I've now been a New York City resident for two years, and it's been a great experience. While it is possible to find great renditions of all manner and style of cuisines, there are a couple of things that I definitely miss from some of the places I've lived. First of all, I've yet to find Cuban-style chicken chop (think Natural Chicken Grill or Chicken Kitchen), a Miami staple that I've started making myself (curry mustard sauce!!!). The other thing that is difficult to find is a good, Southern-style biscuit.
In search of that perfect biscuit, Tom & I made plans to hit up Root & Bone for brunch and check out their version. You might remember that we dined at Root & Bone for the Carla Hall Southern Kitchen preview dinner.
Root & Bone is located in Alphabet City and is the flagship restaurant of Top Chef alums, Jeff McInnis (season 5) and Janine Booth (Season 11). Drawing on the style of cuisine that garnered McInnis multiple James Beard nominations while at the helm of Yardbird Southern Table in Miami, Root & Bone showcases classic, elevated Southern food in a relaxed environment.
Chicken and Waffle Sandwich
Just like before, the biscuits were stellar - light, flaky and delicious. Root & Bone serves their version with roasted chicken jus, sea salt and benne (a relative of the sesame seed, brought to the US from Africa in the 18th century) seeds. I tend to enjoy sweet spreads on my biscuit like jam or honey, but there was something simply mouthwatering about dunking it in meat gravy and sprinkling a whisper of sea salt on top.
Tom went for the chicken and waffle sandwich with pickles, pickled green tomatoes and melted cheddar. The waffle was crisp with a fluffy interior and the pickled elements gave the sandwich a tanginess that you don't usually get with the standard chicken and waffle that comes with syrup.
I chose the roasted root sandwich with a side of pork belly bacon. The bacon was thick cut and served with a bourbon maple syrup (I love dipping my bacon in syrup whenever I eat pancakes or waffles, so this hit all my touch points). It was the perfect combo of salty and sweet.
I think out of everything, the roots and ricotta sandwich would be the one thing I wouldn't order again. Compared to everything else we ate, the sandwich was bland, and the carrots made it difficult to eat. I did, however, enjoy the texture of the ricotta, which was obviously freshly made.
For the final act, we ordered the lattice apple pie, which was served with vanilla ice cream. It was a good rendition - flaky crust, tart apples and the vanilla ice cream was particular smooth. It was a great end to a pretty fantastic meal.
The space is small, but Jeff and Janine have taken care to make sure it doesn't feel overly crowded. That being said, make a reservation to ensure that you don't have to wait. Even though Root & Bone is two-ish years old, it remains a popular brunch and dinner destination.
Root & Bone
200 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 1009