other gnocchi I don't feel I can really judge it that well. Much like a pasta dish I started to get tired of it halfway through, since it's the same taste over and over again. But that's just what you get with those types of dishes (take note, I certainly managed to finish it all!). The steak was excellent, and even the sausage, which I am not normally a big fan of, was just the right balance of sweet and spicy, with great mashed potatoes on the side.

And then there was the fish sandwich ...

After taking a bite of my friend's meal early on in our dining experience I immediately wished I had ordered what he did. For the rest of the night I looked longingly at his plate, hoping that he would get full so that I could have the rest. It is heaven. A soft, melt in your mouth like butter, piece of catfish, with perfect remoulade sauce (which I love!). Thinking about it makes me want to drive to The Roosevelt right now. If I lived in Church Hill I would be eating this sandwich once a week. When you go to The Roosevelt please try it. I promise it will make you want to go back!

For the rest of the evening we all enjoyed our dishes (and our second bottle of wine) and each other's company in a lovely, charismatic atmosphere. I am not really sure how to describe it, but I was very happy to be there.

We were too stuffed for desert, but I am guessing it is pretty good, and so paying our check (note: the prices are not bad at all considering the uniqueness and size of the dishes offered), we left this wonderful place and headed back into the cold.

I have not had a chance to get back to The Roosevelt yet, but I have recommended it as a great place to many people. Hopefully they have taken my suggestion. I sincerely encourage you to go there soon if you have not yet ventured over to Church Hill to experience this lovely new addition to Richmond's restaurant scene.

Who knows, you may see me there ... eating the fish sandwich.

Photo from The Roosevelt's Facebook page

Check out The Roosevelt's website at:

Be Real.

The Roosevelt on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Katie said...

Yum! Sounds good! Maybe Lee and I will check it out on one of our future date nights!