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Roman’s is not as good as you want it to be. That’s the only way to put it.
This Fort Greene restaurant has some impressive credentials (it’s owned by the duo behind Marlow & Sons and Diner), but the food doesn’t impress much at all. What we can’t figure out is how a place like this can look so good on paper and yet come up so short in reality. The menu is a daily changing offering of things that are in season and grown locally, and everything reads like it’s going to be incredible. We got all excited about enticing pasta dishes, pumpkin salads and hefty steaks. But nothing we had tasted as good as the menu lead us to believe it might be. One of our pastas was just about on par with the one your roommate made last week for her kickball league potluck. We were hoping for something a bit more refined than that.
The good news is that a short walk from here will take you to No. 7, a neighborhood favorite with adventurous food that over-delivers across the board: drinks, food, service…all of it. Maybe Roman’s just needs to worry less about changing the menu so much, and more about finding a few things they can consistently do well. In the meantime, you can find us pounding drinks and eating crazy sh*t down the street.
Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger/Eater
Burrata with Grilled Pears
We’re always down with some burrata, and this was a good plate of food. But it was most successful when all components were combined into one bite. The cheese, the pears, and the garlic rubbed toast are all just OK on their own, but when eaten together, became highly tasty. Not a very composed plate of food, but who cares, it’s cheese.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad
This one sounded so good on paper – acorn squash and pancetta with a little frisée for good measure. Unfortunately, it was a big bummer. The squash was perfect, but the plate was littered with huge pancetta nuggets that were so salty that I was talking with a lisp for the rest of the evening. Give me some suitably salty bits of bacon and we’re cool, but no thanks on this one until then.
I’m sorry, but I can’t take anyone seriously that tries to use the real Italian pronunciation of bruschette or bruschetta or any other version of that word. Our waitress at Roman’s made sure to correct our vowel placement when ordering, even though she was very obviously born in Canada. Thanks. This is garlic rubbed, toasted bread. They will give it to you with any dish that needs it, so don’t bother ordering it on the side.
Rigatoni with Tomato Sauce and Ricotta
We were excited to get into some pastas at Roman’s. Unfortunately, the pastas did not impress. This one was basically a boxed dry rigatoni that was cooked poorly, and tossed with ricotta and a light tomato sauce. You could probably make it yourself, and better.
This pasta was a rabbit filled tortellini in a rabbit and chicken broth. It tasted like fancy chicken noodle soup. You take it from there.