root & bone (New York, USA)

root & bone (New York, USA)

root & bone (Land of the free and functional websites – HK TAKE NOTE)
200 East 3rd St.
New York, 10009

+1 (646) 682 7080 (Walk in style though.  Website says you can make reservations for more than six people.)

USD100 for two people, including a couple of drinks.  Before 20% tip.  My US homies tell me 20% is standard, so don’t be a non-tipping/under-tipping tourist asshole.

The deal:
After 15 hours on the plane, we were worn out and jetlagged as fuck.  We were getting pretty fucking dozy on the couch but knew that we had to power on for a few more hours if we had any hope of getting on the right time zone (the fact I started writing this at 4am EST suggests that I have not exactly fucking nailed this).  So one of our US homies messaged us telling us about fried chicken waffles at root & bone (argh, Y U no caps your name? Proper Nouns motherfuckers, capitalise that shit) and after googling the hype that this was meant to be Manhattan’s Best New Fried Chicken, we dragged ourselves there, figuring we were unlikely to fall asleep in a pile of fried chicken.  We got there around 830pm and shit was real – the place was heaving and the door homies let us know that we could be waiting for 90 minutes, as we left our name on an ominously filled waitlist.  I was wavering on trying somewhere else but the door homies assured me that tonight was a good night (I gotta feeling, wooohoooo) and shit was only gonna get more packed Thursday, Friday onwards.  “Go for one drink, your table will be ready by then” – clearly underestimating my capacity and drinking speed.  So we took ourselves up to Bibi Wine Bar for a punchy aperitif of a bottle of red wine and the barman’s super rad 80s filled playlist, before we got called back in about an hour.

root & bone only opened a few months ago and is headed up by Executive Chef Jeff McInnis (Top Chef Season 5, ex-Yardbird Miami – ermagerd, I saw him in the kitchen too.  Yes time for my Usher-style Confessions, I fucking love Top Chef) and Chef de Cuisine, Janine Booth (also ex-Yardbird and originally hailing from Perth, Australia and she was on Top Chef Season 11.  JANINE, I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU ON LAST CHANCE KITCHEN) and they’re focussed on producing Southern influenced food, referencing coastal, rural American cooking and are committed to local, seasonal farm-fresh ingredients.  Their website lays it on a bit and promises a “casual yet elevated experience” but description aside, the place was dimly lit, packed and dat atmosphere shit was working for root & bone.

The fried chicken is clearly the main event here and we witnessed “Buckets of Bird” and Fried Chicken Waffles stream constantly out of the kitchen.  We ordered the half crispy fried bird (USD18) which is a free-range bird from Pennsylvania which is billed as being sweet tea brined, lemon dusted and served with spiked tabasco honey sauce.  Four large pieces came out and praise be for Mr Noms and his predilection for boring ass white breast meat meaning that I got to claim all the glorious dark meat.  I pressed him on this, asking why he prefers breast (except for health reasons but lolz, as if anyone eats fried chicken breast to be healthy) and he claims it’s easier to eat.  But who wants easy to eat boring as fuck breast times? Answer:  White Folk.  But seriously, this shit was a massive fuck yeah, with the lemon dust in the batter taking this up to some next level fried chicken shiz.  To get dat lemon flavour in there, root & bone dehydrate lemon slices before pulverizing that shit up with sugar and salt, giving you that salty / sweet flavour contrast.  The tabasco honey sauce added that sweet / spicy note, reminiscent of an Asian style sweet chilli sauce but fuck no logistics, it was served in a bottle with the tiniest fucking nozzle, meaning I could barely get any of that fuck yeah sauce out despite my vigorous as fuck shaking.  root & bone, get on top of yo physics!

We were struggling with what to choose for our second main, given that the menu had so many fuck yeah options.  But we channelled our #WWRS (What Would Roxette Say?) and when we saw the 18 oz. Kurobuta Bone-in Pork Chop (USD33) getting smashed together by the kitchen our destiny was set given my immediate reaction was GET IN MY LIFE.  While everyone’s raving about the chicken, dat pork chop was the star of the goddamn masterpiece for me.  Thick cut and grilled, they serve it still on the bone which is always my fuck yeah favourite way to get mah pork. Get dat flavour in my life. We ordered it medium rare / medium, in line with the kitchen’s recommendation (yes, I’m fucking primal when it comes to the temperature of my meat but I haven’t degenerated so far that I’m on the rare pork train yet).   I’m always conscious of becoming a food tosser by waxing lyrical over pork, but this magnificent fucker arrives on a bed of fuck yeah mash with a peach sweet and sour style BBQ sauce, which contrasts perfectly with the accompanying salty and slightly bitter baby brussel sprout leaves, tossed with bacon and pickled shallots.  I even managed to convince Mr Noms to get involved, assuring him that brussel sprouts in the 21st century aren’t the bitter, mushy fuckers from his distant childhood memories and relied on some bacon wank to convince him that shit was gonna be tight. Shit was so fucking awesome – the chefs saw me going hands on the bone and looking emotional over the pork chop and told me that this was their favourite dish as well. I felt my heart swell and I looked over at Mr Noms and as we gazed lovingly at each other, united by pork, we uttered romantically at each other “This shit is TITS”.

We also got a side of Waffle Cut French Fries (USD6) which came seasoned with dill pickle salt and a remoulade sauce but my personal preference is just fuck no to waffle cut fries.  They were good for what they were (ie. crispy potatoes) but I just prefer my fries straight up shape-wise. During my early morning jet lag, I tried researching to find any scientific or culinary based reason why you should do waffle cut fries instead of straight up fries and can’t find jackshit. I did learn you can call them pommes gaufrettes in French though, so I can fancy up my next review.  If I went to root & bone again I would get involved with the quaintly named Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits, because that shit looked legit.

I also gotta give you the fuck yeah recommendation that if there’s only two of you, sit at the counter so you can see the kitchen action go down. The two kitchen homies in there were hauling ass and it was fucking awesome to watch them do their fuck yeah kitchen dance, sauteing vegetables, grilling meat, making mac and cheese and pulling their shit together.  They were having such a fuck yeah time and I just fucking loved watching it.  It was clear that most people wanted to sit at the tables, we even watched a party sit at the counter and then move.  I told the kitchen homies that they just need to market it better – just tell people when they’re asking for seats that you have the tables or there’s a chance to sit at the ‘chef’s table’ at the counter, but it’s very limited but it will allow you to see the kitchen action from an intimate perspective.  Guarantee that people will be all over that shit and getting their food wank on, clamouring to be at the counter vs the tables.

Cocktails were fucking legit as well, but given I was pre-lubricated with half a bottle of red and then stuffed with FUCK YEAH MURICA serving sizes of fried chicken + pork chop, I only managed to suck down a Whiskey Cobbler (which used peach as the fruit note).  I’m now just trying to figure out the holiday dilemma of, do I double up on root & bone during limited time holiday times or do you keep pushing onto new noms?

Shit was super tits here.  Dat pork chop was one of the best things I’ve fucking eaten this year.  FUCK YEAH.

  • waterfallsandcaribous
    Posted at 19:27h, 21 September Reply

    New York?! Jealous!!! Looking Fuckin’ Forward To Reading Your Fuck Yeah Fuck No Reviews On That Fine Town. Also Am Making Up For The Lack Of Capital Letter Proper Nouns By Capitalising Everything. It Balances Everything Out, Right.

    • Sgt Noms
      Posted at 18:49h, 22 September Reply

      Keep It Real, Homie!

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