Let's define the word root.
Noun - the part of a plant which attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers.
New owner Jimmy Hildebrandt is in a familiar role. He's accustom to greeting people as they walk in, talking to people as they dine at one of the booths or tables, or striking up a conversation with a regular at the bar.
This time, he gets to drive the concept of the restaurant and the impact it'll have on the community.
He and his chef, Jesse Goguen, opened Wednesday with a "Taste & Takeout" menu selection featuring appetizers and a few main courses. They will be doing this same menu next week, too. After that, they plan to roll out entrees.
Both Jimmy and Jesse has one message for the Georgetown County residents. Root is all about community. Everyone is welcome at the table.
Jimmy realized the price points of the past menu could not sustain viability or bring in a more well-rounded audience. There had to be dishes for everyone. Sure, there's still the dishes you'd expect a fine dining restaurant, but Root is more than that.
verb - cause (a plant or cutting) to grow roots.
Jimmy met with chef Jesse and planned a menu that included tastings under $15 with plentiful portions. Their intention is to have dishes like the Crab Pretzel, the famous Brussels (new flavor twist), and Cheesesteak Egg Rolls plant themselves as customer favorites.
As of today, all three have been top-selling items and the talk of the town. In other words, sprouting out.
One customer who saw me said he wanted people to know this place was for a wallet of every size. Thick and thin. And, it's for every person.
To further the point of growing roots, the eatery has and will use local produce and products.
They've already used blueberries from Winyah Blueberry Farm in Georgetown and the pretzel is from ElJay Pretzels in Litchfield. The seafood is also brought in locally, some sourced from Wicked Inlet Seafood in Murrells Inlet.
Their main items of focus, the microgreens, are from Raising Greens Farm.
Building connections with local purveyors not only solidifies the "local roots" part of their tagline, but provides the distinct flavor and freshness you'd expect from a farm-to-table atmosphere.
verb - establish deeply and firmly.
The end goals are to be a mainstay on Front Street, a gathering point for people of kind, and a key player in community involvement. Given the situation with the pandemic, the last goal is a tough one, but the eatery can do a lot from inside their walls by building a great rapport with customers who, in return, spread the word through the town and outward.
The food is beginning of that embedding. And from what has been served so far, Root has a great chance to establish its on origin and grow beautifully inside our city, attracting people from the county, state and elsewhere.
And that, friends, is a preview of an excellent culinary harvest.
It's been a while since we've been to Root at 919 Front Street in Georgetown. Matter of fact, the last time we were here was when we awarded the Beef Short Ribs the Simply Amazing Dish of the Month in December 2018.
The wait was well worth it, though. Such an awesome lunch. Our server Chris was very dutiful and pleasant. We know him from one of the sister restaurants, Caffe Piccolo.
Our go-to dishes are the tomato basil soup and the shrimp bisque. The Mussels and Frites are superb. The sauce those mussels bath in is divine.
Speaking of sauce, the chicken wings had an awesome one on them.
You'll love the shrimp and grits, too. Nice size shrimp and creamy grits, but not heavy. You can eat the whole dish and still enjoy the day.
And the crème brûlée cheesecake for dessert was a superb way to end the meal.
Take a look at the menu below and plan your next lunch soon.
Yes, we finally made it to the new restaurant Root, located at 919 Front Street in Georgetown. Very awesome ambiance and decor.
Take a look at the marvelous dishes had tonight for dinner.
Meatballs & Grits
tomato-based over creamy Anson Mills polenta with burrata cheese, Pecorino and basil
Mussels Alla Root
steamed in a tangy broth with fresh herbs, crispy bacon and grilled bread
- you must soak the bread in the broth!
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
over risotto with crab and shrimp
Beef Short Ribs
red wine-braised over Anson Mills polenta, roasted root vegetables, gremolata, local greens and gravy
roasted wild mushrooms simmered in a black truffle marinara and tossed with pappardelle pasta and Pecorino Romano