Root

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I tried really hard to come up with a clever name for this blog post. I won’t share any of the potential names; let’s just say that they were super cheesy. Embarrassingly cheesy. So I decided to keep it simple.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to approach this review. Or if I was going to write it at all. Instead of drawing out this introduction any more than necessary, I’ll just cut to the chase.

Last Thursday, a friend and I went to Root, a 3-week-old restaurant in Richmond Heights. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals, and even though the restaurant wasn’t terribly busy, I simply chalked it up to the fact that it was so new. After all, it’s not unusual for a new restaurant to be empty; at least until word of mouth spreads around and more customers check it out.

At one point, the owner, Brian Hardesty, came over and chatted with us about Root. He was excited about its future, and even informed us of the new menu that was set to roll out in a few days. It was all super exciting stuff.

And then, the very next morning, I saw this on Twitter:

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Bud Starr, the owner of the building that housed Root, decided to shut down the restaurant.

Say what?!

Feast Magazine and STL Mag both did a fine job of explaining the situation in detail, so I won’t try to capture it all here. Take a minute and read both articles. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

So that left me in a bit of a pickle. I’m certainly no stranger to blogging about closed restaurants; Jeff Ruby’s closed a few months after I posted my review on the blog, and so did Terrene. Oh, and who can forget my blog post about Newstead Tower? I blogged about their last week in service (and sort of tore them apart in the process). Fun fact: that remains my most popular (in terms of clicks) blog post to this day. Just thinking about all of the flak (and hate mail!) I received as a result of that review makes me shake my head in disbelief.  Some people have mad love for nasty burgers and atrocious service, let me tell you! Winking smile

Anyway, while I’ve blogged about restaurants that ended up shutting down, I was never in a situation where a restaurant shut down before I could even get a review up!

I asked for feedback on Facebook, and eventually decided that it would be only right to blog about my experience at Root. Especially since Brian Hardesty has hinted at a future for Root.

So with no further ado, my review!

Like I said, I visited Root last Thursday night with a friend. I was super excited to try the restaurant; I had heard so many great things about it!

We walked in, and I immediately fell in love with the warm atmosphere. Gorgeous!

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First things first: a drink! I settled with a Mr. Collins’ Mule: vodka, honey syrup, lemon juice, and ginger beer.

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This was delicious! It was smooth, sweet, and had just the right amount of kick, thanks to the ginger beer.

Next up? A few appetizers! My friend had visited Root a handful of times, and heartily recommended the creamed lobster with brandy and fried bread.

 

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Look at those huge lobster chunks! The presentation was fantastic, and this tasted just as good as it looked. The creamy lobster melted in my mouth, and paired with the crispy bread, it was perfection.

One thing that caught my eye on the appetizer menu? Seared sweetbreads with oregon truffles. I’ve been dying to try sweetbreads for as long as I can remember, so I was excited to see it on the menu. What are sweetbreads, you ask? I’m so glad you asked! Sweetbreads are a fancy name for the thymus or the pancreas of the calf. I’m not sure if this was the thymus or the pancreas…care to guess?

 

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Whatever it was, it was certainly tasty! It tasted a lot like breakfast sausage. In fact, if you blindfolded me and fed it to me, that’s what I would have guessed. It was juicy, tender, and super flavorful.

I only had a few bites, because I wanted to save room for my entrée! I went with the Duck with Pork Casserole.

 

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This was fantastic! I really enjoyed the crispy top. The inside was stew-like. The tiny ramekin that this dish was served in ensured that my meal stayed super hot. I loved the huge pieces of pork that were in this dish; I couldn’t taste any hints of duck, though. It was still very good!

My friend ordered the Preserved wild boar shoulder with bacon marmalade. I failed to get a decent picture (low lighting is not my friend!), but I had a bite, and it was delicious.

We also ordered a side of cheesy grits to share.

 

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They were creamy, rich, and super duper cheesy. If I wasn’t so worried about gaining weight, I’d eat these for breakfast everyday! Mmmm…grits. Smile

Overall, our meal at Root was fantastic. The atmosphere was wonderful, the service was amazing, and while prices were a bit steep, the quality of the food made the cost worth it.

It makes me sad that Root is closed, but I’m hoping that some reincarnation of it will open elsewhere. My fingers are crossed!

See you next week, and have a fantastic weekend!

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  • Michelle Marcus

    Sounds like you got all the major hits that night!

    • Anonymous

      I did, Michelle! It was amazing…I’m so sad it’s closed!

  • I don’t understand why you would bring up Newstead again and remind us how horrible you thought it was (based on 1 bad experience during the worst time to possibly go to a restaurant for a review.) The place is long closed… continuing to insult it is mean and unprofessional. I don’t get the point.