Thursday, August 14, 2014

Countryfied Lower East Side - Root & Bone

The continuous gentrification, rising rents and constant change in New York City is a daily, almost hourly topic of conversation for anyone who has lived in this city for some time, and it is an obsession for those of us that grew up here. This has only ratcheted up in the wake of the announced closings of Union Square Cafe and WD-50, the actual closing of Rodeo Bar and Jim Meehan of PTD fame announcing he is pulling up stakes and moving to Portland, OR. The East Village has been particularly hard hit. One of the many casualties in the East Village was Mama's Food Shop, a beloved local joint that served Fried Chicken and other Southern Food staples to the East Village for fifteen years. Its closing came with a letter from the owner decrying today's climate.

Despite the tough climate and odds against success in opening a restaurant there seems to be no shortage of chefs and entrepreneurs who want to take a crack at finding success in the Big Apple. Do I need to quote Sinatra here? The only question was what would open in the old Mama's space? A 7-11? A bank? A Duane Reade? It turns out to be another restaurant. So, who is foolhardy enough to make a go of it? Two photogenic, former Top Chef contestants, Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth. The cuisine they were going with? Southern food. The name of the Restaurant? Root & Bone. Better than a Chase, but I was wary.

A look at the website did not inspire confidence. The cover photo had an old pick-up truck and a meandering chicken in sepia tone. This was not a nod to the abandoned cars and backyard chickens of Avenue B in the 70s & 80s. The menu was straight out of an Eater spoof. New York has seen a proliferation of down market, southern comfort food spots with a farm to table aesthetic and possibly, some foraging thrown in. Here was yet another one. The website promised "soul nurturing," a craftsman's ethic" and "artistic culinary thought." And, my mistake, this is not Southern or Soul food. This is food from "rural America." Did I mention the place is called Root & Bone? My native skepticism was running high.
 
Mr. McInnis and Ms.Booth have set themselves an impossibly high bar.  Replacing a a local favorite is hard enough. Serving the same cuisine just adds to the pressure, and when that cuisine is becoming as common as wainscoting and reclaimed wood in restaurants you are setting yourself up for failure. The two chefs do have some bona fides. They both cooked at Yardbird, which was a James Beard Best New Restaurant, South semi-finalist and Mr. McInnis is a two time James Beard nominee for Best Chef in the South. The only chance of surviving beyond the initial hype and brunch crowds is if they can really deliver in the kitchen and separate themselves from the pack. Are we getting The Allman Brothers or Molly Hatchet?

Cue Duane Allman guitar solo.

To start, Root & Bone has a nice booze and cocktail list, which is mandatory these days.  A good test of any restaurant is their Bloody Mary.





The care taken with this brunch staple is a good indication of the attention to detail you can expect across the board. Chances are that Bloody Mary that comes with a garnish that includes and olive stuffed with a cornichon as well as a piece of bacon it will be good. To quote my official Bloody Mary expert, Karen; "Oooh. Wow. Try this." If you like a spicy & strong Bloody Mary the bar at Root & Bone has one for you. 




As for the food, start with their Southern Peach Caprese salad:






This hits all the marks promised by the restaurant. The salad is a southern riff on the classic Caprese salad. Heirloom tomatoes, at their summer peak, are joined by their southern cousin, a pickled green tomato. Grilled peaches add some summer sweetness and char and a few greens are thrown in for good measure. Molasses vinegar dresses the salad, another riff.  In case you missed the southern touches the stand in for mozzarella is a fried ball of pimento cheese. This is a little like replacing your Fiat with the General Lee and let's be honest, we all want to take a drive with the Duke boys in the General Lee. This salad combines the high and low, the healthy and decidedly not on one plate and is flat out out delicious.


Drunken Deviled Eggs:



Deviled eggs are quickly becoming the new kale salad. Everyone has a version. Being a huge fan of deviled eggs I am fine with this trend. Can Root & Bone's stand out from the crowd? That is a definitive yes. The menu describes the place and pedigree of the eggs (a farm in the Catskills) along with pickled roots and sunflower sprouts. They are holding out us. The filling is a mustard delight, topped with a touch of bacon. I may have used my finger to clean the plate.

Chilled Watermelon:




Another dish that is becoming more commonplace on menus is watermelon salad. Root & Bone's watermelon salad is lightly bathed in a nicely original celery & lemonade vinaigrette. The addition of sliced radish is an inspired choice, the tart crunch of the radish complimenting the soft, sweet watermelon. This is a perfect summer dish and, like the caprese, highlighting the best produce of the season.


Grandma Daisy's Angel Biscuits:



I don't know if there really is a Grandma Daisy, but any southern joint worth its salt better deliver a good biscuit. These are fine biscuits. They are served with a honey roasted chicken jus for dipping, toasted benne seed-sea salt for sprinkling and a dash of fresh thyme. They will go quickly.


The main event, of course, is their fried chicken - Crispy Free-Range Bucket of Bird:





Root & Bone's signature dish is their fried chicken. This city is awash in good fried chicken. Hell, the ten block radius around Root & Bone offers everything from Bobwhite Lunch Counter's Georgia fried chicken to Momofuku's Fried Chicken dinner. Mama's signature dish was their fried chicken. Forget swinging and missing, even a solid double here is not going to cut it. This has to be a home run.

The chicken is brined in sweet tea and dusted in pickled lemon and comes in two sizes, half or whole bird. It is served in a homey wire basket. This chicken is no line drive that finds the corner. It is a no doubt about it, second deck home run. It is, in a word, spectacular. Perfectly cooked, with crispy skin outside and moist, flavorful chicken inside. The quality of the bird shines through as do the ingredients. The brine and dust are no cute trick, they make this a dish to come back for, again and again. My Bloody Mary expert, who usually stops at one piece of chicken, demanded a second. No small praise.

The chicken is also served with a bottle of house made spiked Tabasco Honey. It took a lot of effort not to pocket it.






Cheese Grits:




Grits are another staple of the southern kitchen. Root & Bone gets theirs stone ground from a mill in upstate New York. They come "loaded with love" which means cheese and bread crumbs and other goodies. They are decadent, thick and rich. You may never go back to mac and cheese after trying these. 


House made Whiskey Maple Syrup. Perfect for waffles, biscuits or drinking straight from the bottle.


Root & Bone is not a big restaurant. You enter into a small space which houses their take out counter. A small entryway on the right leads to the first of two dining areas, both tightly packed. The design uses every possible inch for seating.  Small wood tables run down the center of the first room. A part of the kitchen is in the corner of the room. It has a counter with six seats. Stools run along the windows which have an oversize sill for dining. On a warm summer day the windows are open and these seats are perfect for eating and people watching. The second dining space runs perpendicular to the first. It has banquette seating along one wall and a small bar tucked in the back with a few stools. The space is warm, painted in whites and light tans. Wood furniture and fixtures have a sun bleached, washed out feel. The large windows on the street make the rooms feel bigger than they are.

On our visit we sat at the counter in front of the open kitchen. We had a full view of the kitchen and staff at work. If you are under the belief that the life of a chef is a glamorous one, especially for those who have been on Top Chef, spend an hour at Root & Bone during prime Sunday brunch. This is hard, hard work.  The place was jammed. Chef McInnis was directing traffic, calling out orders, checking dishes, tables, calling for water bottles to be filled and having kitchen staff deliver food to tables. An hour earlier one of the restaurant speakers had fallen off the wall and directly onto his head, nearly knocking him out. Chef Booth was one of three in the tiny open kitchen, working at one stove, making Shrimp & Grits, Braised Short Rib Meat Loaf (both of which I plan on coming back to try) and a number of other dishes as the orders kept rolling in.  Before we finished our meal the credit card machine system went down. Chef McInnis personally apologized, embarrassed to ask us if we could pay in cash. A month old and still working out the kinks. This is reality when you own and run a restaurant.



The check, delivered in a namesake bone.


I will return to Root & Bone. I will return for the food and drinks, which are top notch. I will return in particular for the Bucket of Bird, my new favorite fried chicken.  I will also return because I am rooting for them to succeed. So go, eat, enjoy and support these fools that left Miami to open a small restaurant on 3rd Steet and Avenue B. This is a tough town. I hope they win and can play Frank's version of "New York, New York" at the end of the night. 




Root & Bone - 200 East 3rd Street (just West of Avenue B) - http://rootnbone.com



89 comments:

  1. I hope these restaurant has made it all through out these years. Their meals looks delicious and satisfying, worth sharing via can you write my essay.

    ReplyDelete
  2. this is a very good restaurant. I like that it always has an individual feed, and the products are always fresh

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Guys, Here we are going to provide you the best portal for play fireboy and watergirl free online games ans these games are challenging games. You access to these games online without facing any type of problem or hurdle and these games are available in the best quality. These games are played with the help of keys as Fireboy is played with the help of Arrow keys and Water girl is played with the AWD keys. Once go for these games.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like your all recipes and it so easy to understand. I will definitely try it.

    NBA 2K18

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this kind of foods. thanks for share with us. I shared your recipe on my blog happy columbus day & pictures of christopher columbus.

    ReplyDelete
  6. They say that Dubai is a city in the middle of the deserts. However, the city has come a long way to be one of the most developed cities in the world. Currently, Dubai essay on time has the most respected engineers and businessmen around the globe. Besides, its infrastructure, presently, is something I believe you don’t want to mention.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a really nice post. I agree with this post. Thank you for sharing this. If you get a printer, do not reply to the Troubleshooter and see it. Make sure you use the latest version of Machine Development Plan err_cache_miss-error.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amazing blog and thanks for sharing this recipe.

    download nba 2k17 apk obb

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really like your blog, thnx for sharing this amazing recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am happy to find this post very useful for me

    run 1

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for all the tips mentioned in this article! it’s always good to read things you have heard before and are implementing, but from a different perspective, always pick up some extra bits of information. Visit@
    mcafee.com/activate

    mcafee.com/activate

    norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  12. Get the best technical help and guidance at Geek Squad Tech Support. Get in touch with extensively trained tech support team for all sort of queries and issues regarding your devices. You can contact Geek Squad round the clock according to your convenience.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Geek Squad Tech Support team assures you solution for every issue that your technical device or gadget may face. Simply reach these geek squad experts anytime you require and avail some great help.

    ReplyDelete
  14. AVG Support helps the troubled customers who are having issues with there antivirus software. Also the experts working at the AVG Support Number are accessible 24/7 to rescue every user.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kaspersky Support resolves all those issues that the irritated customers may have issue with their antivirus software.Now get access to instant solutions on the same, as the experts available at Kaspersky Support Number would help you with quick resolutions.

    ReplyDelete

  16. Get the best technical advice and guidance at Avast Support. Maintain your data privacy with Avast free Antivirus download. Interact with Avast support specialists round the clock to address all the security concerns. Avail the assistance at the Avast Support Number with any issues regarding Avast free Antivirus download.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Get future driven solutions at Dell Printer Support. Avail specialized help round the clock from experts available at Dell Printer Support. Remove all glitches and complexities affecting your Printer device performance.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Norton Support rescue all those troubled customers who have issue with their antivirus software. To avail instant resolutions on the same, we advice all the customers to take help from experts available at Norton Support Number.

    ReplyDelete
  19. HP Printer Support is active helpline that is available round the clock to resolve Hp printer problems. If you face any problem with your printer like device is not working properly, paper jamming issue, cable wire problem and others then reach experts of HP Printer Support Number and get instant help.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dell Printer Support is a team of well experienced experts who takes care of your dell device problems. If face any problem with your device like your device is crashed, device is not working properly, paper jamming or others then contact at Dell Support and get instant help.

    ReplyDelete
  21. AOL Tech Support Phone Number is a customer care helpline that is offered by one of world's best mail service provider. The experts at this toll-free helpline renders all your forget password, password recovery and other related issues. Reach them anytime of day or night at AOL Tech Support whenever you need their help.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Canon Printer Support is a team of experts who takes care of your canon device issue. If face any problem with your device like your device is crashed , device is not working properly or others then contact Canon Printer Support Number and get instant help.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Epson Printer Support is available whole day and night to resolve your printer problems. If you face any problem with your epson printer device like device is not working properly, cable problem, cartage problem, blank screen and others then contact at Epson Support and resolve your issue in no time.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Acer Support is a team of well experienced experts who takes care of your Acer devices. If you are facing any problem with your Acer device like your device is crashed, device is not working properly or any other problem then contact toll free number of Acer Tech Support and get instant help.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Brother Printer Support is a team of well experienced experts available round the clock to resolve your printer problems. If you face any problem with your device like cable problem, cartage problem, paper jamming and others then reach the experts at Brother Support toll free number and get instant help.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the information you shared with us.
    stick rpg 2

    ReplyDelete
  27. norton.com/setup instantly cubes all of sites which may have malware in it. Just as So that you obtain yourself a correct scanning of this gadget Updated regularly. office.com/setup Links offered inside the mailbox. Norton Anti Virus should be upgraded and Some of Norton's characteristics is the feature Accounts on the default , office.com/setup in addition, it scans the complete emails also blocks the Norton Internet Security is a security Program product from Which safeguards the apparatus. norton.com/setup Microsoft Office Is A Compilation Of Application Suites Developed And Distributed By Microsoft Inc. norton.com/setup Each Application Serves A Unique Purpose And Offers A Specific Solution To Meet Individual And Corporate Obligations. For Instance - Office Word Will Help You Create Text Documents, PowerPoint Helps You Design Presentations, Outlook Enables You To Create And Manage Your Emails.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Nice to see this here and thanks for sharing this to us. Surveys are very common at present and most of the companies are interested to do the survey. Check this www.tellthebell.com for getting more details.

    ReplyDelete
  29. TomTom Update - Now Update Your TomTom Navigation Devices utilizing TomTom MyDrive Connect and Manage the Device utilizing TomTom Home Management Tool. update tomtom | TomTom Update | Tomtom home

    ReplyDelete
  30. Utilizing Avast Login you can perform following activities: check what is the status of every one of your licenses/memberships and reestablish them, see every one of your gadgets, include more gadgets, control Avast Anti Theft or drop auto-recharging membership. My.Avast.com | Avast Account | My Avast Account

    ReplyDelete
  31. Avast Antivirus is outstanding web security application created by my.avast.com All inclusive digital dangers and malware assaults has emerged noticeably. We as a whole needed to make certain with the security of our gadgets and Avast performs splendidly. Consequently, Avast Antivirus never stops. Avast login | My Avast Account | My Avast

    ReplyDelete
  32. From device repair to set up and support you can count on experts available at Staples Tech Support for convenient and steadfast solutions. Obtain the best in-store services by connecting with Staples near me. Take Staples advantage by connecting with experts for world class solutions and services.

    ReplyDelete

  33. This is a really a nice stuff.i was looking it from a long time and finally got it. Are you looking for POS System for you business ? We are providing various POS according your business needs. We are also providing 15 days free trial, so that you can test suitable pos for your business. for more information visit our website https://www.salesvu.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for letting us comment on your awesome post
    office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for sharing such a nice Blog.I like it.
    norton activate

    ReplyDelete
  36. Canon MG3520 Wireless Setup is easy to do the process. Follow simple guidelines in an article for Canon MG3520 Setup. Reach our experts, in case of any issue.

    ReplyDelete
  37. The Best App Store to get paid and premium apps free is TutuApp APK For iOS And Android Both version are available. Latest Version Free Download.
    TutuApp
    Final Fantasy 9 Apk

    ReplyDelete
  38. It is amazing post, i am really impressed of your post. Its really useful. Thank you for sharing this article.
    avast login
    office.com/setup
    Rand McNally Update

    ReplyDelete
  39. Triplyn is a travel tips blog website that advice you to travel cheaper, smarter so you can explore the world in the best manner.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Apart from various amazing features, Brother Printer is also surrounded by numerous errors just like any other electronic device. And you do get infuriated whenever you need to print an urgent document and your printer doesn’t respond well. One such common error is dirty or clogged print head. A dirty print head in your Brother Printer can affect the connection between your printer and print cartridge and thus lead to not printing any document. You need to clean print head as soon as you want to make connection between your printer and cartridge. For this, if you need additional assistance then you can take Brother Printer Support at anytime from anywhere. However, with the help of control panel of HP solution center, you can clean print heads automatically.

    ReplyDelete
  41. We are available 24/7 to help you out the complete procedure of download and install of office.com/setup. And also Check out here complete steps for mcafee.com/activate for downloading, installing, uninstalling, and activating, and also get antivirus help for office.com/setup . For norton activation, get the 25 characters alphanumeric product key from norton.com/setup . Norton offers hordes of reliable antivirus programs norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  42. At this moment, problems related to my brother printer are making me very infuriating. The minute before it was printing fine and now, it shows Brother Printer Offline Windows 10 error. What does that suppose to mean? I have no idea what to do now. Therefore, I needed someone’s guidance to bring back my brother printer online so that I can continue my printing work.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Norton.com/setup- Get the steps for downloading, installing on another device and then, activating Norton setup. For the activation of Norton setup with the 25-digit activation code, visit the site www.norton.com/setup.

    ReplyDelete
  44. geek squad tech support issues with your cellphone? Unable to install the software application on your PC? From cellphone to camcorder the certified experts have solutions for every issue. Find proper fixes to issues to every hardware related issue you face. Seek the specialized help at Geek Squad Tech Support for all your device related issues. Best tech help is available in-store, at home and at your workplace. Don’t get bothered with issues affecting your device performance. Discuss the issues with Geek Squad Agents and get proper fixes for issues. The certified agents help you resolve your issues instantly. Connect with Professionals round the clock anytime, anywhere according to your comfort. geek squad tech support

    ReplyDelete
  45. Epson Printer Offline issue may crop up due to various reasons. Resolve Epson Printer Offline Windows 10 issue by following easy steps in the article.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Require printer software for your device? Software printer Software Installer will do the needful for you. The installer will download and print software for your device. visit samsung.com/printersetup to download the Software printer Software Installer

    ReplyDelete
  47. The eastern window, of three lights, is to be filled in with painted glass at some ... the one isolated, countryfied Copenhagen House, beyond the little wood that ... is the inventor, designed for lifting heavy articles from the bottom of deep water, ...
    CHuckAlek Talktowendys Guide

    ReplyDelete
  48. I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog.

    norton.com/setup

    norton.com/setup

    mcafee.com/activate

    kaspersky activation code

    free pogo games

    roadrunner email

    aol mail

    ReplyDelete
  49. Help for all Microsoft Office Apps. Set up your Office 365 membership. Get help from the master, you can tap on the connection and get the best answer for your concern.
    Office.com/setup
    Office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  50. Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge. This is really a great stuff for sharing. Keep it up . Thanks for sharing.
    gmail login

    ReplyDelete
  51. Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge. This is really a great stuff for sharing. Keep it up . Thanks for sharing.
    http://gmailloginm.co/

    ReplyDelete
  52. Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge. This is really a great stuff for sharing. Keep it up . Thanks for sharing.
    http://gmailloginm.co/

    ReplyDelete
  53. Obtain easy Dell E310dw Wireless Setup. Follow the easy steps below for Dell E310dw Setup. Follow Simple instructions below or connect with experts.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Products24
    This is the exact information I am been searching .
    My recommendations Download Green Kinemaster Really useful information.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    how to increase jio speed , Best Home Theatrer System in India

    ReplyDelete
  55. Visit office.com/setup, enter the 25-character alphanumeric product key, and get started. After downloading the Microsoft Office setup, run and install it on your device. Open any Office app, and enter the activation code. To sign in or create an account.

    office.com/setup
    mcafee.com/activate
    mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete

  56. Geek Squad Tech Support provides the best technical help and guidance. Get in touch with extensively trained tech support team for all sort of queries and issues regarding your devices. You can contact Geek Squad round the clock according to your convenience.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Fix all electronic appliances and devices round the clock at Geek Squad Tech Support. Connect with experts at Geek Squad Tech Support for added assistance and support.

    ReplyDelete

  58. Get the solutions to all the technical issues with all your electronic appliances at Geek Squad Tech Support. Avail wide no of services, on-site, and over the Internet via remote access and In-store, and also provides 24/7 telephone and emergency on-site support. Reach the experts at Geek Squad Support for removing all technical glitches with your devices

    ReplyDelete
  59. Geek Squad Support works effortlessly towards serving the consumers and have a wide stretch toward resolving the issues, our Geek Squad Support provides you with all the answers to your issues.

    ReplyDelete
  60. We are a group of experts, helping the customers get best prices for every flight. If you want help dial Delta Airlines Phone Number for help. We are available 24/7.

    ReplyDelete

  61. Brother Printer Support has turned into a basic requirement for clients as they certainly don’t have the capability to settle each one of the issues that can emerge like: Cable Problem, Cartage problem, Blank Screen, Brother Printer not Printing Anything etc. You can call at our toll-free Brother Printer Customer Support number anytime for the accompanying issues.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Brother Printer is one of the best and widely used printer. If you want Brother Printer Drivers For Windows 10. All you have to do is dial our Brother Printer Support Phone Number .

    ReplyDelete
  63. Telus Support is active helpline that is available round the clock to resolve Telus email problems. If you face any problem with your email like email account, recover forgotten

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thank you so much for sharing such superb information's with us. Download the Microsoft Office setup on your Windows or Mac computer. Make sure that the Office product key is already copied for the activation procedure. office.com/setup | office.com/setup | office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  65. Positive web page source, where did u come up with the information on this posting? Before you set up McAfee Antivirus protection on your device, you first need to make sure that you don’t have an older version of McAfee on your device. mcafee.com/activate | mcafee.com/activate | mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  66. Pleasant stuff! I like to peruse the data that you have imparted to us. I need to get more updates to expand my insight.
    mcafee.com/activate | canon printer support | brother printer support | lexmark printer support|

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thank you so much for sharing such superb information's with us.Please keep sharing we hope for more such posts in future.quickbooks support

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thanks for sharing an article like this. The information which you have provided is better than another blog.
    winrar free for windows

    ReplyDelete
  69. Nice Post Please Keep Posting Like This. I am really happy that you guys are writing content like this. Please Keep Posting on Regular Basis.
    teamviewer download

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts.
    google chrome download

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thanks for the post. This is really nice post.

    ReplyDelete