I have been to ROOT twice now; the first time I was hesitant due to the short amount of time it had been opened. I typically have a rule about not going to new restaurants until they have been open at least 6 months. I have to say that I was very impressed with the service and how put together everything was. Our server was knowledgeable but not over bearing, the timing of beverages and food was pretty perfect.
The food was amazing! We had fried oysters with andouille spoon bread, the oysters were perfectly crispy and were sent out with a hit of smokiness. The spoon bread was great addition to complete the main attraction. Then came a salad with tapioca pearls, pickled plums and candied pecans. It was refreshing to see the playful side of the chef. we split the scallops as an entree. I was nervous because it always seems that when I go to restaurants the scallops are always over cooked. These scallops were cooked perfectly and present in a smoking cigar box. I really enjoyed the creative presentation and was grateful for such a perfectly executed dish.
Last we had the Yorkie, a fun and playful dessert of homemade coco puffs, peppermint patties and mint chocolate chip ice cream served with milk--YUM!
Overall this was an amazing dining experience and encourage those that enjoy dining and a little more creativity in a New Orleans restaurant to try it. It may be the best new restaurant to open this year!
I went to ROOT with a friend 2 days ago and came away just slightly less impressed. They make some very fine food, yes, but some of the flavors just don't do it for me. The pickle plate (which included pickled romanesco, Korean melon, watermelon rind, etc, and we got with chorizo and "face" bacon) demonstrated real skill...but the flavors seemed a bit strange. I love all sorts of food, including Korean, Japanese, etc, but felt a little meh about it. There was an odd recurrence of chocolate in the amouse bouche (made with !granola!?) and the marmelade that just didn't work for me. I mean, we had food left on the plate! I had a very delicious fish dish and my friend had scrumptious hanger steak -- really really good. Here are the actual descriptions from their menu:
Hanger Steak Crispy Sweetbreads, Sweet Kumquat Bordelaise, Pommes Frites: 23
Coriander Scented Grilled Gulf Fish Lemongrass, Consommé, Satsuma Ginger Shrimp Salad,
Fish “Yaki Udon” Noodles: 22
Then we overdid it by ordering dessert -- my friend had the Coco Puffs dessert -- the Yorkie -- which was just a bit too weird and like eating breakfast for my friend. I had the Ambrosia which was the total winner and of which I took a picture, which I shall attempt to attach. Here are the descriptions of those:
Ambrosia Candied Zest, Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Charred Apricot Meringue, Blood Orange Marshmallow, Citrus: 8
Yorkie Chocolate Covered Peppermint Pattie, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Coco Puffs, Minted Milk: 8
Mostly it was great...but some of it was strange... Pickle plate at Sweet Olive the night before was just so superlative, too.....
Man. I so wanted to like this place and managed to get turned off before even being seated. We wandered by a couple Saturdays ago and saw the bar was three quarters empty so we wandered in. Standing at the empty (!) podium we had a waiter make eye contact and promptly scurry back to the kitchen but waited the two minutes for the hostess to finish the conversation she was having with her coworker and wander back. But that was just to tell us that we couldn't eat at the mostly empty bar. In fairness to her ineptitude, she offered to make recommendations for other places in the neighborhood; I took that as a sign to run far, far away and not look back.
Now it's tough. I'd actually like to try the place but with FOH service like that, I think I'll be sticking to places who understand the rudiments of hospitality. And I much prefer eating at the bar, something I guess can't be done.
On the flip side, we ended up at Butcher and learning that they have the best friggin' chocolate cake anywhere ... somehow it's both light and super chocolaty both. They seemed to appreciate my patronage.
[EDIT: goodness, we did a lot of wandering here ... sorry for the terrible narrative!]