My brother is sometimes given to hyperbole, but this time he was pretty much on the mark when commenting on his recent meal at Root. For nearly a year we have been visiting Root and each time we have not been disappointed. This time, Rich, the cook, greeted us with a basket of freshly picked matsutake mushrooms, brought in that same afternoon by one of Rich's foragers. As a gift from the chef, the waitress brought the lightly sautéd matsutake mushroom with a sake based dipping sauce. What a special treat and to think that I didn't have to travel to the Pacific Northwest to enjoy this highly sought after mushroom! With its group of select farms in the region ("partners in grime"), Root specializes in farm to table produce. But with its team of foragers, Root can also offer a wider choice of native (and perhaps more exotic) New England produce on its menu. For starters, we enjoyed local beets topped with a velvety goat cheese panna cotta with just enough sweetness to contrast nicely with the balsamic reduction. For my main dish, I chose the Maine raised delmonico steak that was served with a cabernet reduction. For a moment I thought I was enjoying the steak at the Four Seasons in New York (it was that good!), and had to remind myself that I was in Bethlehem New Hampshire, sitting among out-of-state leaf peepers and not bankers and captains of industry on expense accounts. For dessert we all enjoyed a spoonful of the apple crisp, topped with a local New Hampshire vanilla ice cream. After coffee and goodbyes all around, we drove home through "The Notch", ie., Franconia Notch, still talking about the great meal we had. Before we left, however, we made sure that we were on the Root email list because we can hardly wait for the next "special" at the Root Restaurant.
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