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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Remarkable Root

Amuse at Root
Few restaurants in south Louisiana have gotten the buzz that Root in New Orleans mustered in 2012.  With a plethora of dining options in the Big Easy, it can be difficult for a rookie eatery to burst onto the scene, but Chef Phillip Lopez managed to do just that and more.  Root brings to life modern cuisine in Nola, rooted in traditional flavors and techniques.  But then they are twisted, mangled, and stretched.  They expand culinary palates and challenge even the most sophisticated taste buds.  Every dish plays with textures, flavors,  and art.

I had the chance to dine at Root recently, unannounced, and somewhat incognito.  I didn't get any special Bite and Booze treatment, nor did I ask for any.  I wanted the real experience.  I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype.  Unequivocally, it did.  Joined by Lindsay and Kimmie, a couple friends from New Orleans, we drank, we dined, and we enjoyed.  Now for some food porn: admire this, and know that you can eat it yourself at Root!

Charcuterie selection featuring "Face" Bacon, Chocolate Espresso Cured Lamb Bresaola, and Cochon de Lait Porchetta

Louisiana Pickled Shrimp: Shrimp Stuffed Deviled Eggs, Truffled Egg Yolk Mousse

Palate Cleansing Sorbet made with Liquid Nitrogen

"KFC" Korean Fried Chicken Wings, Pepper Jelly Glaze, House-made Kimchi

Moroccan Goat Boxes, Winter Tabouil, Bergamot Goat Cheese, Compressed Cucumber Salad

Pumpkin Schumpkin: Indian Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream, Roasted Sesame Praline, Colombian Coffee Cake, Smoked Hay Peanut Butter Panna Cotta

Sweet Corn Caramel Flan: Salted Corn & Caramel Ice Cream, Vanilla Milk Foam, "Cracker Jacks"

I'm happy that I avoided the scallops in the cigar box.  Not because they aren't appetizing... I'm sure they are!  But rather because it is the dish that everyone had told me about.  The dish that I got 6 or 7 glimpses of while sitting in the dining room.  I could pretty much see it and taste it without having to order it.  But the dishes that I did order were sensational.  I'd gladly go back.  I'm also excited for Chef Lopez's next venture, Square Root, which will feature small seatings and outrageous tasting menus on Magazine Street.  Be on the look out for that in 2013!

Root on Urbanspoon