Update: Root Five has closed since this review was posted.
At least once this summer you should bear witness to one of WNY’s finest features – a world class sunset. I’m going with top 14 on the planet. Do they have this in Miami, Chicago, New York, Paris, Barcelona, London? Not like this. At our most recent dinner out we took full advantage. Sure, you can catch a great sunset all over town, but here you have a lake, a deck, nice menu and a bartender to keep you company.
Root Five in Hamburg has been around since 1998. I’m not sure what this was before, but if not a bar/restaurant someone was sleeping at the switch. Given the beautiful night I was pretty sure a lovely view was in store, but in truth I was a bit dubious that I was in for a good meal.
Whenever I go into a restaurant that offers something “special” to go along with the cuisine I’m a little skeptical. Sure the space is nice, but too often these places use that as a crutch. They don’t really need to try that hard because people are showing up for the view or the music or whatever. I personally want all of them to try really hard with food and service – always.
The place was quiet for such a nice night on a weekday evening. We were late so we were on the tail end of dinner and ahead of the bar crowds. We sat at a perfect table at the edge of the patio/deck overlooking Lake Erie, and the city. Root Five looks very much the part of a waterfront bar/restaurant decorated with mounted fish and boat/beach paraphernalia. They have a double bar, one outside on the deck, the other half inside overlooking the water. The deck is covered, so even if the weather isn’t ideal it would still work.
Appropriately the Root Five menu is heavy on seafood, but still offers plenty of other choices. Our waitress brought water, drinks and a good looking bread basket. The bread was fresh and warm and accompanied by a tasty sundried tomato pesto for dipping – good start.
For our openers we ordered a Chopped Salad – cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes, avocado, crispy bacon, fresh mozzarella, white balsamic vinaigrette- $10; and a special appetizer of Duel Crepes – fresh crepe shells filled with crab, lobster, sweet peas, and sun dried cherries topped with a dill cream sauce- $11. The chopped salad was outstanding with just a hint of bacon and a creamy white balsamic that enhanced the fresh veggies rather than overpowered. At first glance I thought the Duel Crepes sounded a little contrived, but they were just as good. The seafood wasn’t overpowering and the peas and cherries added a nice ying to the seafood’s yang.
For an entree I tried the Scottish Salmon – Pan seared salmon filet, roasted tomato salsa, chive cream, jasmine rice-$23. The salmon was crispy on the outside and moist inside and the chive cream added a nice light flavoring.
My companion went with the small plate of Lump Crab Cakes with creole remoulade – $12. The Crab Cakes were good, maybe a smidge too much breading. The remoulade sauce was excellent.
Root Five has a nice selection of beers with a dozen or so on tap, and plenty in the bottle. I started with a Sam Summer. The wine list is average at best.
Menu items of interest:
- Sweet Corn Fritters – Crispy sweet corn cakes, basil aioli – $8
- Sesame Tuna – Pan seared tuna served with Asian slaw and wasabi aioli. $12
- Linguini & Clams – Littleneck Clams, scallops, leeks, roasted tomatoes, garlic white wine broth – $17
- Lobster & Shrimp Pasta – Lobster, roasted red peppers, sweet peas, tarragon, brandy shellfish cream – $22
- Beef Tenderloin – 8 oz C.A.B. filet served with a Vidalia onion demi glace, mashed potatoes – $45
- Rib eye – Porcini crusted 16 oz. C.A.B, blue cheese whipped cream, mashed potatoes – $36
- Fisherman’s Stew – Sea scallops, shrimp, P.E.I. mussels, white fish, salmon, spicy tomato white wine broth, frizzled leaks – $24
- Grilled Yellow fin Tuna – Rice pearled shrimp, zucchini and carrot noodles, cous cous salad, sriracha aioli – $24
- Crab Legs – 1 ½ lbs. of steamed snow crab legs, jasmine rice – $25
I was admittedly pleasantly surprised by my meal. The service was good and the food was top notch. I’m not going to vouch for any of these when they get slammed on a warm Friday night. I will promise you the view will be good and the beer cold. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.
4914 Lakeshore Rd. Hamburg, NY 14075 | (716) 627-5551
Dinner Menu | Hours: Wed – Thurs (4:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.); Fri – Sun (4:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.)
Lunch Menu | Hours: Wed – Thurs (4:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.); Fri – Sun (12:00p.m. – Close)