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Oct 15, 2011 08:58 AM

Somewhat Frustrating Dinner at Roast (Detroit)

I've been reading the board for a while and know that folks have mixed feelings about Roast and Michael Symon restaurants. I've been to Roast before for Restaurant Week and a number of events that involved their appetizers - everything was always good.

Had a frustrating experience this week, though. Went for dinner with my husband. Charcuterie good (though micro portions - better value at Toasted Oak), rosemary fries great, brussels sprouts great, his steak great - my ribeye, however, had a good 1/8 - 1/4 inch of charcoal on one side. As in, burned to a crisp/mouthful of ashes. I could have hacked it all off, but after 2 bites 1) my mouth tasted like charcoal and ash and 2) why would I trim a $30+ steak to be edible?

We had a very attentive, helpful waiter who quickly brought me something else (roast beast, which was both cheaper and very tasty) so I have no complaints with the service - but seriously, at that price point how does the kitchen send out something medium-plus on one side and charred black midway through the other? No kitchen should send out burned to charcoal food....

I may go back, it would be more likely for a drinks and appetizers thing than a full dinner at this point. And I'll bring a small flashlight to inspect for extreme burning....

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  1. Boy, thankfully they were able to replace it with something good on an apparently rapid basis.

    1 Reply
    1. re: VTB

      I really couldn't believe it - we're at a popular, usually good, not cheap place and THIS is how my steak came out? Are you kidding me? They offered another take on the ribeye but I didn't feel like waiting for it (and was turned off at that point anyway).

    2. I went to Raost and I really thought it was a waste of money. I won't be back. The food was just okay.

      1. This isn't the only high-end place that tries things like this, just so you know. Cafe Via in Birmingham sent me out a clearly overdone $42 ribeye (I think that was the price seems to have gone up to $45 since then), and it took them *two more times* to get the stupid thing right. Like you, it wasn't my server's fault: I'm pretty darned sure that the second trip was the kitchen being snarky twits and purposely undercooking the thing. It was basically raw on the second trip. Really: is Medium that hard to achieve for a $40+ piece of beef?

        Still, I fully admit that even though it wasn't the server's fault, I haven't been back since. I just don't want to give them my money.

        Cafe Via
        310 E Maple Rd, Birmingham, MI 48009

        4 Replies
        1. re: boagman

          Agreed on all counts.

          AND I got charcuterie carryout from Toasted Oak the other day (terrine and ham - I had a meeting there and was heading home for a late dinner). Delish and larger than microscopic portions, so they'll be getting my charcuterie money in the future.

          1721 Town Center St Ste 104, Aurora, IL 60504

          1. re: HillsofBeverly

            When we ate lunch at TO, JanPrimus had their charcuterie plate and was pleased as punch, IIRC. I'd go back.

            1. re: boagman

              I've eaten at TO 2-3 times and done carryout of charcuterie twice. I did not like my first entree - steak in an oily adobo sauce, but everything else has been good and my dislike was tastebud based only and not due to poor execution. I'll keep going back periodically as finances and cholesterol level permits.

              1. re: HillsofBeverly

                It helps to know what your getting into at Toasted Oak. Some days you can piece meal your Charcuterie plate and others it is determined for you. I always ask if I can customize mine and so far they have been saying yes. I usually avoid the Pate's, Rilettes and other emulsified charcuterie. I much rather take on Lardo, Coppa, Newsom's Country Ham or Prosciutto.

                My Roast experience has been mixed so far....I do know that of you say something they will make it right though, but we know at these cost it should be right the first time. You can ask for Frank Ritz or Chef Andy and they will take care of you. Expediting has been the weakness of Roast so far on most of the issues I have had.

        2. Glad they fixed it, once you brought it to their attention. But it ought not ever have been
          delivered to the table. Seems like at least three staffers failed that night.

          FWIW; I ordered a burger at the Basement Burger Bar a few weeks ago (thank you Groupon)
          to be cooked "medium or a bit less." The waitress caught it before bringing it to the table.
          She appeared, explained (that it was beyond well done) and apologized ... then offered a free
          round of drinks, or to comp the appetizer. I was astonished ... and tip'd her quite well for
          looking out for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rainsux

            And how was the burger once it came, RS? Donna and I have been thinking about trying this place, as it's basically right next to the Farmington Civic Theater, our go-to place for seeing a second-run movie that we've got our eyes on. Seeing True Grit there was great! A burger beforehand or afterwards might have been even better.

            What say you, sir?