As of 9/13/16, Root Kitchen and Wine Bar is closed.
Root Kitchen and Wine Bar is a beautiful restaurant with a small but varied menu. The service was good and the food was fresh and delicious.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working hard to organize my life. Email archives, compressed photo files crammed onto my external hard drive, etc., etc. I’m trying. I am an incredibly organized person at work, but once I hit my garage all that fades away and I melt into a complete slob with no sense of household organization. I’m working on it, though. My fridge looks pretty good right now (though my pantry and deep freeze are going to have to wait until winter break) and there’s the list. See, picking a restaurant for my bi-weekly review can be a bit of a task when we aren’t really sure of all the places we need to go, so I made a list. I posted it on Facebook and my Facebook followers added to it. If you have anything to add, speak up! This week, when we consulted the list, we decided on Root Kitchen & Wine Bar.
I got an email a few months back inviting me to come in and try Root, but the email didn’t elaborate on exactly where the restaurant was located. A little investigative work revealed the Elemental had closed and Root had opened up in its place. I was a little surprised because it hadn’t been that long since we’d eaten at Elemental. Somehow I missed that they had closed. Root pretty quickly occupied the space, changing up the decor with different tables and chairs (at least I think they’re different…but I could be wrong), moving the big tractor to the back corner, adding some flowers…but the space was nice, so it didn’t need much work.
We arrived around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and they were serving a brunch menu with starters, several breakfast specialty items, omelettes, an assortment of “Benedicts”, sandwiches, and salads. I skipped the $1.00 mimosas and stuck with water. We also skipped the starters, though the Southern nachos with Maytag blue cheese, bacon, green onions, and maple jalapeño reduction sounded pretty tasty. I struggled with whether to order the Cobb salad (herb roasted chicken, hard boiled egg, heirloom tomatoes, Maytag blue cheese, Benton’s bacon, Lee & Gordon greens, and red wine vinaigrette) and the fried green tomatoes BLT (fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, applewood smoked bacon, Lee & Gordon lettuce, and aioli on toasted bread). When I asked our server, Erin, for her recommendation, she emphatically told me that I should get the BLT, which I ordered with parmesan-herb fries (other side options were grits, potatoes-breakfast potatoes, I assume-and root vegetable chips). The fries were delicious, hand-cut, skin on fries, perfectly cooked with chopped herbs and grated parmesan. The sandwich had a good balance of ingredients-a couple of strips of thick-cut bacon, two fried green tomatoes that were hot but not mouth-searing, a slightly spicy pimento cheese that was melty under the hot tomatoes, and buttery leaf lettuce. I didn’t detect the aioli; it just sort of blended in to the rest of the ingredients, which was fine with me because there was a lot going on in that sandwich (in a good way).
Philip quickly decided on the shrimp and grits. I was concerned that he wouldn’t like it because he is a fool for grit cakes with creamy sauce and this dish had neither. Rather, the shrimp & grits (made with Falls Mills grits and andouille pan gravy) was thick and tomatoey. The grits were spooned into the bowl and topped with a sauce made with tomatoes, sausage, and mushrooms (creminis and perhaps some shiitakes). There was a decent amount of shrimp and the dish was well-seasoned. While Philip lamented that they were not as good as his favorite, which was served at the now-defunct Market Street Tavern, he liked the shrimp and grits here a lot and would order it again. He was also very impressed by the fact that when he very much did not like the beer that he ordered, Erin brought him a different one and only charged him for one. That’s customer service, people.
Root Kitchen and Wine Bar is a beautiful restaurant with a small but varied menu. The service was good and the food was fresh and delicious. We look forward to going back to try their lunch and dinner menus.
If you happen to be on the North Shore looking for a great meal, Root Kitchen is a great place to try.
Root Kitchen and Wine Bar is located at 313 Manufacturer’s Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405. They are open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. You can call them at 423-648-9160. You can “like” Root Kitchen and Wine Bar on Facebook and check out their website, http://www.rootkitchenandwinebar.com.