There’s a new entrant in the neighborhood’s burgeoning fried chicken competition, and it’s a real contender.
“Top Chef” alums Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth opened their new spot Root & Bone on the corner of Avenue B and Third Street today, with a menu starring crispy free-range bird brined in sweet tea and dusted with dehydrated lemon. It comes boneless, sandwiched between two waffles ($14), and on the bone, either by individual piece or in a bucket ($16/half and $32/whole).
McInnis and Booth come to NYC via Miami, where they both worked at the James Beard-nomiated Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, and Booth did a stint at Khong River House, another Beard nominee. McInnis hails from Florida but grew up spending time on his grandparents’ Alabama farm, while Booth hails from Australia. Their menu reflects McInnis’ farm-to-table mindset but also nods to Booth’s background with Australian rack of lamb and a selection of wines from down under.
Small plates include deviled eggs sourced from the Catskills’ Handsome Brook Farm, and pickled watermelon served with ham and cheese. Entrees include a changing catch of the day and short rib meatloaf. Biscuits, cornbread, fried pimento cheese and desserts like banana cream pie served in mini Mason jars complete the Southern flair, but sophisticated flavors and seasonal ingredients raise the bar on your average comfort food spot.
The beverage program features specialty cocktails that will rotate seasonally, six beer taps and a large selection of whiskey and bourbon. In addition to Australian vineyards, the wine list features favorites from America and Europe.
Alongside the restaurant is The Little Root Market, a counter serving salads, sandwiches, sides and entrees to eat on-site in the main restaurant or as takeout during lunch hours (11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The market will also serve as a takeout counter during evenings and late night.
Root & Bone is in soft-launch mode this week, serving its lunch menu throughout the day and evening. The supper menu debuts July 7. Weekend brunch is also offered. Check out the full menu here.