Dinner at Roost in Sparkill

I’m always hoping for a soulful dish to surprise me with a pop of brightness. At Roost in Sparkill, chef-owner Kevin Reilly never fails with either soulfulness or surprise. And his brillant balance of flavor, texture and pop works both ways. In his Blood Orange Braised Pork over Buttermilk Polenta, ceviche carrots play on the sweetness and mint brings contrast. In Spicy Lobster Spaghetti with Arugula and Gremolata, a nice jag of black pepper tampers the sweet lobster and brings out the best in the arugula.

It’s been a while since I’ve tasted his food; he left Cafe Barcel more than a year ago. I’m really happy he’s back.

The cocktail list might be the best in Rockland. Here is the Old Cuban:


We also tried the Gunpowder (Dorothy Parker Brooklyn Gin, Lime, Cane Sugar, Chipotle Powder) and the Hemingway Daiquiri (Rogue White Rum, Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Maraschino Liqueur):lj091213roost08 lj091213roost09

All well-balanced and tasty.

My dining companions:lj091213roost03

Carrots Braised in Sesame, Ginger and Maple Syrup:lj091213roost10

Fantastic flavor, beautiful color.

A half-dozen Wellfleet oysters:lj091213roost11


Serrano Ham, Charred Bread, Tomato Paste, Olive Oil, Parmesan:lj091213roost12


Good crusty bread, beautiful serrano, salty cheese. Yum.

Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios, Golden Raisins, Capers and Garlic:lj091213roost13

The surprise hit of the night. Crunch cauliflower, sweet raisins, briny capers. Crazy good.

The pork. So comforting, so good, but not over the top:lj091213roost14

The lobster. So well balanced and fresh.lj091213roost15

The burger with gruyere:lj091213roost16


Kelli said it was the best burger she’d ever had. It has a wonderful crispy crust and the inside was light and airy. So much flavor.

Grilled Montauk Swordfish with fennel, corn, and oven dried tomatoes. lj091213roost17

Beatuiful fish. Lovely sauce. Only one complaint. I didn’t need the asparagus. The fennel would have been plenty.


The renovations at the old Woody’s are remarkable:lj091213roost19 lj091213roost20

The girls, having fun:lj091213roost21 lj091213roost22

Dessert. Fresh blueberry pie. lj091213roost23

From the Pie Lady with an out-of-control crust.

Buñuelos — little doughnuts — with dipping sauces:


Sweet and fried. What’s better than that?



At Roost in Sparkill, a great meal all around. We’ll be back soon.

The 411 on Roost: At chef-owner Kevin Reilly’s new restaurant in the former Woody’s on Main, you’ll find a soulful menu with lusty flavors and lots of surprises, and one of the best cocktail lists in Rockland.

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