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.