Despite our best efforts, Roost remains one of Portland's most unusually under-occupied restaurants.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with strolling in and being invited to sit wherever I want. I have even less of a problem leaving with a belly full of simple, hearty food, prepared by chef Megan Henzel with just enough flourish to feel fancy, and a wallet plump enough to catch a movie or beer after.

Roost skimps on neither the portion size nor the quality: $10 got us nine (!) unctuous pieces of smoked trout served on thick homemade potato chips with horseradish and red onion.

The $15 burger was a marvelous blast of charred beef, anchovy butter, horseradish, and served with a tasteful pile of delicately crisped onion rings. Don't be afraid to split a dessert. The piece of s'mores ice cream pie was easily enough for two, probably three, people.

If you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy a weeknight dinner then, well, you found it.

Photo: Hilary Sander
Photo: Hilary Sander

Pro tip: Roost has one of the most affordable drinks list I've seen Portland. Enjoy bombers of Laurelwood's Workhouse IPA for $6.50 or a cocktail from their tastefully curated list at $8.50 across the board—I recommend the Royal Roost.

GO: 1403 SE Belmont St., 971-544-7136, 5:30-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 5:30-9 pm Sunday. Brunch 10 am-2 pm Saturday-Sunday. $$.