Blow the roof off
There’s a new place in town, right at the corner of North Main and Mount Diablo. We’ve talked about the Spanish place Teleferico on the second floor, and last night Gail and I went with BJ and Larry to Rooftop, the new hip joint on the third level.
Rooftop is beautiful, with a retractable roof so you can enjoy the beautiful warm evenings while they last. Lots of windows, umbrella shaded tables on the balcony, gorgeous diffused lights on the tables, Rooftop is one of the nicest looking restaurants I’ve ever been in.
The bad news is that it is LOUD. Real loud. Jet engine in your ear loud. Rap concert loud. Brick walls, concrete floors, metal chairs, big sound system, my God I’m going deaf loud. We were the oldest people there, and I don’t think we are the target demographic.
Let’s talk about the food. Larry and I had been at a lecture; when we got there BJ and Gail had ordered appetizers.
The olives were excellent and the trout rillette (a dip made with trout, creme fraiche and dill) was wonderful. As usual, the accompanying “crostini” was just yesterday’s bread toasted until it was hard and tasteless. Ritz crackers would have been much better, but the dip was first rate.
The menu lists a blue cheese vinaigrette, but that thick creamy stuff sure isn’t it. Maybe not bad, but decidedly not what’s on the menu.
I chose the ahi tuna tartare as an entree, although it is considered a first course. The portion was quite sufficient, and the presentation delightful.
Gail had the lamb meatballs, which is really an appetizer but the portions here are plentiful:
Just as an artist chooses a palette of complementary colors before beginning a painting, a chef decides on a flavor profile for the restaurant, so that the dishes will fit together and the overall menu will flow smoothly. Unfortunately, it seems to me that the operating principle of the Rooftop flavor profile is ‘bland’.
Tuna tartare normally has a zing or a kick. but mine didn’t. It purportedly has ginger and spicy sambal, but their flavor does not shine through. Gail’s meatballs were good, but not great. Larry had a lamb chop that also fit in with the ‘bland’ genre. There isn’t anything wrong with the food, it just needs more punch.
We had a couple of the side dishes, and enjoyed them both.
I never pass up the fried brussels sprouts.
The portions are very good, and the prices are more than reasonable. Service was pretty good, too.
Overall, I think I like Rooftop, but it’s just too damn loud for me. I don’t like having to shout to be heard. The facility is simply beautiful, the food is decent if a bit on the dull side, prices and portions are quite favorable. If they do something about the noise level Rooftop will be a winner.