Maybe you haven’t noticed the orange cones, jack hammering, and construction equipment that has graced the exterior and interior of the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati since this past December, but the place is almost finished with their complete overhaul. Although the main focus of the $20 million renovation was the rooms, lobby, and meeting space…it’s the new restaurant, Red Roost Tavern, and the adjacent market place that calls for the most attention.
On a recent date, a few local bloggers were invited to a sampling of what Executive Chef Bernard Foster and Sous Chef Karol Osinski, F&B Director Chad Shobbrook, and the entire Hyatt Regency Cincinnati Food and Beverage team have created inside the newest restaurant to downtown Cincinnati.
The Hyatt philosophy of, “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served” is noticeably the driving force behind Red Roost Tavern (RTR). The restaurant’s main focus is on the ever so trendy farm-to-table movement, using locally sourced and organic ingredients when possible and striving to bring delicious food to the table and introduce you to local products and Cincinnati’s sweet hospitality.
Let’s be honest friends, we all know that it’s a restaurant after my own heart.
First impressions of the restaurant might take you aback. On first glance, I had an inkling sense that RTR would be somewhat hipster, but after taking a few more steps you start noticing the stylish decor, beautiful woodwork, and cozy atmosphere. It’s like you’re walking into a rustic fine dining restaurant without the stuffy atmosphere or high prices.The ambiance was mellow and comfortable, but the background music was a touch loud.
We were all welcomed with a refreshing white wine Sangria and a quick, but educational restaurant tour led by the Director of Sales Tracie Person and the Director of Catering Kelly Henderson.
Once seated in the semi-private dining room we munched on a few soft dough pretzels while glasses of beer were poured and our first course, a crab cake, was sat in front of us. The lightly breaded crab cake delicately sat upon an almost Asian inspired slaw (was that sesame I tasted?) and a not-too-spicy honey chili mayo. Crab cakes might be a standard hotel menu staple, but what made it stand out from others was the light hand of lemon in the cake that brought the entire dish together.
Our second course, the sweet corn soup might seem simple, but it hides a surprising twist…it’s vegan and guys, it’s spectacular. The creamy, depth of flavor you’ve reached is good enough for me, but the dollop of smoked tomato jam adds a deep contrasting flavor that counteracts the natural sweetness of the corn. The Mt. Caramel Nut Brown Ale paired with the soup added an additional sweetness to the soup, in a sense maybe a bit overwhelmingly sweet, so I opted to finish my glass between courses and life was great.
Third we met eyes with the wholesome, nutty, and flavorful Quinoa salad. Part quinoa, part herb vinaigrette, and part walnut, the salad is welcome as a more offbeat and “trendy” first course option. The salad itself is delicately topped with arugula, tomatoes, and slivers of fork tender vegetables (maybe wavering a touch over too oblong).
The “Fish and Chips” graced our table next. This take on the classic British novelty featured pan roasted Halibut, Elephant garlic chips, a malt vinegar reduction, succotash, roasted cauliflower, and raisins. The halibut had a nice crisp top that protected the flaky innards and the accompanying components made the dish stand out in my mind. Although I’d like a little more malt vinegar reduction around my plate, I’d still say that the “Fish and Chips” was my favorite dish of the night.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to eat the following course, the slow-roasted Berkshire pork tenderloin with a port cherry reduction, roasted mushrooms, and new potatoes, but Bob sure enjoyed his plate enough to graciously take my serving off my hands for me.
Last, but not least…dessert. The organic Corn Ice Cream with kettle corn and salted caramel sauce is one of the many menu items that proves that Red Roost Tavern is following through on their commitment to the local scene…why, because it was hand crafted from the Findlay Market shop Madisono’s. The ice cream itself and the salted caramel sauce were great, but the slightly crunchy kettle corn seems almost like an afterthought. I almost wish that it had been represented in a different way (maybe a kettle corn brittle). If you’re looking for an absolutely outstanding dessert though, might I recommend diving into the Cherry tart with goat cheese strussel and vanilla ice cream….it’s so good that you might try to eat your plate.
Dinner itself was very satisfying and I’m sure we’re going to start seeing Red Roost Tavern represented at some of the larger food and locally focused events around the city.
The service at RTR was attentive, but not overbearing and the pace of our courses was just right. Most noticeably, the best part of the service was the collaboration and team work happening between the managers, kitchen, and the staff…the companionship is highly noticeable and very welcome.
Red Roost Tavern is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also features a stellar bar (personally, the second best hotel bar in the city) with local brews and unique mixed drinks and a private dining area for larger, intimate parties.
Disclaimer: I am an employee of the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, however all views expressed in this post are my own and not those of the Hyatt Corporation or the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. Although I was compensated for this meal I would return in a heartbeat to devour more delicious food from the kitchen and pay for every single ounce of it. Seriously… I’d like more soup please.