Centerville’s Twisted Root a not-so-hidden gem
By Brian P. Sharp
Photo: The Cajun shrimp fettuccine with sweet peppers, red onion, plum tomatoes and cream sauce at Twisted Root in Centerville
I do love to try new places, and while this is not terribly new, it was truly a delightful experience. I went with two friends to Twisted Root – a restaurant that sits just south of State Route 725 on State Route 48. The only negative of the evening was that there was no host at the host stand and we had to seek someone out to be acknowledged and seated. After that, it was all uphill!
We were greeted by Shaneise and offered drinks. The appetizer options on the menu were certainly getting my attention. Drinks were served and we asked about the soup of the day – creamy cauliflower with Serrano ham and manchengo cheese. Sounds delicious! We decided to try a number of things: Kathy ordered the cauliflower soup, Steve ordered the hummus and I ordered a fried green tomato salad. The dining room was moderately busy.
The appetizers were served and I could hardly wait to dig in – that doesn’t always happen, I swear. The soup was creamy and delicious – the ham very thinly sliced was topping the soup and the cheese sprinkled on top. The hummus was topped with roma tomatoes, kalamata olives and red onion, and served with grilled bread. The salad was mixed greens topped with goat cheese on top of fried green tomatoes (about 4 – this was not a skimpy salad) and finished with an apple cider vinaigrette. There were even more options that we wanted to try – I am betting you could just make a meal out of these fantastic appetizers. Appetizers range in price from $5 to $15. We tried to decide who had the best appetizer. Kathy says it was hers, but I am writing this, so I win hands down.
Now, to order dinner. My mind was made up in seconds. Since there is something near and dear to me on this menu – chicken and waffles (a great line in the Broadway show “Hairspray”) – I just had to try it. Kathy selected Cajun shrimp fettuccine, while Steve opted for chicken alfredo.
Bread was served while we waited for dinner and the servers were appropriately attentive. Had we known Steve that we know from the Schuster was also working here we would have requested him. That said, everyone was cheerful, friendly and always available.
Dinner arrived piping hot – the entrées looked delicious and smelled divine. My entrée was a work of art. Who knew that chicken and waffles was so beautiful? Once again, I win the prize.
The Cajun shrimp fettuccine served with sweet peppers, red onion, plum tomatoes and a cream sauce had just enough kick to not be offensive to a sensitive palate. The chicken alfredo was full of large chunks of chicken, roasted plum tomatoes and wild mushrooms all served on penne pasta with parmesan cheese and alfredo sauce. The chicken and waffles were pieces of free range chicken lightly breaded, served atop waffles with micro greens and accompanied by a ginger lemongrass honey. I hardly wanted to destroy the art, but had no trouble cleaning my plate. Dinner entrees range in price from $16 to $28.
While there are side options that come with some entrées, there are other premium sides – enough for sharing – that can be ordered. We chose grilled asparagus with béarnaise aioli, sautéed spinach with garlic and olive oil and then my choice, four cheese mac with white cheddar and Ritz cracker crust. It was unbelievable. This mac and cheese was the kind of thing you will order again for your next carry in and lie and tell everyone you made it. Or better yet, just go back to the restaurant for it. Side dishes range from $5 to $7.
We worked very hard at cleaning our plates without much trouble, though we did opt for some to-go containers.
Now, what about dessert?
There was the typical chocolate cake, a crème brulee and then I think sirens went off when I heard … bread pudding made from Bill’s Donuts. What?! Bill’s is one of the best donut shops in town, and now I can have bread pudding made from their donuts? I had to try it.
Coffee was served while we waited for dessert. In spite of being full, I just couldn’t wait for that bread pudding. Desserts were served – Steve chose the crème brulee, which looked lovely. However, a little bit of heaven was placed in front of me. If I could have licked the bowl, I would have, but not in a restaurant. Well, maybe when no one was looking.
So, here’s the story – this is simply a not-so-hidden gem. You really must get to Twisted Root and have dinner. There are so many dinner options, but even if you just have a great salad, mac and cheese and bread pudding you will be ecstatic. I know I was!
Who wants to join me for some more?
Twisted Root is located at 79 S. Main Street in Centerville. For more information, please call 937.610.9835 or visit facebook.com/twistedrootrestaurant.
Reach DCP food critic Brian P. Sharp at BrianSharp@DaytonCityPaper.com.