One of the newer restaurants in the Edmonton scene, Rostizado is owned and managed by the same people that opened Tres Carnales.
I feel that it’s important to mention this, as I’ve had generally positive experiences at Tres Carnales. The food, service and ambiance are on-point, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything that it isn’t.
So what happens when experienced restaurateurs attempt to move up-market?
Well, apparently things work out pretty well.
For the sake of my blood pressure, we’ll ignore the incredibly presumptuous Rostizado reservation app in this review.
Just know that it’s possibly the stupidest thing I have ever encountered.
Besides that, if you show up during non-rush hours (avoid Friday/Saturdays from 7-9), you’re seated immediately.
The staff are very knowledgeable, and you get a sense of professionalism through all of your interactions. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but it’s definitely there. I’d like to say it’s one of those things that you only notice when it’s missing. A fine balance was struck in the sense that the staff were constantly catering to us, but at the same time, they were never intrusive. Water was refilled without us noticing and our waitress was available for questions/tortilla refills without us ever really noticing. Combined with the general ambiance and hands-on food, the restaurant proves to be an excellent catalyst for conversation and you can’t help but feel comfortable.
Rostizado has the same open-concept, exposed kitchen, wooden rafters and black furniture look as literally every other ‘trendy’ restaurant in North America. As you would expect, the restaurant is also dim as fuck.
I guess this is good, I’ve read studies about how restricting your other senses allocates more brain-power to the ones that aren’t handicapped. You should technically have a slightly sharper palate with the dim lighting, but somehow I don’t think that was their intent.
We ordered the ‘platter of 2’, which ended up being half of a rotisserie chicken and some barbequed pork. The platter came with three sauces, a stack of tortillas and various other garnishes. You would expect the rotisserie roasted meats to be juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, but they were a little disappointing in that aspect. The pork wasn’t bad at all (higher fat content), but the chicken seemed to have been cooked a bit too long.
This didn’t detract much from the meal, and the seasoning of the meat was spot on. As strange as it may seem, the sauces and tortillas shone much brighter than the meats. The tortillas are the same used at Tres Carnales, and have the same substantial, slightly al dente mouthfeel.
Three sauces were served with the platter. A spicy pumpkin based sauce, tomatillo salsa verde, and another green salsa-like sauce that I promptly forgot the name of. The pumpkin sauce was superb and had just enough heat to be noticeable, while the salsa verde was fragrant and fresh.
Having to carve your own bird got stale after the first few cuts, but if things are getting really dull at the dinner table, then I guess it gives you something to do?
Oh, and the platter included potatoes as well. Lightly seasoned, dried-yet-not-really-crispy skin. The insides were perfectly tender so we can’t really complain. The tiny cast iron skillet they were served in made the platter a bit prettier, but the spuds didn’t add much in terms of taste. To be honest, just give us more tortillas and forget the potatoes.
- Attentive yet non-intrusive service
- The food (honest)
- Tastefully decorated restaurant
- Mellow atmosphere
- The platter was $65, which is fairly pricey for what you get
- Transparent hipster glasses, scraggly beards and gauges look out of place on a serious restaurateur (I’m shallow, sue me)
I was sceptical at first when Rostizado opened, but I’m happy to report that I had a generally pleasant dining experience. True to the spirit of Tres Carnales, the food was fresh, uncomplicated, and uniquely Mexican.