People want different things out of restaurants. For much of the time I want a little place where I can get something to eat which will fill me without fattening me further, and do so at a price I can afford somewhat more often than once in a blue moon. And I want that restaurant to be conveniently located.
Rosto, on 69 Seventh Street, Linden, ticks all those boxes for me. Weekday parking at lunch time during school term is a little bit of a hassle because there is a school directly opposite, but otherwise it is in a place I visit regularly.
Their tagline is “We make chicken fly” and wood-fire roasted, free range chicken is their main signature dish. R129 gets one a large (1kg and over) take-away chicken, cooked to just underdone so that it doesn’t dry out when you heat it at home. Or you can ask for one that is ready to eat (I eat cold chicken at home) from the eat in menu (R149). The chicken comes in three different flavours. Lightly seasoned (Mediterranean herbs), herb crusted (Mountain herbs, parmigaino reggiano) and mild chilli (Sundried Tomato, garlic and Peperoncino). My terms are followed by theirs in brackets. The flavourings are subtle. Very subtle.
Their traditional focaccia is a yeasted flatbread, thick, chewy and satisfying. It is made with yeast from a bakery in Tuscany. Seriously delicious and if bread triggers a binge for you, it is probably a good idea to stay away from this. It also comes in three flavours, plus the plain sea salt one. I fancy the red pepper and pancetta, although the rosemary and garlic one is also delicious.
If you like coleslaw, theirs is really, really nice -flavourful and crunchy.
Their pastas also come in three varieties – lasagne with ragu, Parmigiano di Melanzane and spinach and cheese cannelloni (the latter is very, very good – I took one home).
Now I am going back to get an oven roasted chicken for my New Year Day dinner, but I what I will be going back for to eat in house is their arancini, particularly the spinach, ham and provolone one. These are crispy, carbohydrate delicacies with molten centres of creamy yumminess. They are definitely not on my “eat regularly” food plan, but once or twice in a while they shouldn’t hurt.
The desserts were wonderful, but are DEFINITELY off my eating plan – and if you filled up on the focaccia there won’t be room for them. Coffee is by Illy. Good coffee.
The vibe is trendy, light and casual. The front of house manager is Alex Greenleaf and the chef is Ryan Potter.
At the moment they are unlicensed, so for the time being you can take you own booze. Just phone first because they are expecting their licence to be granted any day now. (011 888 0369). UPDATE: They now have their liquor licence.
I really am positively impressed with this little place.