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Roots Grill offers excellent Sundance dining in Park City

By Casey Adams daily Herald - | Jan 28, 2016
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Southwestern Chicken Salad at Roots Grill in Park City served with a cilantro vinaigrette dressing.

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Three-layer chocolate cake and cheesecake at Roots Grille in Park City served with raspberry sweet sauce.

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Roots Grill in Park City serves an appetizer with beet roots, candied pecans, blue cheese, arugula and balsamic dressing.

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The MONSTER! burger at Roots Grill is topped with smoked pulled pork and apple slaw and served with sweet potato fries.

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Three-layer chocolate cake at Roots Grill in Park City served with raspberry sweet sauce.

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Cheesecake dessert at Roots Grill in Park City served with raspberry sweet sauce.

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Southwestern Chicken Salad, served with a cilantro vinaigrette dressing, at Roots Grill in Park City. Visit heraldextra.com/ticket to read the Herald's review.

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Cheesecake dessert served with raspberry sweet sauce at Roots Grill in Park City.

After surviving on breakfast bars and Mt. Dew soda during the first few days of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, it was time to sit down and dine right.

The Yarrow Hotel Theatre became the destination for several screenings I had attended, and since the venue was located inside the DoubleTree Hotel in Park City it was an apt choice to check out the in-house restaurant, Root’s Grille.

I called ahead and asked the hostess only two questions: “Is the restaurant open for lunch?” and “What kind of desserts do you have?” Thankfully, the restaurant did serve lunch and what I heard next sealed my inevitable visit, “Chocolate cake, cheesecake and tiramisu,” she said. Chocolate cake, absolutely!

The restaurant is cut in half by a hallway with the bar lounge on one side and a dining room on the other side. The dining area is decorated with large framed mirrors on the wall and a chandelier made of colorful bike A-frames hanging from the ceiling. A fireplace with dancing flames completed a nice mountain decor theme.

It’s always a pleasure dining out in Park City during the film festival, because the ambient chatter in the room typically buzzes with opinions of the latest films people have seen. It was nice to get the scoop on a few films I should check out.

Roots Grill, formerly Mountain Grill, has a concise menu of basic categories with a handful of choices in each one.

Six starters are available on the menu and the beet roots item caught my attention at first glance. I thought to myself, “How are they going to pull this one off?” 

The service was fast enough that I didn’t notice how long I had been waiting. I didn’t know what to expect with a beet appetizer but I crafted my first bite that included a little bit of everything on the dish: Crumbled blue cheese, candied pecans and arugula that was dashed with a touch of balsamic dressing.

The organic flavors of the beet, the bitter-sweet of the dressing and pecans and the strong flavor of the blue cheese seemed to come out wonderfully balanced. Surprised, I went in to construct another bite.

Next came the salad, which I initially thought to be a side dish of some kind until I saw just how grand Roots Southwest Chicken Salad was. Aside from the three kinds of leafy greens, several other veggies mixed in the salad. Black beans, hominy, crunchy tortilla strips, cucumber, carrot splinters and tomatoes made this salad a full and complete entree. Two types of cheese top the creation and two sides of dressing sat neatly on the edge of a large square bowl.

The Roasted Garlic Burger on the restaurant’s Signature Burgers menu seemed to be built like a dream. Bacon and melty provolone cheese might be a usual burger topping and the garlic burger has that. But whole roasted garlic cloves as soft as butter for a topping just made this burger pop. The beef patty alone was impressive. It sat about a half-inch tall, thick and seasoned. Now, that’s a patty you can sink your teeth into.

When I grazed over the menu once more, I beheld a challenge of monstrous proportion. The “MONSTER!” Burger menu item sat there taunting me, and I had to respond in retaliation. The burger is served with the Roots’ signature patty and about a quarter-pound of smoked barbecue pork on top. But that’s not all. Ne’re a monster does a just patty and shredded pork make.

Topping the burger is a house-made creamy green apple slaw piled high atop an already bursting burger. A responsible diner will shed some of the generous pork and slaw topping, which I did. I admit I could not take on the MONSTER! up front. I did, however, eat away at its strength until it was nothing more than mere crumbs.

With the winds of victory billowing my appetite evermore, I embarked on another quest. The final pursuit of my heart’s truest desire — the three-layer chocolate cake I had first set my sights on.

I ordered. It came. I conquered. A cake layer, mousse layer and fudge layer — a trifecta of satisfaction that one single layer could not have done on its own.

Satisfied I could do nothing more to top off the corners of my tummy, I arose from the table with a new wave of ambition. I was now ready to finish Sundancing to the two other screenings on my list that day.

Having already defeated a MONSTER!, I could take on anything.

ROOTS GRILL

Where: 1800 Park Ave., Park City

Hours: Monday-Sunday; 6:30 a.m. to 2 pm, 5-9 p.m.

Prices: $8.95-$14.95

Info: (435) 649-7000, bit.ly/1WNdo6M

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