The Root Restaurant & Bar
The Root Restaurant & Bar

The Root Restaurant & Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.therootrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 2486982400x
  • 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 WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
The Root Restaurant & Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
162 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (135)special occasion (101)neighborhood gem (82)hot spot (43)romantic (41)notable wine list (38)good for groups (37)great for lunch (31)great for outdoor dining (24)vibrant bar scene (18)great for brunch (18)late-night find (8)kid-friendly (7)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Something For Everyone
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    I like to try new foods, my husband always orders the same type of steak meal at every restaurant. We were both very happy with our meals. For dessert get the Milk and Honey. Local in season foods served. Vegan options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous!
    MaryVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Had sloppy Joe with optional fried egg....yum. Friends had Mac and cheese, shrimp and grits and burger. All were raving. If you've not experience this restaurant, put it on your restaurant bucket list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food was awesome, the waiter we had was a little off... We have been there before with better service, so it must have just been a bad egg!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding, as usual
    luvprime
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Once again, we had a wonderful evening at The Root. Our server Tim was excellent - very knowledgeable about all food choices and made some very good recommendations. We brought some friends who were first timers at The Root - they will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Great food . .. .service . . . .atmosphere . ... . .what a find.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The ROOT let us down.
    Truth316
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    After hearing some very good reviews, we finally made the fairly long trek to The Root. Although I am never one to shutter at a higher price for a great meal, I thought the a' la carte was a joy kill. I went for the $40 4-course meal with the Salmon. Blah. The appetizer was fairly tasty, but had two of the smallest scallops for an appetizer that I've ever seen. Not enough to share a bite. The salad was the largest portion of the meal, filled with fresh goodies. However, only so-so on overall flavor. The intermezzo pallet cleanser was the best part of the meal. The Salmon was cook to perfection, but lacked flavor, was a very small portion and surrounded by a few bland veggies. The dessert - good. Too late to save the experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful
    AmateurFoodie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The Executive Chef has visited our granddaughter's school for the past couple of years now. We decided to take her to lunch at the Root. It was a quiet Saturday but we enjoyed it immensely. The Crispy Pork Belly appetizer that my wife ordered was 'heavenly'. It was memorable. Everyone enjoyed the meal. The food was absolutely wonderful and we will be going back at the first opportunity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • perfect anniversary dinner
    marmot
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Everything at the Root was perfect. We went for an anniversary celebration, and it could not have been better. The food was outstanding, and our server was helpful with selections and very knowledgeable. We were so glad we went and will go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Good is consistently excellent, however the service both times we have been there has been only so-so. While the only restaurant of its caliber within 20 miles from food and preparation standpoint, the servers and bartenders have been a bit abrupt or seem almost angry that you are there. A warm smile goes a long way. The critics are correct when it comes to the talents of the chef and the kitchen, but having dined at The Lark, Cafe Cortina, the French Laundry (in Fenton), a dining experience starts at the door and should be shared by all restaurant staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty Food, Great Service
    PeteVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    This was our second trip to The Root. Service was great as was the taste of the food. The Orchard Salad and Beet Salad were outstanding as was the house made gelato. My Shrimp and Grits was delicious and I liked the added spice of the jalapeno pepper. My wife, on the other hand, ordered the Sloppy Joe and was told that without the jalapeno, it would not be hot/spicy...for her, it was STILL very hot/spicy. The great taste was overwhelmed by the hot. I enjoy hot/spicy food and I thought it was a bit hot, but I enjoyed it. Caveat: if you are sensitive to hot/spicy food, order and eat with caution!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Phenomenal food, excellent service.
    Offthepost
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Enjoyed a laid back atmosphere. The food was great....service was even better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Won't be the last
    DPHIII
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Without question, The Root is one of the five best restaurants my wife and I have ever enjoyed. Every dish we has was amazing, and the service was impeccable. It's simply a must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jim59
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Food was very creative and excellent. Prices were somewhat expensive, but worth every penny (or rather dollar!). Service was more than good. However my wife was disappointed in the ambiance. For the price and quality of the food here she expected a more upscale ambiance. Decor was OK, but the menu range from sandwiches on up and the crowd it caters to seems a blend of nighborhood walk ins and foodies going to a destination place. While this seems like a good business arrangement for owners, it takes away from the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic Service
    Kyle
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Recently dined at The Root for an anniversary meal and the service and food were exceptional. Vegan tasting menu was absolutely perfect and we couldn't have asked for a better night out!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent food
    MIFoodieFan
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    A great menu with something for everyone on it, including fried bologna! The cheese platter is a "must have" and the tasting menu is a steal - very affordable, even with the wine pairing. I had a 5 course menu and each course was really wonderful. Service overall was good, albeit a bit slow to start. It took probably 10 minutes for our first drink to arrive. It was a Friday night and a packed house. The star of this restaurant is definitely the food - affordably priced and well balanced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Root
    Eugene
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Fabulous dining experience! No wonder they were voted a Best Restaurant in their first year along with honors in Detroit's Hour magazine.c
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Can't wait to go back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Food was best I've tasted since my trip to Rome. Creative and flavorful. Service just right. Not to pushy but very knowledgable and helpful
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • the root rocks
    JBC11
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brunch in White Lake
    Zeke14
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    I am trying to make myself love this restaurant. I am still not overly impressed! Went for brunch with my husband and daughter. I ordered the sirloin and eggs. The steak was cooked perfectly, but I don't believe it was seasoned at all. The eggs were supposed to be over easy, but were more over medium. The fingerling potatoes were delicious! The Bloody Mary was also very yummy and spicy. My daughter ordered the biscuits and gravy, however, they should change the description to "biscuit" and gravy. It needed some salt, and the gravy tasted like it had some cheese in it. We didn't care for it. My husband ordered the house salmon lox, the only complaint is the portion, a little slight. Menu very limited.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Root Rocks
    zootboy2000
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lives up to reputation
    michigandailys
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing Food
    VandyVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Some of the best food in any restaurant in Southeast Michigan
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rock 'n Roll brunch, you say?
    StillStuffedVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Johnboy
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Our food and presentation of the entrée were excellent. We recommend and will be back soon.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Yum..
    Perfect
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Have had Breakfast, lunch and dinner here...all above expectations! a true Gem
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and service
    rj582
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We celebrated my wife's birthday with excellent food and service. The one thing lacking is a scenic view of a lake.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Date with a foodie, and it paid off
    Randizzle64VIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delectable and unique presentations
    SJ28
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place, supporting MI
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Probably better at dinner
    Earnstone
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday dinner
    sunshinenwhine
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food Experience
    LaurieS
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Root
    Luvorganic
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    How lucky we are to have The Root in White Lake. Interesting, extremely tasty food, great service and soothing surroundings.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • quick stop
    matt
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A real night out
    Kitchenshrink
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Root of it all
    LiveLife07
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always delicious!
    foodies
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Waste
    MrFood
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    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,
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First day of brunch service
    jenny
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    Lauren0723
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.