You feel like you’re in New York City when you sit here,” says Andy Silverstein, general manager of Morristown’s new Roots Steakhouse.
Located in the heart of downtown, on the Morristown Green, this new dining spot feels as posh as any you would find in the Big Apple, but with the luxury of more relaxed—and convenient—surroundings.
40 W Park Place
Elegant fine-dining steakhouse with a lively bar scene.
The interior has a clean, upscale design. Framed prints adorn the wood-clad walls and a large mural portrays life-size guests enjoying a good time—a familiar real-life scene at this already-popular restaurant. The dining room, which accommodates about 140 guests, features booth as well as table seating, complete with white-linen tablecloths and sleek, comfortable, leather-cushioned chairs. Ambient lighting is accomplished with hanging chandeliers, small sconces and tabletop candles. The expansive bar, separate, but in view of the dining area, seats more than 20.
The cuisine, brought forth by executive chef Steve DeMarco, is that of a traditional steakhouse, featuring popular cuts like the 16-ounce prime New York strip, porterhouse and 12-ounce filet mignon. Of course, there is plenty to choose from besides beef. Starters include lobster bisque, lump-crab cocktail and French onion soup, and salads such as seared salmon with greens, and arugula with sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Seafood entrees include shrimp scampi, grilled rare tuna steak Nicoise and 10-ounceswordfish steak served with bacon-garlic butter and oregano. The warm open-face turkey sandwich accompanied by frites, Cobb salad, Goffle Farms chicken breast and spicy barbecue baby back ribs are among the non-beef dinner options. For the best of both worlds, choose surf-and-turf, which pairs a 1 1/4 lobster with any steak or chop.
Traditional desserts, overseen by pastry chef Joe Murray, range from Roots’s signature warm butter cake, served with blueberry compote and fresh whipped cream to crème brulée; red velvet cake; and the popular ice cream sundae, which is drizzled with chocolate, caramel and raspberry sauces and garnished with candied pecans.
With a wine list that features more than 100 selections, patrons can find the perfect label to pair with their meals. Top-shelf liquors and champagnes are also available.
Roots is one of Morris Plains-based Harvest Restaurants’ eight eateries located throughout the state, including Tabor Road Tavern in Morris Plains, Ciao in Basking Ridge and Roots Steakhouse in Summit, opened in 2006. Chester “Chip” Grabowski and Bob Moore, owners of the corporation, have continued to expand with the Roots launch this past January, and Urban Table, a casual dining concept, which opened in Morristown in April.
Roots is open for lunch from 11:30 am to 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, and from 12 to 4 pm on Sundays. Dinner is served until 10 pm Monday through Thursday, until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and until 9 pm on Sunday.
Raise your Glass
Wine and Beer Clubs
Like having an in-house sommelier at your fingertips, wine and beer clubs are a convenient (for just one fee, the goods are delivered to you) and economical (the value often exceeds the cost) way to uncork a new adventure every month. Let the knowledgeable experts with the buying power sift through all the intoxicating offerings as you sip away and learn the buzz about new beverages.
Gary’s Wine and Marketplace Wayne, Madison and Bernardsville (888-99-GARYS; garyswine.com)
Gary’s Wine and Marketplace offers four wine clubs, ranging from everyday wines ($25 a month) to cellar starters ($125 a month), as well as a Case Club, featuring three 12-bottle cases a year for $495. And for those who know exactly what they like, the aforementioned Gary’s clubs can be personalized as strictly red or strictly white. All club members also receive a monthly newsletter featuring tasting notes, winery information, food pairing suggestions and more. Members are also privy to advance sales and special pricing as well as invitations to Gary’s wine and food events)
Wine Library offers two sets of monthly wine clubs, one from Wine Library and one with Gary Vaynerchuk. Wine Library’s three monthly clubs include a One Bottle Club for $22, a Two Bottle Club (one white, one red) for $39, and a Two Bottle high-end Collector’s Club for $89—all accompanied by a description of the wines. For the adventurous, Vaynerchuk’s three monthly clubs feature “secret packs”—one month you could receive one bottle, the next, six. You won’t know until that month’s package arrives. Vaynerchuk’s clubs range in price from $32 to $100, increasing in value as they increase in price, and are each paired with a three-minute online video explanation of his monthly offerings.
30 Church Street
Amanti Vino offers two monthly wine clubs: Goda (Italian for “enjoy”) at $40 and Collettore (Italian for “collector”) at $90. Goda features off-the-beaten-path choices or previews of new vintages, while Collettore delivers a pair of limited production, high-quality finds, many of which are exclusive to club members. All members receive newsletters detailing background information as well as tasting notes, food pairings and recipes, as well as 10 to 15 percent discounts on purchases and free delivery to restaurants in downtown Montclair. For $20 a month, Amanti Vino also offers Club Birra (Italian for “beer”), delivering two to four artisanal beers from around the world that are new to Amanti Vino or limited edition beers that won’t ever see the shelf. Club members also receive an informational newsletter with tasting notes and production methods, as well as priority registration in classes, beer pairing dinners and brewery tours.
—Drew Anne Scarantino