New Orleans is currently getting its first taste of bitter winter. I don’t know about y’all, but the misty rain and dreary skies are enough to put me in quite a mood. So, in an attempt to battle my bad weather blues I decided to spend money I don’t have on food I have to have. Trust me, it makes perfect sense.
After hearing good things from my food bloggin’ buddies, I picked up a friend for lunch the other day and drove straight to Root, Phillip Lopez’s new restaurant on Julia Street. Lopez, formerly of Rambla, opened up Root in early November where the Houston-based Feast used to reside. The menu sounded promising, with a focus on charcuterie and specialty sausages along with some interesting salads and small plates. One of the first things that caught my eye was the Roasted Tri-Color Pickled Beets salad with Face bacon, Point Reyes Bleu Cheese, and Sicilian Pistachios. Beets are definitely something I enjoy but never make at home, so I try to order them in restaurants whenever I can. The combination of flavors was fantastic and I really liked the added crunch from the pistachios. However, I could have done without the fresh dill sprinkled on top. My friend chose the Root Burger for us to split, which came served on a brioche bun with caramelized onions, Benton’s bacon, and aged cheddar. We ordered it cooked medium but it was definitely served to us well done–big bummer. Also, we thought the meat lacked flavor and I thought the brioche was too sweet. Looking around, I noticed many other (happy) diners had ordered the Vietnamese “Po” Boy, which comes served with Pâté de Campagne, Face Bacon, Truffle Scented Chicken Liver Parfait, Pickled Carrots, and Kewpie Mayonnaise. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince my Vietnamese friend to try it out. She said she refused to pay anything more than $3 for a Vietnamese poboy. And even though she’s smaller than I am, she’s hard-headed and has a strong arm so I didn’t argue.
All in all, lunch at Root was good but it wasn’t great. They’re still very new to the dining scene so I’m definitely going to give them another shot, most likely to try the Vietnamese “Po” Boy or the Potato Chip Encrusted Gulf Fish Sandwich. In the meantime, I’ll save my burger splurges for other places.
Root, 200 Julia Street, 504.252.9480. Closed Sundays.