The Root Restaurant & Bar
The Root Restaurant & Bar

The Root Restaurant & Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.therootrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (248) 698-2400
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm
    Sunday Brunch: 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: James Rigato
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: The Root Restaurant & Bar will cater any event large or small. Chef James Rigato
    and staff catered under their company Ripe Catering for 3 years before opening
    The Root. Please contact The Root with any inquiries regarding your event.
  • Private Party Facilities: The Root Restaurant & Bar will accommodate large parties in house as well as book the restaurant for private events, weddings, showers, work parties,
    brunches and any other gathering. There is also a private business dining room
    in Royal Oak, MI that The Root will book for private events and meetings. Please contact The Root with any inquiries regarding private dining.
  • Private Party Contact: Jenn Rigato 2486982400x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Elizabeth Lake Rd.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: The Root is located in The Village Lakes Plaza in White Lake on the corner of M-59 and Elizabeth Lake. There is a large, well lit parking lot surrounding The Root.
A word from The Root Restaurant & Bar
The Root Restaurant & Bar is a locally owned and operated business that showcases the seasonality of food and beverage in Michigan and its surrounding areas. The comfortable yet refined dining room and bar, accented with stained ash wood and limestone, feature an open kitchen and a chef's counter where the customers can sit and watch their food being made. Chef James Rigato's menu changes often and has a variety of options including a local grass-fed beef burger, house-made desserts, fresh seafood and in-house smoked meats. The Root Bar has 8 Microbrews on draft and a full selection of wines, bottled beer, alcohol and house cocktails incorporating a number of Michigan breweries, distilleries and winemakers. The Root prides itself on offering casual dining with a higher standard of food, beverage and service.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
The Root Restaurant & Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
180 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (158)special occasion (97)neighborhood gem (80)hot spot (48)good for groups (46)romantic (44)notable wine list (32)great for brunch (28)great for lunch (25)vibrant bar scene (18)great for outdoor dining (14)kid-friendly (12)late-night find (5)Show More
  • where2dine
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    We celebrated a birthday with a group of friends and had a delicious meal. Plenty of dining options for all, even for the vegan appetite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was great - I actually had the bologna!
    PDouVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Started with the cheese board... which was incredible. Had soup and bologna sandwich which was equally incredible and very filling. Husband had the pork with apple over grits - very good also!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • yes!
    Lisa
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    this is some of the best food I've ever had. My husband and I are both vegan and we love to get the tasting menu. Have been there several times but this last time brought my parents (both meat eaters). Mom got vegan tasting and loved it. Dad got some thing from the menu and every time something came out he couldn't stop talking about how good it was which isn't like him! He always has at least something small that he doesn't like but he (we all were) so impressed with the food. On top of that, the waitstaff are always so pleasant and the ambiance is great. Perfectection!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So happy to have discover this Restaurant
    GardenGirl
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    The food presentation and flavor is outstanding.The servers are relaxed and attentive,We never felt rushed,the best part for me is that the owner and Culinary genius is a Schoolcraft graduate from the Culinary Arts department and a felow Alumn.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hit the highs and the lows
    EricK
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I visited The Root with high expectations and it delivered immediately with the pork belly appetizer that was amazing and I didn't want it to end. It say on a bed of creamed corn and was topped by house made kimchi that struck a perfect balance with the savory pork. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the dinner. My scallop appetizer was bland and gritty with sand. The smoked white cheddar broccoli soup was ok but a little too peppery for my taste. The pork entree was very good, but couldn't live up to the pork appetizer that preceded it. The service was very good for 90% of the meal, but the server disappeared for long periods between both dessert and the check. Couple that poor ending service with an underwhelming tiramisu and it almost made me forget what I liked about the dinner since it was nearly two hours since I ate the appetizer. If I lived near The Root I would visit often as it is very difficult to find any good food in Michigan, but since I live an hour away, this will probably be my only visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    This was the perfect dining experience. The server was friendly and was served at the right time. We were not rushed but were able to enjoy each course. And, of course, the food was absolutely wonderful and unique.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • the Root of the matter?
    mde55
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    With great anticipation we made reservations 10 days ahead and then went for a date night out to the Root. We had a very enjoyable dinner. Interesting details. .there are just 6 entree selections plus 2-3 specials. .that seemed few to pick from. I ordered ocean trout. . .ive never heard of "ocean trout"? Seemed like salmon was what they delivered. . Modest portions for $29 entree? Seems a bit overpriced for what you were served. Food was excellent to the palate, tastefully served. Background music was trite and tasteless old top 40s Classic pop rock. . .i would have expected jazz or something a bit more tasteful than john Mellencamp from the 80s. . . In short the music didn't fit everything else. . . They need to look at these touches. Dinner with drinks and tip for a hundred bucks for two? Nice time, a bit too noisy and overpriced for what I expected.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed feelings
    bethany263
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    The food was excellent. Had the onion soup...so yummy. NY strip was cooked just to my liking. The service was terrible. Sat for 20 minutes while three waitress' walked around our table ignoring us. The girl who finally waited on us(I don't think it was actually her section) took excellent care of us, but by then we were pretty frustrated and our moods were not good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Menu Mix
    Kinger
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The Root is a great place for 'special' occasions. My wife is a vegan and she love's going to the Root because of their 'full vegan menu'. Also, very good locally sourced 'manly' options as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    bbbb
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Got the tasting menu (again) and it was great along with the wine pairings. Love this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem of a restaurant
    bonuscibus
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I dine at The Root relatively frequently, and have not yet been disappointed. I try something different every time, and so far it's all been equally good. Daily specials are interesting, the fish and meat dishes are delicious, as is my favorite starter, the baked Michigan brie. My husband loves the charcuterie board and never fails to comment how wonderful the beer pairing with the tasting menu is! The decor/ambiance is relaxed and very welcoming, the staff knowledgeable and always friendly. (I salute the pastry chef, her concoctions are amazing!)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Well done!!
    Awesome
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Came as a recommendation.. One of the best meals we have ate. The grits with shrimp was tremendous. The sauce was worthy of plate licking. The banana cream pie was great. The crust was crazy good. Also worth of plate licking!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    icancook2
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Can't believe this chef won awards!! The restaurant decor is beautiful and the service was very good but the food was a great disappointment. The potato soup was tasteless, the arugula salad was all arugula with 3 small radish slices and an extremely vinegary dressing with no oil that we did not want to finish. Another salad was enough for an entire meal. The main course fish dish could serve three people. The fish served on a bed of farro & spinach was tasty but salty and really nothing special that could not be prepared at home. The tomato sauce on the dish seemed out of place and not needed for that recipe. The pumpkin bread pudding dessert was cold on the inside and terribly salty. Doesn't compare to the better restaurants.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great
    LTFOODIE
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Me and my boyfriend went here since we heard it was good from multiple people, and they were right! He got the steak which as amazing, tasted fresh and cooked perfectly to order (med-rare) I had the tandoori chicken which was also awesome, very good sized portion and the sauce they put on it is out of this world!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • dak1
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Good food, good service, good time. We choose the Root for our anniversary dinner every year and it does not disappoint us.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    I love the restaurant and have been here before. On this occasion, we were meeting a friend for brunch at 1 pm. We were informed when seated that they;d had a busy morning and that a number of items were unavailable. Since brunch is a smaller menu to begin with, this left us with few choices. We chose some things we might not have ordered otherwise and they were very good, but it was a little disappointing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Suggestions for Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    For a fantastic brunch may I make some suggestions? 1) serve a Traditional breakfast on one plate. In order to get eggs, potatoes etc.you to order all sides which all come on separate plates. Also the potatoes were served unsliced with no extra touches like cheese, onions peppers. 2)offer a daily omelet selection and a daily quiche selection, with one option meat free. Hope this is helpful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Slow seating, excellent food!
    GreatFoodButExpensive
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Food was amazing. One of the best steaks we've had. Once we were seated, the service was great. We arrived ten minutes before our reservation and weren't seated until 20 minutes past our reservation time. Worth the wait though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unpretentiously Excellent
    Earnstone
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    When you're incessantly praiseworthy it's easy to cop an attitude. That was my fear w/ The Root, esp. when grabbing a late reservation due to an out of town guest. Despite our 9 p.m. arrival, everything was perfect: the greeting, the pace & friendliness of the service, and yes, the food. I opted for a Tandoor chicken special that was nicely spiced w/ accompanying vegetables that were fresh & tasty. My dining partner craved a steak after a long trip but hesitated, thinking foodie places that focus on local gardens, might disappoint. The Root did not! He talked about it the whole evening. Soups were robust and flavorful, perfect for a cold autumn night. And my friend saved room for a notable banana dessert. It was most enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best restaurant in Michigan!
    Lerbie
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Root is exceptional. Root is no doubt the best meal we have ever had!! The service is spot on! The food from the scallop appetizers to the banana cream pie was SPOT ON! My husband and I have been to many of the finest restauants both here snd in Euope and ROOT rates #1!!!the attention to detail is unsurpassed!!! The tasting menu was superb in taste, presentation and value. Bravo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time brunch!
    CindyW
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    i had the pastrami hash, my husband had the ricotta lemon pancakes and my son had the chorizo smothered biscuit! Triple Yum!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday Dinner
    snowbirds
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Took my lovely wife to the Root for her Birthday dinner, we were greeted with a warm welcome. Our waiter was friendly and went out of his way to accommodate us with our request. Food was wonderful, Black Bean soup was wonderful and will look forward to returning!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner / Hit or Miss Brunch
    LoveLocalVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Dinner and dessert is always excellent. The brunch needs some work. Soggy lemon ricotta pancakes, too much icing or not enough cinnamon roll but delicious, dry waffle, amazing bacon. Best tiramisu around!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch is the Bomb
    jennyVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Best biscuits ever eaten in a restaurant and what a creative brunch menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Root (of the problem)
    where2dine
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The night we arrived for our reservation, I was told we need to accept cash or check only because our internet service is down.I thought this was handled very unprofessionally, as did other customers who were walking out ahead of us. After deliberating my decision, I was reluctantly told we could take your credit card, but need to write down your info and input in later. I agreed and asked to send the manager over to the table so I could meet the person I'd be giving my card info to. No one ever came over and by the time our bill arrived, the internet service was back. It was not a good initial impression when arriving for a special occasion with a reservation. I think the management panicked under pressure and upset lots of patrons.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • goodfood
    goodfood
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    A pleasant surprise for lunch. Dinner was much more hectic. It was relaxed, the food excellent and the survice very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Eclectic, fresh, and delicious!
    MichaelP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    After reading about The Root we ventured over in a 30 min drive, something we wouldn't normally do. We're thrilled that we did. Root ' decor is urban and stylish, despite its location in a strip mall. The staff is friendly, efficient, and our reservation promptly honored. Our food, down to all four of us was well prepared and excellent. Special mention must go to the shaved Brussel sprout salad and the red lentils and roasted cauliflower entree (mine with chicken). These were both packed with flavors, modern and delicious. We look forward to our next visit to The Root!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasting menu a hit!
    Misti
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    We planned to visit Chef Rigato on the premiere of Top chef! We had the tasting menu and a local pour (or two) from the exceptional craft beer list. The wine is nice but we are not giving them credit enough for the wide variety and vast breweries represented on the menu! I chose the scallop, the shaved Brussel sprout salad with Pom arils, the pork and apple entree, followed by the milk and honey desert. Such a beautiful presentation and the real honeycomb was both precious and delicious! We love this place but tonight, it seemed even more special in support of local celebrity chef.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First Time Brunch at the Root
    H2OSkier
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Although I am disappointed in the simple brunch menu, we did enjoy the pastrami hash and the lemon racotta pancakes and I would recommend these selections to a first time visitor. The other items on the menu you can find at any Denny's. The wish is for the Root to have their own identity with a better, creative selection for brunch. Service was excellent and we were able to hold a quiet conversation during brunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food & service but location?
    Jewels
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Delicious and creative dishes topped off with great decor and service. We weren't crazy about the location...small strip mall in the middle of nowhere. If your local it works. We would definitely go back if it had other lively spots for a nightcap nearby. Place was half empty at 9:30 pm on Saturday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it!
    littlemac
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We loved our dinner at The Root! The food we ate was fabulous and I want to return and eat my way through the entire menu. It is a very relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere and the food has the same feeling; it is refined without being stuffy. We drove an hour to eat there and look forward to going again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Noisy, no ambience.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Food was good, service was excellent, but unfortunately, like a lot of trendy restaurants, the managers equate noise with ambience. We couldn't have a normal conversation with our friends because of the noise. Twice we asked for the music to be turned down, but even then there was no noise dampening of other people's conversation. It would be a relief to to find a good restaurant where conversation is encouraged.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous!
    Luv2EatOut
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    This restaurant is a wonderful place to eat! Fantastic food and great service, excellent, excellent, excellent!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Slow service
    ArtLover
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Burger was great, best Basil Mojito I've ever had but service this visit was painfully slow, a first for us. Music was so loud I thought I was in a sports bar, another first. I hope it's not a trend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better Than Anticipated - - Again!!
    BlownAwayAgain
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Food, Service, Friendliness - This is truly a Winner. Been there twice and brought people with us. Would be great to record all the comments and play them back in this review. Chef James is already the winning "Master Chef" in our book!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently GREAT food!
    Luvgoodfood
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    If you are looking for a great, cutting edge restaurant, serving FABULOUS food, then look no further than "The Root" in White Lake. Chef James Rigato shows his incredible talent by incorporating Michigan into almost every facet of his fantastic menu! My wife and I can't get enough of this place! We suggest starting with anything from the inventive drink menu, followed by the ever changing Charcuterie Board appetizer. Any of the fish specials will leave you more than pleased, and the steaks, chicken or burgers will have you wondering why you will ever need to drive "south" again to get a good meal. Finish the evening with a Chocolate Martini to complete a great night out! Truly awesome dining at more than reasonable prices!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't wait to go back!
    Misty
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This will definitely be a regular spot for us. We had the charcuterie board, baked brie, soup du jour (roasted eggplant), my husband had the skate with pesto risotto and I had an entirely too delicious grass fed ribeye steak! All fantastic.... So many more things on the menu we want to try. Lots of talent here. Hope they stick around...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • noisy. food needed to be warmer.
    punch15
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    It took 3 hours for dinner. Party of 6 . Coffee was tepid.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • delicious
    ilikefood
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Root is a yummy little restaurant you would never expect to find tucked into a little strip mall! We loved each of our dishes, from appetizer to dessert...our server was nice, the restaurant was cool but not stuffy (in ambiance) and the food was unique and tasty! I'd definitely go again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love
    Emcl
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Best dinner I've had in a while. The service was very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.