date night: eating raw @ The Root Cafe (a review)

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Cleveland, and Lakewood in particular, has a seriously under-rated food scene. If you live in Northeast Ohio, you’ll know what I mean. If you’ve never been here…well, you are missing out my friend, though I suspect many people will discover this hidden treasure in July during the RNC.

Last night my husband and I were treated to a three-course raw foods meal at one of our favorite local hang outs…The Root Cafe.

I love The Root’s commitment to locally sourced, organic ingredients for it’s vegan and vegetarian menu and that the atmosphere reflects our community. It is quintessentially Lakewood. And I’m not alone in my opinion…this past Tuesday, The Root was featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.

So last week when I saw this post by owner Julie Hutchinson, I jumped at the offer:

root menu

raw food night <3If you’ve never had a raw style meal before but are super curious, post in the comments below and we will pick a name to enjoy a complimentary 3 course meal! xoxo

I was so excited when Julie responded that my name had been selected…raw veggies + a date with my husband = one happy girl.

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I picked the Cheezey Kale Chips, Chop Salad with  Creamy 1000 Island Dressing, Pesto Pasta Primavera and we were treated to both beverages and dessert. We also couldn’t resist ordering the soup of the day (not raw) which was a Coconut Tomato Curry Bisque, which The Root kindly added with their compliments.

The highlights of the meal for me were the soup, which struck an excellent balance between the coconut and curry and brought the heat to match, the Chop Salad which even got me to eat the radishes – a veggies I usually avoid , and the Pesto Pasta Primavera because…garlic! It also was my first time trying spiralized squash noodles as a stand in for traditional pasta and they did not disappoint. I also give a forks up to the strawberry fig salad which complemented the pasta. It’s greens and balsamic dressing where a bright refreshment to the nut-infused dishes.

Our meal concluded with the warmed Vanilla Bean Almond Mylk and Chocolate Almond Cocoa and the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Creme. While the vanilla almond milk was bland, I was pleasantly surprised by the almond extract in the cocoa. Usually I’m not a fan of almond extract, but in the cocoa it reminded me of my son’s favorite cherry cordial ice cream.

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Since maintaining a low-sugar diet, I found the ice creme topped with cashew whipped creme to be a little sweet, but my husband – and I’m sure other traditional dessert lovers – had no problem scraping the bowl clean. 🙂

Overall, I’d give The Root Cafe a five forks up on this months’ raw food menu: everything was well presented, creative in its menu options and the service was friendly and attentive. Bonus marks are given for the locally sourced, organic ingredients.

*While I received a complimentary meal, the idea for this post and my opinions are my own.

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