What if a restaurant had Next’s attention to detail and Girl and the Goat’s party vibe? That’s what Roister, the Alinea Group’s casual hearth of a restaurant, shoots for. And it almost makes it. Chef Andrew Brochu’s gratifying options such as buttered pipe pasta and clams with green chili ragoût and assorted limes belie the creativity underpinning everything. Desserts and drinks include ingenious foie gras candy bars and the kind of mind-bending cocktails that make the Aviary fly so high two doors down. A 10-course ($85 to $95) kitchen counter prix fixe experience is less satisfying, unless you like a heap of chef stress seasoning your meal. Stick to à la carte in the energetic dining room, which delivers what Roister intends: pure fun.
Dishes We Liked
(All dishes are part of a tasting menu; cocktails are à la carte.) Kimchi napa cabbage with fire-roasted pineapple; aged cheddar rillettes with truffles, cauliflower, and fry bread; oysters with smoked seaweed, preserved galangal, and horseradish; buttered pipe pasta and clams with green chili ragout and assorted limes; A5 Japanese wagyu beef with togarashi spices and sea urchin butter; foie gras candy bar with black walnuts, pretzels, and marshmallows; Resurrected Panda cocktail ($12)