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EAT, DRINK & PLAY   -   THE DISH
Dee-lish! - The Roast House
Turns Up the Heat with a Cool Seafood Menu
September, 2006 - Issue #23
Seafood Sampler
Seafood Sampler
Looking for a great seafood restaurant? Look no further than your own backyard. Mike Beurer runs the family-owned Roast House on Bouquet Canyon. Recently he rolled out an extensive new seafood menu relying on the culinary expertise of Florida transplant (and brother-in-law) Chef Erik McBeth. While still serving the restaurant's signature Prime Rib, Mcbeth also turns out innovative fresh fish and shellfish dishes every night of the week. These delicacies deserve to be tasted - and savored.

After deciding whether to have the friendly staff seat you in either the spacious outdoor patio or the modern dining room filled with blond wood, black-accented furniture and brushed copper inlay, the next pleasurable task of the evening is to choose drinks and appetizers. Perhaps a Copa Cabana ($7.50)? The Roast House's version of a Cosmopolitan, this cocktail has all the nostalgia - and flavor - of that favorite kid drink, Kool-Aid. Only it packs more of a punch.

While sipping drinks and perusing the menu, a bread basket paired with both tapenade and whipped garlic butter flecked with basil arrives. As for appetizers, the Tuna Tartar ($10.25) is a delicious starter. Shrimp crackers are topped with chopped fresh ahi tuna, a spicy Asian hot sauce called "sriracha" and colorful red salmon eggs. Biting into these delectable morsels provides a terrific contrast of textures and flavors.

Another tempting first course, Carol & Louise's Crabby Patties ($9.95) have panko-crusted lump crab shown off to its best advantage with a honey-mustard horseradish sauce. Or, share the Honey Roasted Shrimp ($10.25). The bacon wrapped around sweet, plump jumbo shrimp lends a delicious smoky flavor.

The Roast House is located at 26532 Bouquet Canyon Road in Santa Clarita and can be reached at 296-3866. The kitchen is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Visit www.roasthousescv.com for special events.
As for main courses, no seafood menu would be complete without lobster and crab. And the Roast House certainly delivers with live Maine lobster and Alaskan King Crab Legs (both market price) that are, indeed, succulent. But adventurous diners should try one of Chef Mcbeth's more creative offerings, like Pesto Crusted Scallops ($20.95). Pan-seared scallops are cooked until just opaque, then topped with pesto and served with a zesty red pepper sauce called a "coulis." For a dish with more kick, order the Tuna Aztec ($19.95), a piece of seared ahi tuna covered with a dried spice rub consisting of cumin, garlic and chili powder (just to name a few) that lend an unmatched boldness of flavors. Another inventive preparation is the buttery-textured Seabass (market price) that comes from the kitchen seared to moist perfection and served with a rich-tasting ginger-soy sauce and sauteed shiitake mushrooms.

Every night, the chef also turns out a special not listed on the menu. On this evening, mild-tasting halibut was coated with Japanese breadcrumbs and sesame seeds. It was accompanied by a delicately-flavored ginger and lime butter sauce called a "beurre blanc." As with everything else sampled this evening, the halibut was perfectly cooked; crispy on the outside, delicate yet firm on the inside. All entrees come with your choice of french fries; scalloped potatoes that have been baked with chives, parmesan and cheddar cheeses; or bistro rice, a combination of white and brown rice that has been seasoned with garlic and jerk seasonings.

While it may be difficult, diners really should save room for one of the home-baked desserts. Roast House's must-have Creme Brulee ($5.95) is a rich custard made with heavy cream, egg yolks, milk and Grand Marnier. The top of this specialty is covered with sugar and caramelized to form a crisp and brittle coating for the smooth and creamy custard beneath. Also not to be missed is the Rum Bread Pudding ($5.95.). Four types of rum are used to soak the French bread. That, along with sweet flakes of coconut, give a tropical island twist to an otherwise traditional ending. A Double-Layer Chocolate Brownie ($6.95) with chocolate sauce and ice cream is the ultimate comfort food for chocolate lovers. If you'd prefer to finish with an after-dinner drink instead, the Chocolatini ($7.50), a decadent libation of vanilla vodka swirled with Godiva liqueur and cream, is the perfect choice.

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Jordana Ruhland, a SCV resident, worked for "Bon Appetit" for six years. As an assistant editor, Jordana created menus both for the magazine and website, edited and styled recipes for various columns and created and edited content for the cookbook line.
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