Root & Bone is one of those restaurants where I had a great experience on my first visit but somehow fell off my radar thereafter. I was very impressed overall with the thoughtful (and at times inventive) Southern cooking from Root & Bone. I guess I just had too many other new restaurants in the city to check out, or perhaps the location on a distant side of East Village dissuaded me from picking the location for a revisit. On a recent brunch triple date with two other couples, I figured now would be a time to check out the restaurant after more than five years since my initial visit. While the recent brunch that my wife Jun and I had with our friends wasn’t as eye-opening as my dinner last time, we still enjoyed a lot of the dishes here.
Whether you are coming for dinner or brunch, the way to start your meal at Root & Bone is with the Grandma Daisy’s angel biscuits accompanied by honey chicken jus and sea salt. You really don’t need the extra chicken jus or salt; just savor the biscuit as is, and you will start to build expectations for what the kitchen will bring. The drunken deviled eggs with pickled beets (hence the pink color around the outer side of the eggs) and root chips are also not to be missed. For the main dishes, Jun went with buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with dill pickles and cole slaw, while I chose shrimp and grits with melted tomato, bacon, pickled onion and beer. Both were quite solid. The chicken inside the sandwich was capably battered and fried, and I was pleasantly surprised with the way various ingredients worked together quite well in the grits. On the other hand, the sandwich and grits had a bit too much portion, and the seasoning was overall on the slightly heavier side than I had remembered. By the time Jun and I got halfway with both dishes, we were starting to become really full, and regretted ordering an even richer mac and cheese with crunchy biscuit crumble on the side.
Root & Bone is still a very popular restaurant in the New York dining scene; I was able to secure a brunch table for six with advanced planning so do book ahead if you don’t want to wait on the line. As our meal was a brunch, no one went for alcoholic beverages; do try their lemonade that would nicely complement your meal. While the magic from the first meal had dissipated, Root & Bone has still maintained its consistency in execution relatively well even after the passage of time since its opening in 2014. Probably not a dining destination, but more of a neighborhood restaurant that I would consider using for casual brunch or dinner occasions.
KenScale: 8.0/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.0/10)
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 7.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
- Value: 8.0/10
Address: 200 East 3rd Street, New York, NY 10009
Telephone: (646) 682-7080