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“Chef's night off or loosing its flair?” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt
Ranked #24 of 1,594 Restaurants in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Chef's night off or loosing its flair?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

This was our third visit to the Roosevelt after two very good previous dining experiences. It is a good neighborhood place in a revitalized area of old Richmond that offers an artful southern menu cooked by their co-owner chef. We had not been for some months but decided to revisit for a birthday treat. It was Monday and we figured that it might not be so crowded but, knowing how hard it can be to get a table, we still made a reservation a week in advance.

Unfortunately, it was not a good as we had expected. We suspected that it might because the chef-owner was taking Monday off, but the problem is that one bad experience tends to leave a bad taste (literally!) that makes a guest wonder if it is just that, or whether the place has lost its flair.

The cocktails were fine, as on previous occasions. We shared the fried green tomato and chicken liver mousse snacks. My wife had the beet salad appetizer followed by braised pork cheeks. I saw mussels in tomato curry sauce at another table and chose it for my appetizer followed by scallops on loaded grits.

The tomatoes were fine. The mousse was a soggy mush spread on cold toast. The salad was excellent. The mussel serving was generous with a hint of spice but they were almost cold when they arrived, suggesting they had been standing on a counter-top, in a soup-bowl that was cold to the touch. The waitress was puzzled and apologetic, offering dessert "on her" in compensation.

Unfortunately, the entrees did not redeem the evening. Both were dominated by the taste of salt to the point where there was no hint of the real ingredients and we were salivating sodium on the drive home. It really did seem as if the person who cooked had not tasted his own creation. It was a shame because the scallops were obviously intended to be different and the idea of loading the grits with crawfish as excellent, but the sea-water flavored sauce just killed it.

It was a sad evening and maybe it wasn't typical given many excellent reviews. But one really bad, pricey night out makes a return unlikely even if previous visits had been more positive.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank LJEUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    92
    43
    17
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Prince George, Virginia
Level Contributor
114 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Quite a gem! Imaginative bar concoctions, great food and excellent service! I will return! Oh yeah-make a reservationo”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013

After a friend at work raved about the Roosevelt, I wanted to go! We went with two good friends and had a really lovely time! Yes, it is a small place. We lucked out that they had good seats available, but next time we will call and make reservations!

The drinks from the bar are really inventive! I had the Kitchen Sink, which was tasty, and a Southern Gin Fizz. The best drink of the evening was my husbands! He ordered the Moscow Mule which is refreshing.

We tried some of the specials. One special that I ordered and loved was bluefish over crab and grits. It had watermelon and jalapeno slices on it which made for a great taste combination. My friend ordered the crab cakes which were divine! My husband ordered a burger - he is a burger fanatic and this one passed muster with him. Our other friend ordered steak which was really delicious!

I read some of the other reviews and was surprised to find people disappointed with the service. We really enjoyed chatting with our server and several of the other people working at the restaurant. Everyone was friendly and enjoyed talking about the drinks and the food.

All in all I really like this restaurant! If our return experience is like our first, I will be a happy camper!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Kimkokomo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Overrated restaurant”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013

Four of us ate at the Roosevelt last night. Reservations are a must! We were greeted sullenly by the hostess, who remained that way all night. Our waitress was pleasant but not overly attentive. Among us we had the fried oyster slider (roll too large and somewhat dry but tasty enough), the crabcake sandwich (good) and fried green tomatoes (tasty but only two slices of tomato). My entree was the blackened blue fish over shrimp and grits with a mighty hot watermelon relish for $18. Any vegetable was an extra $4 or more. No bread served with any meal. The blue fish was good but was a very small slice for the price. They do not have tartar or cocktail sauce. Only remoulade.This dish was not really worth the money. Another guest had the mussels. She did not exclaim. The other two had the seared scallops with garlicky sweet potatoes. Odd combination but tasty. The portions are very small in my opinion. The Shandy was a special drink of the night and reminded me of a Blue Moon. It was beer with some grapefruit splashed in. Two desserts were ordered: the coconut cake (very good) and peanut butter pie (nobody like that).

I personally would not run back to eat here with all the other restaurants in town. The chairs were hard and it was very noisy. Maybe it's just a local's thing. However, I'm glad I tried it. You never know till you do.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank tippysu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
158 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Real pros and a couple of cons”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

This is a small and charming place in Church Hill. It has a southern twist to the menu-and derived from history, a little known fact. However, here are the pros-a great and eclectic mixology from the bar. Dinner was good, really good- we had the pimento cheese and chips and Southern Poutine appetizers -both excellent, but heavy, best to share. Dinner was nicely presented and tasty. Their brunch, with a more limited selection, was also good. We especially enjoyed the steak and slow cooked egg. Also ordered in our group the sausage and gravy, pancakes, and sausage corn dogs-all tasty. Agree with one reviewer that on one visit the food was inordinately salty.
Here are the cons-and I hate doing this.....the service can be hit or miss, it is either spot-on, or surly. It can get a bit too noisy. But here is almost a deal-breaker for me, the silverware has not been clean twice, one of the wine glasses dirty, and a heavily stained napkin, each on separate visits. Now, in each instance the issue was quickly addressed, but attention to this detail is paramount. Don't wrap dirty silverware in a stained napkin, look before you pour wine.
So back to the nice things-the food is good, and overall the experience has been nice.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Derek M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level Contributor
106 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great - but have an open mind”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2013 via mobile

From someone that likes to eat - and eat well - this place is fun, exciting, and has some great ambiance! But for the traditionalist meat and potato kind of guy or gal - you might want to pass! For example -

Very eclectic menu! Very loud dining area! Very Church Hill! Very rustic seating (see some other reviews).

I personally love the above, spouse - not so much - LOL. And the theatre seats next to the fireplace were very comfortable.

Oh - and they have a great bar and a great mixologis!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank IrvingtonVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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