The Forks blog

The Force is strong at Root 174

Written by Melissa McCart on

starwarsmenu1Tasting menus can be serious. Such highly orchestrated dining is usually a showcase of a chef's skill, prized ingredients, a region and the restaurant-as-temple.

So when a tasting menu shows a sense of humor, it's a relief. 

Idt was a blast last night at Root 174, where chef owner Keith Fuller and Derek Stevens, chef at Eleven, assembled an eight-course tasting menu.

The occasion was Star Wars Day, the celebration by sci-fi fans who geek out with movie marathons, costumes, action figures and the like. (May the 4th be with you.)

Mr. Fuller is such a fan of Star Wars he's inked with movie-inspired tattoos and named his dog Jabba.

The night started with Jar Jar tartare served atop his tongue in a pate accompanied by pickles, mustard and ramps.

Womp rat stew was my favorite, with frog legs, cauliflower and harissa over couscous, finished tableside with a pour-over of cauliflower soup. 

Chefs Fuller and Stevens pumped smoke into a bowl for the third course, Yoda's gruel -- parsnip, oatmeal and dirt-- covered by Saran Wrap, so a diner punctured through for a dish mired in fog. 

Tauntaun belly centered the fourth course with spaetzle, beets and white asparagus. It was followed by Admiral Ackbar's trap: A potato shoestring funnel with squid-stuffed-squid on a bed of chorizo and white beans.  Endorian Ewok neck marked the final course, with morels, dill, fingerlings and white asparagus. 

Boba Fett displayed a carbonite-trapped Han Solo, whom Mr. Fuller hacked free for a strawberry Jell-O course with pretzels and cream. 

He followed it with the Death Star bomb, presented with a flourish of a light saber to the soundtrack of Darth Vader's Imperial March. The ganache, mousse and cake ball was accompanied by white chocolate and Pop Rocks.

I'm not even remotely a sci-fi groupie. But what I loved about this dinner is that the chefs were having such a good time. And the diners did, too.  

starwars12
Jar Jar tartare with his tongue, pickle, mustard and ramps.

starwars13
Womp rat stew with frog legs, cauliflower, harissa and cous cous.

ackbartrap1

Admiral Ackbar's trap with squid, chorizo, white beans and potato.

starwars41

Braised Endorian Ewok neck with morels, herbs, fingerling potatoes and asparagus.

starwarsfinal

Mr. Fuller presents the Death Star bomb.

Melissa McCart photos




Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Food Video