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Dining-room-as-chemistry-set trend raises our antennae, but Root usually gets it right. They reach for new culinary targets, and even if they don't always hit dead center, we're curious, and we admire their wit and amibition (they let the freak flag really fly downstairs at Square Root, their $150-a-pop, multi-course tasting-menu locale). Other than sourcing locally, Root's modern American cooking makes no concession to Louisiana. House-cured, charcuterie is well done; house sausage less successful; both accompanied by terrific condiments and pickled garni. Faves: the lardo, pâté de champagne, rosemary guanciale, and Moroccan pork and duck rillettes. The foie-gras cotton candy is adorable, but we'd rather just have a hunk of the stuff. Scoff at the signature cohiba-smoked scallops and their fume-filled cigar box, but it's more than show: they're good. But the pork belly went one flavor over the line (echoes of Tim Gunn: edit, edit, edit), and there's better duck around town. Desserts have fun with gimmicks and florals; the fruit-basd ones, including a peach crumble with Middle Eastern undertones, are delightful. The bar chef is also playing with herbals, florals, and pork; it's a fun place for cocktail experimentation. In 2016, they moved to a warmer room upstairs on Magazine St.; the best seats are on the balcony. We're not fans of the no-back, metal bar stool trend for anything beyond a drink. Servers are necessarily accomplished in beer and wine pairings, much appreciated given the complex food's encyclpedia of ingredients.