Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: The Rookwood Bar & Restaurant

restaurant website

So my friend Kenzie called me up last weekend wanting to know if my husband and I wanted to go to dinner….of course, I agreed.  Going to dinner with another couple is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend . I love to have a cocktail beforehand, enjoy a  good meal, and maybe even a glass of wine or two. Kenzie called three places that day and could not get a reservation anywhere, I guess it was last minute, but we were surprised that none of them were available!  Sooo, we just decided to have a couple cocktails before we ventured out for a later dinner at the Rookwood in Mt. Adams.  I love going up to Mt. Adams, but hate dealing with the parking, so it’s nice to go here because they have a parking lot.

We walked in and waited a couple minutes for the hostess to greet us.  She told us there would be a 15 minute wait, which was fine (although, it was pretty empty being 8:15 or so).   The bar had plenty of room for all four of us, so we took a seat and ordered a glass of wine. They have a decent wine menubut I was especially excited because they have one of my favorite wines, Paso o Paso Tempranillo ( Although, I do hate when you know how much a bottle costs in the store and have to pay WAY over for the glass, but hey, it’s a night out!) While we were waiting, we decided to get some info from the bartenders.  They were both friendly and shared with us some of their favorite menu items. They both agreed their favorite was the pork belly sandwich, hands down, even when I asked for a second choice, they both said “pork belly sandwich.”  One of the bartenders was fun and shared with us how he has been to 48 out of the 50 states! Very interesting….although, he said his favorite city in ALL of these states is Columbus, a die hard Buckeye fan I guess.  I am an OSU alum, but I find it hard to believe it is the BEST city in the country…….

Not much later, we were taken to our table which had a nice view of the restaurant and were greeted quickly by our server.  She shared the special pasta of the day and also some of her favorite items.  They have quite a few appetizers that are unique to the restaurant like deviled eggs, hanky panky’s, fried bacon and a cheese board to name a few.  We didn’t order an appetizer, but the bartenders had told us the hanky panky’s are good (I asked Kris, who has had them, and she disagreed.  She doesn’t like them and was really disappointed actually).  I decided I had to try the recommendation of the pork belly sandwich.  I don’t even know what pork belly is and never had it before, so I thought it’d be good to try; although I have to admit, I was a bit nervous!  It comes with an order of fries, or you can substitute a side salad or grippo’s fries for $2.  The server said the grippo’s fries are really good, so I decided to try those.  My husband ordered the pasta special of the day,  Kenzie ordered the reuben sandwich, and Kyle ordered a cup of chili and a Caesar salad.

The pork belly sandwich had pickled onions, fontina cheese, applewood bacon, and fried egg on it.  It was served on a fococcia-type bread that was nice and soft.  The sandwich was really messy, mostly from the fried egg.  The sandwich was really good, but the egg flavor took over some of the other ingredients.  I couldn’t really taste the pickled onions or the cheese.  The bacon had a nice smoky taste which added to the sandwich.  For my first time having roasted pork belly, I thought it was tasty.  Not too crispy or chewy.  Kenzie tried the sandwich and agreed it was very good!  The boys refused to try it! I think the word “belly” turned them off, if I had told them it was a pork tenderloin or something, they probably would have been game.  The grippo fries were delicious. The barbecue seasoning added a little zest without being overly strong.

The reuben looked really good.  It was a really big sandwich with plenty of toppings.  My friend said it was great!  I have had the reuben in the past, and thought it was a really good too.  I love reubens, and it is one of the better ones I’ve had!  She was overall pleased with her order.  The chili was just okay.  We all tasted it and agreed that it tasted like something we had before; Kyle initially thought Skyline because he tasted some cinnamon, but I thought it tasted more like Goldstar chili, so really, it was nothing special.  The Caesar salad was pretty typical but overdressed.  Kyle wished he would have gotten the dressing on the side.  Since he had the chili and salad, he wasn’t that impressed with his meal; he probably wished he would have ordered something different.   My husband had the pasta of the day and wasn’t that excited about his either.  It was a fettuccine with some sort of cream based sauce, but there wasn’t very much sauce on it.  It had sausage and parmesan in it, as well as sautéed kale.  My husband was confused about the kale, he thought it was kind of weird, chewy, and his response was “this doesn’t taste good at all” (as you can see, we are very technical with our reviews). 

We stayed around for a bit longer and had another drink.  The ambiance of the Rookwood is so interesting and unique.  The restaurant is basically wrapped around a big kiln in the middle, and you can even eat in there, which is pretty cool.  I unintentionally had my own tour of the restaurant trying to find the bathroom and realized I was just walking in a circle.

 We all loved the ambiance of the restaurant and thought the service was overall good too!  Even though 2 of the dishes were less than impressive, I would definitely go back to the Rookwood.  Depending on what you get, it can be a little pricey though.  Their sandwiches range from $12-$14 which isn’t too bad, but their entrées range from $23-$26 (menu).  From my experience, the sandwiches seem to be the best bet!


The Rookwood Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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