City Chic Suburban Style

by Candace Wells
Park Place Magazine

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.

Roots Steakhouse
40 W Park Place

The skinny:
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.

One of Roots’s signature steaks.

SIGNATURE SWEETS: Warm butter cake with blueberry compote and whipped cream.

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.

See the article in Park Place Magazine.

Morristown Mayor Leads Grand Opening of Roots Steakhouse

By Betsy Kraat

MORRISTOWN–Morristown Mayor Timothy Dougherty joined fellow municipal officials and members of the business community at a February 15th ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of Roots Steak House, the latest addition to the Shops on the Green in downtown Morristown.

The 6,000 sf steakhouse, located on the ground level of the 40 Park residential building, offers restaurant-goers a classic, upscale dining experience across the street from the Morristown Green. The interior features warm mahogany wood panels, comfortable seating for 140 and tasteful artwork, giving the restaurant a sophisticated air reminiscent of an old-fashioned New York steakhouse. A lunch and full dinner menu are available, including superb cuts of beef grilled on an 1800-degree broiler, as well as gourmet veal, lamb, chicken and seafood selections.

This is the second location for Roots Steak House, with the original Roots located in Summit.

“The buzz has been building for a long time,” said Grant Halliday, director of operations for Harvest Restaurants, the parent company of Roots Steak House and owner of seven other restaurants in the region, including Urban Table which will open its doors at The Shops on the Green in March. “We feel the steakhouse concept has a lot of staying power.”

A total of 70,000 square feet of retail space, which in part forms the foundation of the 40 Park luxury condominium building and adjacent Metropolitan at 40 Park luxury rental building, comprises the Shops on the Green. An AT&T retail store opened late last year, and Qdoba is scheduled to open later this spring, joining Roots Steak House and Urban Table. The retail space wraps around the building, offering businesses a highly visible location that can be accessed from Market Street, the Morristown Green or the 40 Park public piazza which leads to a new enclosed public parking garage.

Outdoor seating for the restaurants at The Shops on the Green will be available on the professionally-landscaped piazza, providing restaurant goers a relaxing and charming setting from which to enjoy their meal. Outdoor seating will also be available on Park Place, across from the Morristown Green.

“A restaurant as popular and well-regarded as Roots Steak House is a great addition to downtown Morristown and a perfect complement to the evolving retail center at The Shops on the Green,” said Debra Tantleff, a Vice President of Development at Roseland Property Company, which along with joint venture partner Woodmont Properties is in the latter stages of a $300 million redevelopment effort that has reshaped and revitalized the historic downtown.

“This is an ideal location for businesses that wish to benefit from Morristown’s vibrant, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere and the area’s abundant daytime workforce. Our residents are excited about this new dining option, and the retail community is thrilled to have to have a new destination anchor attracting visitors to Morristown.”

Roots Steakhouse in Morristown Offers an Upscale Experience

Scott Eadie, executive general manager of Roots Steakhouse, at the door of the wine cellar. / STAFF PHOTO: KAREN FUCITO with Asbury Park Press

Asbury Park Press
February 23, 2011

The Harvest Group, headed by Chester “Chip” Grabowski and Robert (Bob) Moore, is a concept that began in 1996 with Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery in Berkeley Heights.

Microbrews crafted there are featured at all Harvest venues: Grato and Tabor Road Tavern in Morris Plains, 3 West and Ciao Cucina in Basking Ridge, Huntley Taverne and Roots Steakhouse in Summit and open-by-spring Urban Table in Morristown.

Harvest combines urban edge with suburban flair, and now there is one more: Roots Steakhouse at 40 Park Place, Morristown. The name derives from a clothing store that once occupied Harvest’s Summit building and included a branch in Morristown, and advertisements from the classic haberdashery are part of the stunning decor.

Read the full article in the Asbury Park Press.

Can’t get a reservation? Here’s a Video Toast to Morristown’s Roots, the ‘Copacabana of Morris County’

by Kevin Coughlin
February 17, 2011

Last month our roving video camera took you to the long-awaited re-opening of the blast-damaged Morristown & Township Library.

Now, we take you inside another much-anticipated opening, at Roots SteakHouse in Morristown. As we’ve noted previously, it’s a classy place that is the commercial centerpiece of the downtown redevelopment.

“It’s the Copacabana of Morris County,” Steve Santola, who emceed the event for the developers, remarks in the opening minute of the video, above. You can be the judge of that.

Some good numbers are here. For a flavor of Tuesday’s official opening, check out the 14-minute video, which culminates in a toast to the health of the new enterprise.

What makes this interesting is the cast. It’s a Who’s Who of Morristown redevelopment, featuring rare cameos by public officials, restaurateurs and the people from the Woodmont and Roseland development groups who made the 40 Park, Metropolitan, Highlands at Morristown Station and Vail Mansion luxury projects happen despite the worst recession in memory.

(Off-camera, we asked Lewis Zlotnick, president of Woodmont Properties, how they pulled this off. He credited the strength and vision of Woodmont and Roseland, a migration of people to downtowns with public transit and “great infrastructures,” and recognition that the economy is cyclical. “Things recover faster than they did years ago,” he said.)

It’s also worth noting which Morristown mayors are present…and which ones are not.

Here are some video highlights, if you want to fast-forward:

Steve Santola, general counsel, Woodmont Properties

0:45: “It’s the Copacabana of Morris County.”

1:00: “We watched the town deliver on promises to reinvent itself and make it even greater than it was before

1:25 to 2:00: “Things like this don’t just happen.” Cites officials willing to look beyond election cycles to accomplish projects.

Mayor Tim Dougherty

2:15: “This doesn’t happen alone.” The Democratic mayor invites a Republican former mayor to join him.

3:20: Acknowledges “fabulous” restaurant and liaison work of Debra Tantleff of the Roseland Property Co.

4:00: “Anyone coming to our town should make sure to come here…it not only benefits us, but it benefits all the other restaurants here in town. . . (because) You’re not going to eat steak every night–though it is that good.”

Former Mayor Jay DeLaney

5:20: Acknowledges town planning officials

Steve Santola

7:35: “Julia Childs said you only eat diet food while the steak is cooking.”

8:00: More acknowledgements. Says the development team courted Harvest Restaurants (owners of Roots) for 18 months.

Chip Grabowski, partner in Harvest Restaurants (Roots)

9:44 Acknowledges business partner Bob Moore.

10:00: After first two weeks of business in Morristown, “we’re humbled…our first two weeks have been awesome.” Thanks town officials for cooperation and for welcoming Roots with “open arms.”

11:30: “Now it’s our turn to answer the bell and hopefully put out the right product with the right service and gain a reputation here in Morristown that I think Harvest has throughout all its properties.” (Roots is the eighth restaurant in the Summit-based chain.)

Steve Santola introduces Carl Goldberg, managing partner of the Roseland Property Co., “the greatest partners on the planet,” at 12:00.

Carl Goldberg, Roseland Property Co., delivers a toast to Roots

13:30: “What is it that really defines a great redevelopment? It’s about creating a place of destination. Under the leadership of Mayor Dougherty, Morristown is creating the preeminent place of destination in the state of New Jersey. And this restaurant is a wonderful example of what it means in the quality of life that you enjoy when you come to visit Morristown.”

14:00 Acknowledges PNC Bank and Prudential Real Estate Investors for backing the 40 Park project.

14:35: The toast.

Read the full article from Morristown Green.

Special thanks to our friends at Morristown Green for covering this event!