Christian McCallion, the innovative chef at Roger, aims for the stars when creating memorable dining experiences in Mountain View.
Roger features an eclectic and inventive menu.
Chef Christian McCallion admits Roger, the restaurant and bar at the new Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View, doesn’t fit neatly into any category. He prefers it that way. The sleek yet comfortable venue already has a steady following, and for good reason: McCallion and his team produce fare that’s brilliantly unfussy and still elevated. Dining here is memorable, and the kitchen team has pulled off this culinary magic daily since it opened four months ago.
Chef Christian McCallion
“Fine dining doesn’t need to mean stuffy service and dinner jackets,” says McCallion. “We’ve invested in a creative and interesting bar menu, conversation-worthy food and a gorgeous dining room. You won’t have to sacrifice an amazing experience for an approachable one.” Add an outdoor element to the mix—walls at Roger open to an expansive patio and lawn with fire pits, heaters, live music and a revamped Airstream that doubles as a bar—and guests have another way to experience the property and its food service.
Roger opens to a large patio, perfect for year-round dining.
McCallion says Roger’s approachability means nailing the basics but giving them enough care to endure in the minds of guests. “There’s a reason our fries are one of our most beloved items,” he says. “Whether you’re here for a burger at the bar or sharing wagyu and wine during an important date, [we] have something for you.” Again, simplicity reigns even in the menu’s structure: fish and meat, veg (in Roger’s vernacular), sandwiches, flatbreads and sweets.
Wagyu and fries
Early standouts include roasted salmon (saffron, sweet pepper, dill yogurt) and pan-fried shrimp (Israeli couscous, cilantro, Fresno chile, chermoula). For gourmet sandwiches, the loudest hosannas belong to the crispy avocado (beets, cucumber, rocket, green goddess, saltroasted fries) and hot-and-crispy chicken (pickle, lettuce, Aleppo mayo, salt-roasted fries). Moroccan corn ribs and toy box carrots, the latter with za’atar, pistachio and tarragon labneh, serve as reminders that the kitchen is adept at perfecting the details required of vegetarian fare.
Roger also launched a brunch service, and McCallion says he’s smitten with a dish dubbed the Dutch Baby. “It’s like a pancake, just way better,” he says. “It goes back to the concept of honing and redefining the basics. Think of a crepe and a pancake combined. To finish, we bathe it in a brown butter fondue and serve it with syrup and confectioners’ sugar. Simple and delicious, and a perfect Saturday comfort meal to share with friends and family as the days get a little shorter and colder.”
Menu items at Roger feature locally sourced ingredients.
Given the restaurant’s location, innovation is another important part of its arsenal—including robot bussers. “Just as we don’t believe in categorizing ourselves, we challenge the idea that technology and human-centered service can’t go hand in hand,” says McCallion. “We’re on the leading edge in an area of the country that’s all about the leading edge. That said, we’re both incredibly tech-savvy and believe in personalized, thoughtful and dedicated guest service. In fact, we believe those concepts are inextricably linked. By investing in better systems from front to back, we free up our staff to spend more meaningful time with customers.”
Moroccan corn ribs
Sustainability is an innovation on its own, of course, and McCallion says tech truly serves that purpose—including cooking equipment that increases yields from raw products by 20% and temperature controls that reduce waste from human error. It’s another example of the team at Roger reflecting Silicon Valley’s big ideas and combining them with meals worthy of the stars. Dinner, Mon.-Sun., 5-10PM; brunch, Sat.-Sun., 10AM-2:30PM, Ameswell Hotel, 800 Moffett Blvd., Mountain View, 650.744.1030
Fire pits grace the outdoor patio at Roger.
Photography by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE AMESWELL HOTEL