Friday, May 10, 2013

Time to get back to your ROOTS...

Hello Friends!

I have to ... just have to tell you about Roots Bistro Gourmand in West Islip.  Dave and I had been there once before on a whim...after hearing about a relatively new restaurant.  Well, on an odd Tuesday night off, Dave and I tried Roots for the first time and fell in love. 

So when we decided to 'splurge' on a place to go for the start of Long Island Restaurant Week - for us, it was a no-brainer... Roots, here we come! 

What is Roots, you ask?  (Well, I'm sure you did when you read that...)...

From their web site,"Rooted in the bistronomic revolution of French cuisine, ROOTS BISTRO GOURMAND pays homage to the simplicity of the modest bistro while infusing gastronomic techniques. Our love for cooking is inspired by fresh, close to home ingredients brought to life with global flavors. We believe the art starts with the respect for the process, the ingredients, and the people."

I tell you - you can believe in their respect for the whole process by just a bite of one of their dishes!

Before we went, I admit to peaking online at their menu and got my self so excited to try some of their new dishes... I say 'new' as Roots does change their menu based on the seasons.  When we were there last, the menu was definitely geared toward the winter vegetables and hearty, comfort dishes. The restaurant week menu is taking from their spring menu with fabulous spring dishes and vegetables.  

So, let me start on the evening!

By now, you should all know that I'm a cheese whore.  If you don't - go back and read my archives...I live for cheese.  So even though the restaurant week menu is 3 courses...  We just HAD to order a round off of the Charcuterie & Formage menu.

We ordered the Chicken Liver Pate, Brie de Meaux (cows milk, from France) and the Selle Sur Cher (goat from France).

It is served with brioche slices, a red wine with pear and truffle jam, pickled vegetables and whole grain mustard.

First - I was NEVER a liver/pate fan.  I've only tried it in recent years and have come to really enjoy the flavor... One of Dave's and I favorite restaurants has a really nice pate and I eat that all the time. 

Until this one. 

This one, blows the other out of the water!  So flavorful, silky smooth - like a mouse almost...and perfect on a slice of brioche.  Dave got all Guy Fiere on me when he put some pate on the brioche with the jam and said "I'm creating a flavor town bite here."

The Brie had such a wonderfully nutty flavor, so rich and creamy that it was perfect with the tartness of the mustard and the sweet brioche.

The Selle goat cheese - one of the best I've had.  Not as tart as some, with such an earthy, ashy flavor that blended so perfectly with the sweet pear, earthy truffle jam. 

Seriously - I could eat just this and would have been happy!

But - appetizers await us!

Soupe de Moules
mussel consommé, ravioles de rayons, lobster, truffle oil & parmesan
The mussel soup...there are almost no words to describe the delicate beautiful flavor of this dish.  The mussels and lobster are perfectly cooked and that consume...delightful!  The truffle oil adds just the right depth to the dish - I will absolutely eat this again...several times.  Yes - feel free to join me!
*Slow Poached Farm Egg ($3)
lamb bacon, english peas, spring onions, braised bibb lettuce, bibb emulsion & shaved gouda

This dish was like a bite of spring... That is simply the best way to describe it.  So earthy but not heavy, so fresh tasting - each bite (well for me..the one bite I was allowed to have) was rich and delicious but light and hearty at the same time. I know that really makes no sense, but neither does this dish...but it works oh so well!

Holy Dinner, people.  At this point, I already know I'll be eating mine for lunch the next day as well.... but it was OH so worth the few bites I could take!

house bread gnocchi, mushroom mousse, morels, chanterelles, caramelized ramps & shallot confit
This was mine...I'm having a love affair with mushrooms at the moment, so I had to order this dish.  I will admit...the gnocchi were good, but not great...a bit dense and dry even.  However, they took a second seat to the sauce they were in...the mushrooms and ramps...this was a part of the dish that I just wanted to pick up and lick the plate clean.  So rich and full of flavor!
Poussin en Cocotte ($2)
roasted young chicken, leeks, carrots, root vegetables, snap peas, chicken consommé & truffle oil
Dave's dish ... succulent.  The chicken was about the most moist I've ever had - and the vegetables in the consomme were just amazing...just a perfect addition to the dish.  A very simple concept for a spring dish but yet had such complex flavors.  A perfect spring dish!

Dessert... Oh Lovely Dessert...At this point, I'm so done. D.O.N.E.  But can one say no to caramel?  (yes..."car-a-mel"....Never "car-mel".  Lesson over. Thank you.)

I had this lovely creme caramel, with a caramel brittle holding a caramel ice cream.  Yes...I ate it...I just had to.  And I refuse to describe it - as if you don't want to jump into the dish by just looking at the picture - then see that little red X in the upper right it now.

This is the 2nd time I've eaten this dessert...and no, my friends, it will not be the last time!

Crème Caramel
Dave, in his usual fashion went for the apple tarte.  He has such a thing for apple pie and apple tart...while they do nothing for me at all.  So, I concentrated on my Creme Caramel but in his words - the apple tart was simple and delicious!
Apple Tarte

So - my ratings:

Food: A.  So far - not one thing I would complain about...each dish was better than the next.  Roots is a culinary experience that I loved and will love to do again! 
Price:  a bit on the expensive side.  We were there for restaurant week, so our 3 courses were 27.50 each.  A great price obviously!  However when we first were there it was the regular menu... Roots can be reasonable depending on what you order...but can also be expensive depending on what you order.   Either way - it is worth every cent!

Service: A.  Not an easy score to get from me (the service snob), but our waiter was Michael - and he was fantastic!  It was a busy night, but that didn't deter from how aattentive and focused he was with his customers.  He was very knowledgeable with the menu and quick to offer suggestions.  If Roots is a culinary experience, Michael was certainly the cruise director... everything in hand and made the evening very enjoyable.  Thank you!

Friends, take a night (except Monday's when they are closed) and go to Roots.  A cute place, fun and friendly atmosphere and food to die for!

Dave and I will definitely be back - and we swear, we'll just do the Charcuterie & Formage with an appetizer and dessert... well, maybe we'll throw an entree into the mix - how can we not when the food is this good!

Until Next Time...