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The Root Restaurant & Bar
The Root Restaurant & Bar

The Root Restaurant & Bar Details

  • 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 (248) 698-2400

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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "My wife and I had been planning a trip the "The Root" for more than a year after reading about it in the Detroit Free Press. We love great food and are into the "slow" food movement and were intrigued by James Rigator's "Farm to Table" approach. We had brunch on Sunday and it did not dissappoint. My wife had the fried chicken and waffles and I had the steak and ribeye. We both enjoyed French Presses and had sides of bacon and fresh fruit. Portions were worthy of a lumberjack's appetite. We had enough food that our take-away provided a second meal for each of us. Our server, Kylie, was prompt and courteous and knowledgable with a dash of good humor. The Root carries our highest recommendation for brunch. It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!"
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "The food was excellent and creative. The service was attentive without hovering. We got the wine and beer pairings with the tasting menu, and everything was top notch. I would recommend Root to any of my foodie friends."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "My daughter and I wanted to come here before chef James Rigato was appearing on Top Chef. Had heard the food was great and it certainly was - even though all we had was sandwiches - they were really good sandwiches! Loved the pastrami one and the fries were also great - crisp and garlicy - yum! The price was very reasonable too. Lunch is only served Friday - Sunday."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Some of the best food in any restaurant in Southeast Michigan"
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "Our group of six enjoyed our first Rock 'n Roll brunch at The Root last weekend. The food was great; the mimosas were nothing special - lacked the imaginative touches I'm used to at this creative restaurant."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Our food and presentation of the entrée were excellent. We recommend and will be back soon."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Have had Breakfast, lunch and dinner here...all above expectations! a true Gem"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "We celebrated my wife's birthday with excellent food and service. The one thing lacking is a scenic view of a lake."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "I think it says a lot when your date is not only a trained sommelier, but a foodie as well, and she raves about the meal. Yes, if you are curious, the company was very good too. :-) With a menu that changes seasonally, commenting on specific dishes has a time sensitive value, but the pork belly with kimchi, and scallops were both great starters. I definitely recommend this place."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "This was our 2nd time at The Root. I got the scallop appetizer and morrocan chicken, both were really delicious. My husband got the tasting menu and loved the choices as well. Everything was excellent, even the coffee."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "We had a wonderful experience at The Root. Our server, Travis, was knowledgable and appropriately attentive. His recommendations were great, including the amazing shrimp and grits that utilized, locally farmed shrimp. We loved that The Root used locally grown or raised food as much as possible. All of our food was delicious. I have no problem, with a restaurant in a strip mall, as long as when you get inside, you are no longer acutely aware that you are in a strip mall. The Root should create an ambiance that takes you away from the strip mall. It would help if they covered or reduced the amount of plate glass window in the front. Additionally, the area to the right as you walk in, feels detached from the rest of the restaurant."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "The buzz for this restaurant is off the charts so we had high expectations -- which were dashed rather quickly. Staff was bored beyond belief. Our specific wait person seemed to wish to be somewhere, anywhere else. Its new brunch menu sounded good but was quite routine in taste and appearance. Admittedly, we came at at bad time - 1:30 on a hot sunny summer Sunday so we got what we deserved. But given that The Root is renowned for its inventive chef and fresh offerings we'll try again at dinner."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Took fiance there for dinner, great meal- scallop's app was outstanding. Good cocktail list, wine list seemed slightly limited. Service was terrific as well."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Dinner was great as usual! They have the best vegan options in the area - I love to be surprised by the unique selections they put together for the vegan dinner and I am never disappointed . Local ingredients helps make the food great as well."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "How lucky we are to have The Root in White Lake. Interesting, extremely tasty food, great service and soothing surroundings."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "my wife and i were intrigued by the bologna sandwich so we split one and wow, it was fantastic! nice atmosphere. great service. i ordered a leelanau black ale, which was a little lacking in flavor."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "My friends in from Sonoma Valley needed some "real" food. They couldn't have been more pleased. In addition our server (I didn't pay the bill but I think her name was Karen) was incredible. Keep up the great work. I'm glad I'm in the neighborhood."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "Food was excellent! Only draw back was that we had 7:00pm reservations and were not seated until 7:45pm. The host was very gracious though and offered us a glass of champagne and an appetizer which was a house specialty. The restaurant is under going remodeling during the day while still serving in the evening. So the decor seemed very disjointed and barren in some areas and we thought it strange until we asked. One of our group had recalled a delightful decor prior and felt that the dark brown massive blank wall spans were depressing. As the sun set, the dining room became very dark and cave like. Some patrons finally asked if the lighting could be turned up since it was difficult to see the delicious food being presented."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "This is our third visit and this one the best! We brought our friends this time and I was worried they wouldn't like it as we do. They loved it! The Thai salmon special was wonderful, my husband had the tasting menu and loved everything, and although a different way with shrimp and grits, our friend from gulf shores, AL. loved it. He thought a few too many 'onions' but I though it was great. I did not have the pickled peppers and it certainly didn't suffer from flavor. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was because I requested seating on other side of bar and that was ignored or forgotten. I didn't say anything. Our waiter, Brad, was great; however my water was almost gone so I found someone to refresh it."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Well if your looking for a bang for your $ don't bother here, if your a bunch of girls looking for a small portion, overpriced salad and a chair to sit in all day, maybe you'd like it. Oh, and if you don't plan on drinking you don't belong at the Root, they'll make you wait so long for your food, you'll have to drink to keep your cool.. and empty out your wallet. We waited an hour for a bologna sandwich and salad! The bologna sandwich still had the skin ring on it. Out of 2 salads, a cup of soup, and a sandwich, we could only stomach one salad halfway and considered stopping at McDonalds after we left so we actually have dinner,"
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "The menu had a nice variety and the items we ordered we wonderful. The service was slow but I suspect this kink will be worked out as they are open more Sunday's for brunch. We love The Root!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "I went here for my birthday with my family and everything was great! Everyone ate something different and all of us enjoyed our meals! Great choice of a restaurant if you are looking to try something different from your everyday restaurant food and the best part is everything is fresh and from Michigan!!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "I love this place. I've come in groups, alone, lunch, dinner, etc. It's always excellent. I am disappointed they are closing for lunch M-TH. This was a favorite spot for a friends lunch during the week. I wish they would keep the daily lunch hours and add Sunday dinner."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We live in Tucson, AZ and were visiting friends in Fenton. They recommended the Root and OMG, one of the better meals I have had in a very long time. Service were steller and the food was out of this world."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Seasonal menu changes in place - the new beet salad is awesome. Soups are great as well. Even the fries are comforting but come with dipping sauces that set them apart. Good for a special night out or any time you want a good meal. Now open for brunch. Check the calendar for events"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "We went to the Root on a Monday evening. A little suprised by the service, and the food was just ok. Normally, very good but steak was chewy (tasty but chewy). Also, we had to ask for silverware and napkins when our bread came. Server never brought us plates for the bread. I know that is a little nitpicky, but just went along with the kind of average experience. We have been before and loved both the food and the service, so I am willing to chalk this up to just one of those nights."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Clearly this is a restaurant with great thought to the quality and creativity of the food. I did feel that some of the dishes would appeal only to a limited set of diners - like the fried boloney sandwich. Also some were 'over' spiced - Moroccan Chicken. I had the special fish - salmon. Great taste but almost non-existent side dish. Under the salmon was a piece of eggplant - very bland. Seemed like they had more dessert choices than entree choices."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I have eaten here several times over the past couple of years. Always great food and great service! I love the idea of using Michigan resources! Will continue to return and recommend this restaurant. Thank you."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Healthy food with grass fed beef good veggie choices and locally grown"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "The Root experience this week was my third time there, and the whole dining experience just keeps getting better. The food is utterly spectacular! My brother-in-law had a steak, and he said it was the best steak he's ever had. I had the sloppy joe and jalapeno sandwich with house fries. The jalapeno lent a unique texture to an already superb sandwich, and the fries were every bit as delicious. If you're an 'Eat Local' foodie, this is your place: all their wines and beers, and most of their food, are Michigan products. How they do what they do, for the prices they do it, is utterly mystifying. The Root rocks!"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "My wife and I both chose the tasting menu with wine and beer pairings. Everything was amazing and the alcohol pairings were perfect for each course. We were even given a free desert for our anniversary!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "My sister and I enjoyed 8 courses of excellence. We loved the pork belly on the creamed corn and the steak. The beef was so tender and flavorful. Our scallop appetizer was perfectly cooked. My least favorite dish we tried was the bbq chicken with couscous and pickled egg. It wasn't bad, but not my favorite flavor pairings. We had the charcuterie board and beat salad too, both very tasty. Dessert was to die for as well. I had the banana cream pie. Not too rich or overpowering, just delicious. You practically had to roll me out of the restaurant, but it was so delightful. We love good food and couldn't have been happier with our service at the Root."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "As long time and frequent diners at Root we always enjoy it. But I must say we were not thrilled about the latest menu change. The best salad good but we thought it was better in its previous cold version. Needs a better seafood variety."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Have been there food has been very good, but not this time."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We love The Root and go regularly. But Friday night was especially great. Our server Matt was awesome. He provided great service, was very knowledgeable about the menu and was also super friendly. We were with my sister and brother-in-law celebrating a couple things and he helped make the evening extra special. The food, of course, was incredible. The clam stew is so delicious and will bring us back very soon while it's still on the menu. Thank you for an excellent dining experience!!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We went there for our anniversary and were impressed by the food and the service. The scallops were exceptional; the salad was very good; the Alaskan salmon over babecued celery root topped with kale and Korean coleslaw was an experience. The deserts were also very worthy. There were only two issues: (1) the music was loud and very upbeat making it seem more like a bar; and (2) we had the fixed price menu and although we were told the portions are smaller that way, there was still too much food."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Our family truly enjoyed our dinner. The choices were great, and our server answered all of our questions so nicely. and the wine choices for our courses were perfect. I have already recommended The Root to my friends"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Go to restaurant....especially with just the two of us for a great meal without having to get all dressed up, even though the food is 5 star. They have the best vegetarian options! My wife always gets the vegetarian tasting, and I always get something else, then like hers best and swear I will get the vegetarian menu next time.....but I never learn. I swear NEXT TIME I will try the vegetarian tasting. (It's just hard....everything on the menu is amazing.) The craft cocktails are great, and the wine pairing regardless of which menu you go for is always very good, and Michigan wines whenever possible. Just go!!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Love the place , love what's stand for and the health benefits of a great fresh meal.! Also an inspiring story !!!!"
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "The restaurant features locally grown ingredients. Always top-notch food."
    Dined on 6/26/2014