Whenever there’s a new restaurant that highlights fried chicken on the menu, you know I gotta try it. Made a reservation with the fam and headed over. This is apparently a third location of a restaurant started by Top Chef winners—the first two locations being in Miami and NYC. The menu touts itself as “honest southern food.”
We started with some “Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits” ($7). You get an attractive cutting board with two biscuits on it, honey chicken jus, sea salt and benne seeds (which are like artisanal sesame seeds as far as I could tell). I liked the biscuits—they have a crispy exterior and soft interior, but I did not care for the honey chicken jus—it was just too much like drinking sweet buillion. Give me some soft salty butter any day—or do what I did and eat them with the pimento cheese from the next dish. (They also have fried chicken biscuits as appetizers which might be a better option, but I did not try them).
The fried green tomato “BLTs” ($11) were probably the most disappointing dish of the evening for me. These were little stacks of fried green pickled tomato, a pig dollop of pimento cheese, tomato jam, and then a slice of pork belly bacon and some greens on top. The best part was the pimento cheese aspect of it as I mentioned. I enjoyed just eating it with the biscuits. The fried green tomato part didn’t really stay in the crust, I didn’t really care for the tomato jam (too sweet for me) and the bacon was so fatty it was hard to eat. This one would be a skip for me, although I would enjoy it if they sold a side of the pimento cheese. It was tasty.
At this point, we hadn’t loved anything, and were a little nervous. We ordered a bunch of things to share—of course as mentioned, we ordered a half portion of fried chicken ($19). When it came, based solely on appearances, I wasn’t sure, but it was really quite good. It’s not a thick breading, but it had nice flavor and the meat was exceptionally tender. They say it’s brined in sweet tea—didn’t taste tea per se, but it was very tender. Even the breast.
We also ordered the shrimp and grits ($23). So this was an interesting and very tasty take on shrimp and grits. There was a nice pile of very creamy grits topped with just cooked shrimp (certainly nowhere near overcooked). There were pickled onions, some sweet corn, andouille sausage and beer jus on top. Oh yeah and some soft broiled cherry tomatoes. I tell yeah, there was a lot of stuff going on, but it was good stuff. The tomatoes were the only part I wasn’t sure about, but mixed together with the other stuff, they added nice acid.
We also got the cast iron seared trout ($26). It was local red trout with a corn johnny cake, charred lemon, asparagus, and gribiche sauce—which is a sauce made with parsley, Dijon and boiled egg. I didn’t get a lot of the sauce on my bite (it was a little swish on the side of the plate), but the fish was cooked just perfectly and was well-seasoned. The johnny cake was kind of charred—I am assuming it wasn’t meant to be black. The rest of the plate was good.
Luckily, we had also ordered some sides anyway—the star of the two that we ordered was the gooey corn spoon bread ($8). So it was like a super soft corn bread—almost more like corn pudding topped with a huge dollop of cheddar and buttermilk cream. This was a table favorite for sure. The buckwheat cheddar waffles ($6), which sounded interesting, were a little less successful. They were two small very soft buckwheat waffles that had melted cheese on them and were served with bourbon maple syrup. This came across as a dessert with cheese on it. I expected the waffles to be less sweet than they were and then when you added the syrup, it really felt like dessert. Or breakfast. In fact, they feature these waffles in a dessert, which is probably a better way to eat them.
I liked the interior, and it was packed on a Sunday night, so I know some of you have been. What was your experience?
Root & Bone
4601 N. College Ave