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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
  • Email: eat@therootrestaurant.com
  • Phone: (248) 698-2400
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
  • 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, 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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Went to The Root for dinner for my birthday. It was great! I had the chicken and dumplings, assuming it would be the traditional type, but good. It was anything but traditional and ordinary, that's for sure. It was one of the best dishes I've ever had. The homemade dumplings were delicious, the sauce was amazing, and the chicken was grilled perfectly. My husband had the pork shoulder/grits, and it was also very good. If you haven't been to The Root yet, you MUST go!!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I've been here 3 times and the food is always excellent; a true world class restaurant in White Lake. The cocktails are inventive and excellent. The wait staff is attentive and friendly without being intrusive. This is one of my favorite places to eat (and not just in Michigan). If you have guests in town and want to "wow" them this is the place to go."
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "Besides the food wonderful, the best part was it was all local products of Michigan."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "I had so many dishes I could eat for once it was difficult to choose. I tried the Vegan Taster and it did not disappoint."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We heard a lot of hype about the restaurant and honestly we were expecting just a bit more. The food was good, my husband especially enjoyed his steak. Their wasn't much privacy at our table, kind of felt 'on display'. We probably won't be back for the high prices."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "I like everything about this restaurant. Only reason service didn't get 5 stars is; I was taking my mother for the first time. We waited over 8 minutes for the waitress to greet us. That left me worried she was going to be bad the rest of the visit. She was good but my first impression wasn't good and I'm sure my mother felt the same way. Plus: it was happy hour from 3-6 and it was after 6 by the time she walked up."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Food was okay at this restaurant but when asked about the daily specials, we were told that the chef was at another location and there were no specials that night (a Saturday evening!). When we asked what the catch of the day was, the waiter said it was a whole fish that was deboned before serving. When we requested that the head and tail be removed, we were told that the chef (that was there that evening) would not do that. Really????? Not remove a head and tail for us? They already have to debone it. Ridiculous. Food was pricey and the menu had limited in entrees. Ps - check out the price on a bologna sandwich. I doubt that we will be going back."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "It's winter in Michigan, the seasonal menu this season was poor. The staff was difficult and customer service was lacking. In this price range I would go elsewhere for a better meal, service, and dinning experience."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "If you live close to The Root, you MUST go and you must go often. This is truly a gem of a restaurant. The menu was interesting and locally sourced. The fish special -- whole Branzino -- was very well done. The price point was reasonable and the service was good. My food tasted great and the Michigan wine pairings were shockingly good. The Root is not a destination restaurant. While an upscale casual experience, it's hard to justify frequently given the drive. After enjoying the tasting menu, we had spent less than 2 hours. It's not a place to linger and relax; there is absolutely nothing else to do nearby. I will make the trek out to enjoy the food seasonally and support the great effort. I would be there weekly if I lived closer."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I had seen this restaurant in passing dozens of times and wasn't sure what it was. A co-worker recommended it for my husband's birthday dinner. It was amazing!!! As someone who once studied to be a chef, but changed paths, I can appreciate fresh, local food prepared to enhance the flavor and choices available. I will definitely be back and recommend The Root to my friends and family."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "TJ really knows his menu and more. We had an incredible experience, from the great food to the creative sorbet drink; but, TJ was an incredible guide, thanks much!"
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "We had to drive a little over one hour to get to the Root, but it did not disappoint. We had reservations, were a bit early and were seated immediately. Our server really knew her stuff -- the wine, the beers, the menu and helped us zero in on what would satisfy our discerning palettes. Her direction and/or the food did not disappoint. In fact, it was off the chart fantastic. With every forkful we oohed and aaaaahed and dove back in for more. This was some of the best food we've ever had in the metro Detroit area and we have been to a number of major highly-recommended restaurants. This place gets two thumbs up and then some. Did I mention everything about the Root was AWESOME? It was AWESOME!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Bad experience with our server. As per usual, food was excellent, unfortunately didn't make up for lack of service.Good food only takes you so far. Our server seemed to be very preoccupied by the larger group he was serving adjacent to our table. Firstly he didn't listen to our orders carefully and while my friend ordered the tasting he didn't place it as her order so she had to wait for her food, we had to ask for silverware 3 times during the meal as well as never receiving the glass of wine I ordered with meal. The entire evening summed up as frustrating. You expect quality service, at the very least refill water glasses without having to ask. The waiter even said "wow, i am dropping the ball all over the place with you tonight!""
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Although the food was great it was deliveried within 20 minutes of sitting down. If I wanted a quick meal I would go to McDonalds."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Once again, we had a wonderful evening at The Root. There are some changes on the menu, which are outstanding (the new chicken dish was delicious). We are never disappointed at The Root!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We decided to eat at the bar and not the table. The dinner was good but the people standing behind you to take your seat at the bar is ridiculous. They stand over you and when I did get up I couldn't even get my coat on - I had to say excuse me. The people waiting for a bar seat should be standing at the door and wait their turn at sitting at the bar. I spent over a hundred for dinner, probably won't be back only to order a hamburger carry out."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We booked a table for six to celebrate a birthday. It was amazing, from start to finish. The food, locally sourced, is beautifully presented and tastes as good as it looks. All of us opted for the tasting menu but we added both a cheese and charcuterie platter to go along with the cocktails. Service was relaxed, just as we had hoped-- once we told them we were in no hurry. What a great evening. I'd go back in a heart beat."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Love restaurants that offer locally raised, non-GMO food! This is a great place to partake of that. It's a distance from where I live, but I will be back!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Baked Michigan Brie appetizer served with arugula salad, BLT with house-made bacon from a restaurant that lists the sources of their ingredients. The decor is charming, the service is attentive but not pushy. What a treasure!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Consistently good food & service at reasonable prices. What a gem!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Not much you can say bad about the place. Friday nite 6pm reservations for 4, place was filling up. Still got Great food and service. Water glass always full. Replace silverware if used more than once. Servers know just how long they should wait in between drinks and appetizers before asking for rest of order. Menu is locally produced, with specials that are exceptional. I'm a carnivore but on Good Friday tried the Lentil dinner item and now i know I could live without meat if I needed to. Jackie the Bartender pours a magnificent drink. Try it Youll Like it!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Wonderful service and food, a great meal. Vegans covered (my wife just had sides and loved it, although there was also a good looking entree, and my steak was perfect. Just loved it."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The Root is our favorite restaurant. The food is exceptional and unique, the wait staff always terrific and we like to talk to the owner who is there bussing tables, talking to guests, etc. We also love the beer which is unique and fun to try, and like supporting Michigan based farmers."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Went to The Root to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday with family. We had an awesome, super friendly and knowledgeable waiter and the food was amazing as it always has been. Had a wonderful time."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "I love the fact that all their ingredients are fresh and local. There were many unique menu options and my husband and I were both raving about our meals. Delicious!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "The food was superb and the prices fair. We had to wait 15 minutes despite a reservation"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Don't be fooled by the unassuming location and outward appearance! This place is outstanding!! The ambiance is classy and modern, and the staff is great. The menu is phenomenal. Love that they use fresh, locally sourced items. Each dish we tried was obviously very carefully constructed and beautifully executed. Will definitely be back. Keep up the great work!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Great experience. You could taste the freshness in the food. I had the smoked pork shoulder, it was so tender and melt in your mouth. It was served over grits....perfection!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Great place for a friend' reunion! Quiet and not rushed . Great service. Good wine but a little pricey. Soups are wonderful. I love the fact that this establishment buys local Michigan products when possible. Lots of different choices for vegetarians! The pita bread used in the humus/ beet sandwich was dry but the sandwich was overall good. Really enjoyed the lunch!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "First time at this restaurant definitely not the last! The food, ambience... Everything perfect. They use all local products which I really appreciate."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "I received a gift card to the Root, otherwise being a half hour away from my home, and never having heard of it, I would never have gone there. My husband and I had a 4:30 seating, which was okay, but was clearly family eating time with little kids. Anyways, the menu was full of great choices and I choose the vegan tasting, including roasted cauliflower salad, butternut soup, red lentil stew and vegan brownie with coconut ice milk. Everything was delicious and presented in impeccable fashion. Even the bread they served was mouth watering. They don't give you a big generic loaf, instead a few tasty pieces with soft butter. This is no Applebees or Olive Garden, this is fine dining. Even the cocktail I had was good, not watered down at all."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We come in for dinner to celebrate my husbands birthday with our son and daughter in law. Nice place, the food was Great. Only drawback is that the menu is limited."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "You need a reservation a week or so in advance or can just show up. Very popular restaurant from the northern suburbs. We have many options from Ann Arbor, but seasonally make the trip here for some unique menu items and a beautiful presentation. It is comparable to Zingerman's Roadhouse in many ways. You will not be disappointed."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This was my third time at the Root and it did not disappoint! The menu is so inventive - it's always tough making a decision because everything is so tasty. The MI beer list is fantastic. Our server, Karen, was fantastic. She is efficient and professional. All the wait staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. You won't get bad service here."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "The great experience started right from being able to go online and pick our time to come in and dine. What a great idea and so easy to use!! Adrienne our server was extremely nice and very knowledgeable on the food choices and helpful on making a choice. The food was exceptional..we saved half our meal for lunch the next day so we could enjoy the dessert. We were there celebrating Valentines Day and being at The Root helped put a special touch on it. Thank you for offering such delicious gluten free choices, as that is an important part of my diet!! Keep up the great work you are doing!!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The food is near perfect, easily near the best I've ever had. The service was also exactly what you would want out of waitstaff. I like the smaller menu, with slightly less tradition options."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "My husband and I love the root. The food is always fresh and cooked perftectly. The menu is alwayschanging and the food is local."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "My wife and I had heard about "The Root" and picked it for a Valentines day dinner. They have a very creative chef who selects his materials very carefully and creates some truly wonderful food. The menu has a Michigan spin. If you have not been there I would recommend it highly for a special meal. We were $120 with tip and four glasses of wine, so its not cheap, but it is a very memorable dining experience. We decided we need to visit there a few times a year minimum. The delicious unique dishes with a Michigan spin put the Root very high on our list."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "With fresh local ingredients and friendly service, this place quickly has become our favorite. Try the pork belly appetizer. The smoked meatloaf is fantastic."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This restaurant was recommended to us by a bartender at Bigalora's , So I did a online review and booked online reservations for Valentines Day at 8pm. I was about an hour and 15 minute drive from our house . We arrived @ 8pm was greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. We were seated in minutes. Wait staff was great ! Very informative of items on the menu. Had a chance to meet Jeremy & Chad ..... You both have an awesome place and the food was phenomenal . My valentine of 33 years had scallop's on risotto and I had the sirloin . The sides and dessert was amazing. We will be back !This restaurant "The ROOT" is the benchmark of the best quality food money can buy....... Thank you , Ryan for the referral. Kurt & Lawrie ( Temecula, Ca)"
    Dined on 2/14/2014