Monday was a busy day at The Root Restaurant & Bar in White Lake. According to Chef James Rigato, business was way up following the announcement of the establishment being named the Detroit Free Press 2012 Restaurant of the Year.
"The phones have been ringing all day," Rigato said. "I think we were about 40 percent busier then an average Monday. Which is great. The whole month of February is filling up fast though. Valentines Day is nearly booked as are the next couple Saturdays. The Cabin Fever Feast on Feb. 23 is about halfway booked."
If you want to reserve a seat and try the highly touted menu on a weekend, Rigato suggests making reservations for a day early in the week.
"The weekends are still the most desired time for reservations," he said. "My suggestion for getting a table would be make a reservation well in advance, show up early in the night and sit at the bar, or come in later and grab a table, like around 9:45-10 p.m."
The Detroit Free Press bestowed the honor on Restaurant of the Year on Sunday, citing the ever-changing menu and fresh local ingredients as two of many reasons for the award.
"We are all very excited about being Restaurant of the year," Rigato said. "It feels good to be rewarded for the hard work and risk of opening in a small town."
White Lake Township Supervisor Greg Baroni said the township is also very excited about the honor.
"We were very happy to hear about the award," Baroni said. "It great news not only for The Root, but for White Lake as well. We hope we can continue to attract businesses that are top of their field and better White Lake."
Rigato said he doesn't have any menu changes planned yet, but will continue to change the menu as the seasons change. For Valentine's Day, Rigato said there will be specials offered built around traditional date night fare as well as some beverage specials.
When asked if there was one dish that a patron must try when visiting The Root for the first time, Rigato suggested the scallops appetizer, "The scallops are a must try for the first time guest. As well as the foie gras, which is sorely under-served in the Metro Detroit area," he said.
The Root is located at 340 Town Center Blvd. in White Lake's Village Lakes Plaza. The restaurant is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.