Roots is located on US 321 across from the Tanger Outlet Mall. The restaurant specializes in regional food and drink with an emphasis on chef-inspired specials. Sunday brunch and dinner Monday thru Saturday. A sister restaurant of the Best Cellar and Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn.
Country Cooking Meets Southern Charm
(reprinted from High Country Magazine, June 2014)
On a whim last October, veteran real estate developer Kenneth Wilcox attended a bank auction for Pssghetti’s, a fine dining Italian restaurant in Blowing Rock that closed down last year. By the end of the auction, Wilcox, along with his longtime friend Jim Triplett, placed the highest bid and bought the restaurant.
Both gentlemen have made successful careers as real estate developers in the High Country. Wilcox and his family owned Wilcox Drug Co. in Boone for generations and then helped start the Western Steer Steakhouse chain in the early 70s and the Sagebrush Steakhouse chain in the 90s. Triplett specializes in commercial and residential real estate development and property management.
Knowing Dyer and Stripling’s reputation as respected business owners, the two gentlemen wasted no time in partnering with them to transform Pssghetti’s into Roots, a new Southern style restaurant serving homemade dishes, which opened at the end of May.
“[The four of us] went with Roots because whether or not we’re local, our interests are here, in the mountains and in Blowing Rock,” Dyer said. “Whether it’s our families or our businesses, our roots are here.”
Dyer best describes Roots as “good Southern comfort food your grandma would make with a twist and a flair,” similar to the types of mid-priced dishes served at the rapidly expanding, Asheville-based chain, Tupelo Honey Café.
The restaurant seats 70 people for dinner Monday through Saturday and for Sunday brunch.
Classic county cooking dishes include shrimp and grits served with country ham, bone-in pork chops with blueberry moonshine barbecue sauce, and chicken and dumplings covered in a thick stew with white truffle oil and shaved Asiago on top.
Guests can round out their meal with Southern sides such as collards and turnip greens and squash casserole. Later on for dessert, diners can savor maple bourbon pecan pie or chocolate ginger pound cake as good as grandma makes. The owners have also added an oyster bar and plan to carry four beers on tap from the Blowing Rock Ale House.
Minimal restorations were needed to create this down-home country atmosphere. Pssghetti’s pasta making machine has been replaced with wine racks. New steel pail and decorative metal flower light fixtures were installed, and the walls were painted subdued, earth-toned colors.
Yet, without a doubt, Wilcox and Triplett believe Roots will be eagerly received by the Blowing Rock community and tourists who have frequented Dyer and Stripling’s two other businesses.
“You have the right employers who know what they’re doing,” Wilcox said. “They’ve got a great following. [The Best Cellar] is one of the most successful restaurants in the area. There’s no reason why [Roots] won’t be very successful as well.”