Friday, March 30, 2012

ROOT Down

While posting about today's Awesome Friday Lunch, I suddenly remembered that I hadn't posted about last Friday's Awesome Lunch at newcomer in the CBD, Root. Root's a pretty hot and trendy place right now, the reviews have been coming through and have been quite positive. Chef Phillip Lopez focuses on an extensive in-house charcuterie selection as well as playful and innovative techniques to enjoy food with all the senses.

I got Tom to agree to lunch there because they have merguez, a spiced lamb sausage that is his passion. Imagine our dismay when we got there and they were out of it!  THE HORROR. Tom recovered quickly and ordered another sausage to start, the butifarra, a Spanish style garlic sausage. It came with a CRAZY amount of pickle-related accouterments:

Bread & butter cucumber pickles, pickled strawberries and pineapple, some crazy awesome relish, strawberry mustard, and much more...
Upon learning that all the sausage plates were served this way, Tom said he was OK not having the merguez, as his Platonic merguez ideal is hot sizzling sausage served in its own spicy oil with plenty of bread to sop it all up with. So it worked out pretty well.

My starter was something I could NOT resist-devilled eggs. I had no idea how this dish was going to be served based on the description ("Louisiana Pickled Shrimp Shrimp Stuffed Deviled Eggs") but this is what came to me:

Tic Tac Toe!
Anyway, both the shrimp and the eggs were delicious- briny shrimp, creamy egg filling, sharp contrasting crunch and punch of flavor from the raw fennel and jalapeno. I enjoyed it very much. A nice cool dish for a warm spring day.

Our second courses were both fun and delicious. Tom had the Smoked Cornmeal Encrusted Louisiana Oysters with Andouille Spoon Bread and Manchego Foam.


The oysters were served under a tiny cloche which, when lifted, released the smoke. The oysters and spoonbread were very good, and the foam was inoffensive (I didn't get a lot of flavor from it personally, but it was fine. Tom's only negative comment was that the smoke/cloche setup made the crispy coating on the oysters significantly less crispy. But it tasted great- excellent dish all around.

I was drawn to the Vietnamese “Po’ Boy” on their menu because it appeared to showcase a lot of the yummy looking charcuterie- Pâté de Campagne, Face Bacon, Truffle Scented Chicken Liver Parfait, Pickled Carrots, Kewpie Mayonnaise. They didn't have any Face Bacon (which I LOOOOOVE the name of:. In your FACE, BACON!) so they subbed in their Citrus Cured Lamb Pancetta, which: ::drool::


It was delicious, with a variety of meats, textures, preparations, all complementing each other, with the subtle sing and less subtle crunch of the carrots and the freshness of the cilantro. (I never did figure out WTH Kewpie Mayonnaise was, though.) The french fries came with an adorable tube of housemade ketchup (I love when condiments are miniaturized!) and that little cup held some siriacha, which I used sparingly.

I SO wanted to stay for dessert, but we needed to get back to the office.  Pout.

I definitely want to check this place out again for dinner- highly recommended for a nice CBD lunch.

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