Ruling the Roost
Since its grand opening almost two years ago, Roost Modern Italian has been able to attract a steady flow of patrons making it one of the most desirable dining destinations in Dayton.
After seeing what was missing in the area, business partners Dana Downs and Beth Hirschbach decided Dayton needed a modern spin on Italian cuisine. They like to add flair to their dishes like Shrimp & ‘Grits’ Italian Style ($17), but Downs and Hirschbach retained some family favorites, such as Spaghetti e Polpette ($15) and Grilled Lamb Chops ($32).
“But we are known for our scallops. It’s an easy dish to screw up, we do them right,” says Downs, who is also the executive chef at Roost. So, depending on your palate, there are three different scallop dishes on the menu to choose from.
Downs and Hirschbach built Roost Modern Italian with their own hands, and it’s also constantly changing. They just put in new soundboard panels that double as decorative art. Their intent is to keep the look of the restaurant fresh, along with the menu. Downs gets creative and changes things up adding new and eclectic dishes using seasonal and local ingredients when she can from Homefull’s urban garden.
Downs also relies on her chefs to use their creativity to produce new dishes that have never been seen before. She refers to their unique style as “food artistry” because they focus on the center of the plate and work their way out. Not only do the dishes taste delicious, but they look it too.
They have quite an extensive selection of beverages, but they pride themselves on their wines. “What goes better with a dish of Lasagna Verde than the finest glass of Merlot or Chardonnay,” says Downs. With only eight inside tables and eight patio tables, the cozy and warm atmosphere makes for a comfortable dining experience. But make sure to call ahead to secure your spot at the Roost.
When You Go
Roost Modern Italian
524 E. 5th St., Dayton
Open for dinner only Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations recommended.