The Update on Root Down

August 5 2010, 9:52 AM
Last fall, after several visits to Root Down, I concluded in a review that the restaurant had become a victim of its own success. At the time, spotty service and inconsistent execution had become the norm. A recent dinner, however, indicates that the restaurant has worked out many of the kinks. On an early Tuesday evening, the place was jammed yet the service was friendly and efficient. The food was well prepared and delivered promptly. My favorites that night included the sweet-potato falafel, an herbed blend of puréed sweet potatoes rolled in panko crumbs, fried to a crispy finish, and served alongside a bright and creamy lemon-tahini yogurt sauce. The Maple Leaf Farms hoisin duck confit sliders---shredded duck on a chewy challah bun smeared with lemon crème fraîche---were rich and satisfying. The one slip up? The promised side of shoestring sweet potatoes never materialized. For dessert, the croissant bread pudding---a Root Down staple since opening---is a must. In it, chewy chunks of croissant (from Udi's Handcrafted Foods) are molded into a baking tin, topped with a rich but not cloying whiskey-butter sauce, and finished off with a cool scoop of palate-cleansing sour cream ice cream. Tip: Arrive between 4:30 and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, for happy hour, when the sliders and falafel are a steal at $5 and $5.50, respectively. 1600 W. 33rd Ave., 303-993-4200