MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View
Unapologetically loud, laid-back, and lively, Roister is part of chef Grant Achatz's culinary campus, with Next and Aviary enjoying next-door status in these former warehouse spaces. Even the ambient design reminds one of its sibling restaurants, though the cooking here, courtesy of Chef Andrew Brochu, is far more rustic. The kitchen is boldly incorporated into the dining room and serves as its main focal point, adding to the synergy between front and back of house. Even service is a collaboration here. The best seats are along the counter, before the kitchen’s blazing hearth that gives off a sexy glow. As expected, the food is creative and modern, but it is also soulful in incorporating the wood fire. Start with snacks like smoked oysters before moving on to restorative favorites like hot and sour soup abundantly stocked with Napa cabbage and shiitake mushrooms, or the umissable hearth-baked lasagna. Share the duck with dirty rice and sausage. If you come at brunch, the chicken and waffles is hard to pass up. Slathered in honey butter and drizzled with whiskey syrup, the hot waffle is topped with a piece of crunchy boneless fried chicken for a salty yin to its sweet yang.