By Dane Feldman
Photos by Dane Feldman.
Roosterspin, located on North Ave W in Westfield, New Jersey, is a brand new wine bar and restaurant. Its owner previously headed Mono + Mono in Manhattan’s East Village, but due to a fire the New York restaurant has closed its doors. Meanwhile, Roosterspin has been open for less than six months and already the spot is making waves. After reading about it in my local paper a few weeks ago, I immediately made plans to try it out.
Roosterspin’s focus is on Korean cuisine, namely fried chicken. I dined here with my parents and we ordered 12 soy garlic wings, which were truly some of the best chicken wings I have ever tasted. The wings themselves are massive in size; they are meaty and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Roosterspin deep fries the chicken twice, a process used to burn off excess fat, which also makes the skin “papery thin” leading to that perfect outside crispness.
We also ordered the tuna tartare (chopped fresh tuna tartare with sprouts, shredded radish, and spicy sauce), the seafood jeon (cakes made with chopped shrimp and calamari), the spicy seafood salad (shrimp and calamari cocktail with masago, pea shoots, and spicy gochujjang and vinegar dressing), and the seafood yaki udon (stir-fried udon with shrimp, calamari, and scallops in hot pepper sauce). Everything was absolutely delicious. The flavor pairings were near perfect and the servings were generous in size, except for the fact that the udon could have used just a bit more seafood mixed in with the noodles.
While Roosterspin claims it’s a wine bar, there is currently no wine on offer. For now, the restaurant is a BYO establishment, but they have hopes of soon offering wine and perhaps beer as well.
Roosterspin’s wait staff is extremely friendly and attentive. The table where my group was originally seated was rather small and uncomfortable, but our waiter immediately helped us switch tables.
Normally, I wouldn’t request to switch tables, but as great as the food and service are at Roosterspin, some of the seating isn’t terribly comfortable. The place is open and industrial, but still inviting as the exposed brick and wood walls are filled with jazz records.
Truthfully, after tasting the food, I would have been just as happy eating on the floor. The restaurant would benefit from offering more comfortable seating options, but the food and service are both so good I’ll be back no matter what.