Prior to opening the restaurant, located at 524 E. Fifth Street, Downs had a booth at 2nd Street Market called Black Rooster Pasta Bar. Her desire to pursue fine dining grew after encouragement from a friend who owned the building where the restaurant is located today.
“I took that as a challenge and here we are today,” Downs said. “He (Tom Tornatore) helped make a dream come true.”
Every year when Downs looks back at the growth of the restaurant, she remembers how scared she was to start Roost.
“I always laugh because I literally remember crying in my paint as I painted the walls,” Downs said. “I cannot make this up. It’s very true, but worth every tear drop.”
Downs added without her employees none of this would have been possible.
“They work very hard and I cannot express my gratitude to them,” she said.
When asked what she would like to say to her longtime and returning customers, Downs said, “I cannot express the love and gratitude in my heart for all of you. You have made my culinary career so very special. I cannot thank you enough.”
Roost Modern Italian is not your typical red sauce Italian restaurant, Downs explained. The restaurant focuses on fresh fish and seafood, fresh pasta, steaks and chops and has a wine list with some of the best wines on the market. If you have never been to the restaurant, Downs recommends the Filet Mignon.
For more information about Roost Modern Italian, visit www.roostitalian.com or the restaurant’s Facebook or Instagram pages. The restaurant will share its throwback menu items on social media throughout the week.