Root and Bone, Part Dinner
The opportunity arose to have dinner at Root and Bone. Of the things I had my eye on, I was only able to cross the Bucket of Bird and Macaroni and Cheese off the list. But don't go feeling sorry for me. I still left Root and Bone that evening satisfied with a doggie bag to boot.
We arrived a little before 6:30 on a Friday. Again, it really is like having a meal in someone's kitchen. The hostess greeted us warmly and seated us. Where do we start? Do we order a starter? Our drinks? Put our whole order in at once? Decisions!
This evening we were paired with David. He fielded our questions about the cocktails to start. I had a Lady J Ivory. Yes, I'm a woman of vodka habit. My friend ordered The Twisted Mustache (Russell's 6 Year Bourbon, Swedish Punsch, citrus and ginger). It was the bomb-diggity. Ok, she may not used those words but her expression after she took her first sip said so.
Remember the decisions we had to make about what to order? We decided that we'd order what we wanted, put ourselves into a food coma and then return to our domiciles and eat the contents of our doggie bags, nude and happy.
I started with the Macaroni & Cheese. It is served with a crunchy cheese toast and fresh thyme crust. When given the option to have a crust or breadcrumbs on my macaroni and cheese I've always declined. At the Root & Bone, the crust didn't make or break the dish. I ate it willingly and truth be told a good portion of it ended up on the table. Whoops! But what matters is It was actually a cheesy macaroni and cheese. A great base for say, some of that in-house cured bacon... Later on, I asked Chef Janine Booth about that option; if requested it can be done at an extra cost. I'm going for it next time. I'll bring the extra dollars.
My dinner mate ordered the Drunken Deviled Eggs (eggs from Handsome Brooks Farm, Catskills NY, pickled roots and sunflower sprouts). I was able to get a shot in before the first one was popped in her mouth. She's been on a beet binge lately and couldn't escape them with this dish -- beets are the root that's used in the deviled eggs. According to her they complimented the flavor of the salty eggs. I didn't try one because I was still cradling my bowl of macaroni and cheese.
Our Bucket of Birds arrived (pictured above). The free-range chicken is brined overnight in sweet tea, fried, dusted with pickled lemon and served with spiked Tabasco honey. "This is really good chicken." "This chicken really is good." and variants of said statement were made by my friend (There was meat on the table and I was still eating macaroni and cheese. That says a lot.). She also loved the Tabasco honey. "I'd buy this." Once I was done with my macaroni and cheese I started on my chicken. Again, contrary to how it may be assumed that I like my fried chicken, I don't put hot sauce on it. Ever. But I did douse my juicy white meat chicken with that Tabasco honey and licked my fingers unabashedly. If Root and Bone bottles it, I'd buy it too.
While the devouring of the Bucket of Bird took place, Chef Janine Booth brought over Chilled Watermelon served with sliced beets. The presentation was so aesthetically pleasing, I didn't want to touch it. But of course, I did, cause you know, it's food. I bit into a piece and shuddered. When did my teeth become so sensitive? Geez. When they say it's chilled watermelon they mean it's chilled. But it is refreshing as watermelon is known to be. I enjoyed that this watermelon was a different flavor thanks to the lemonade vinaigrette. Gasp all you want but I can eat but so much watermelon. This did the trick.
With the Bucket of Bird you can also have a side of cheddar cheese waffles, which my friend ordered along with a side of Cheese Grits, loaded with love. That love comes in the form of sweet corn and cheese on the bottom. The grits are stone-ground from Trumansburg, NY keeping with the local, farm-to-table philosophy of Root and Bone. You know the cling-clang a spoon makes when it's hitting the bottom of a bowl? Yeah, I heard that soon after the grits were served.
Dessert was being sent over so we tapped out on the chicken to save room. My friend savored a banana pudding with praline and cinnamon. I had the carrot cake (which I'm a sucker for!) with ginger ice cream. Glad I saved room for that cake and ice cream!
Chef Booth caught me while I was instagramming and told me about some slight changes to the menus for the new season. By the time you'll have read this there will have been slight changes to the dinner and dessert menus -- including a berry and peach tart. That sounds delicious. Also by the time you read, I'm sure to have been back to Root and Bone again. And again.