Within months of its opening, most people knew two things about the Uproot Restaurant on Mountain Boulevard: its food was about the best food you'll find anywhere in the area and it wasn't a great place to take the kids for a quick dinner.
Now, thanks to a new menu, Executive Chef Mark Farro said families come for dinner during the week nights—or even order take out, something customers couldn't do before with its previous haute cuisine menu.
"We tried to steer away from being a 'special occasion' restaurant to someplace you can come for a quick dinner," he said of the new menu.
Fitting with the upscale menu the restaurant opened with, dinner was often a three-hour affair, with several courses served. It made for a rich dining experience, but wasn't particularly conducive for many Warren families.
"One thing we learned was that Warren residents are very family-oriented, and parents are very busy with their kids," Farro said. That meant not a lot of time for a quiet, multi-course dining experience. "We noticed what the town wants and we adjusted the menu to match that."
Now, the restaurant offers more burgers, pasta, salad and pizza—but all still made with the restaurant's trade-mark gourmet ingredients and flavors. Half-priced specials are offered during weekday happy hours for both food and at the bar (the wine and beer lists have also been streamlined).
"I can't change a Greek salad very much—but I can put a twist on it," he said.
It all adds up to a more flexible and family-friendly experience, offered without compromising on quality. A family of four can enjoy a flavorful dinner made with fresh ingredients for under $60, and still get the kids home in time to do their homework.
The menu continues to be tweaked—a new one was unveiled Thursday with several items that quickly proved popular: the spinach dip and a chipotle chicken empanada appetizer.
With empanadas, pizza and suvee chicken, Farro noted the menu is "a little into Italy, a little into Mexico, a little into France."