A Fresh Place to Do Lunch (or Cocktails)
Find avocado toast, grain bowls, green smoothies and craft cocktails at Roots Provisions & Grocery.
A friend and I recently enjoyed a delicious lunch that included avocado multigrain toast with roasted tomatoes, shaved radishes and a drizzle of olive oil; braised brisket and provolone on ciabatta with horseradish cream, arugula and red onions; a green smoothie made with spinach, spirulina, mangoes, peaches, bananas, honey and coconut water; and a glass of refreshing, on-tap hibiscus-honey-rose tea.
The setting? Roots Provisions & Grocery on Old Dominion Drive in McLean. (P.S.: You can top that avocado toast with goat cheese, bacon and/or a fried egg if you like.)
The market, café and bar, which replaced LoKL Gourmet in May, is a joint venture of building owners Ryan Benston, Michael Green and Matthew Ruesch—plus private chef and restaurant consultant Anne Alfano (now a minority owner), whom the partners tapped to switch up the menu, décor and overall concept.
“[They] are from McLean and recognized the need for more fast-casual restaurants and a cocktail bar,” Alfano says, “a place to congregate, have drinks and food and have fun.”
Roots hosts trivia night once a week and plans to introduce live music, comedy nights and other community-centric activities going forward.
Offering seating for 40 inside, plus 12 outside, the 3,000-square-foot space is large and airy with high ceilings, exposed brick, wood floors and a living-room-style lounge area outfitted with West Elm furniture. Low lighting and candles in mason jars set the mood at night, as does a cocktail, beer and wine list curated by bar manager Laura Jackson.
“We make all of our sour mixes and flavored simple syrups in house,” Alfano says. “I’m really proud of our gin and tonic garnished with juniper berries and rosemary.”
Takeaway items for sale in the market include packaged cheeses and charcuterie, milk, eggs, Roberta’s frozen pizzas, Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches, beverages (including fresh-squeezed juices, craft beer and hard seltzer), house-made chicken stock, dried pastas, an assortment of oils and vinegars, and prepared foods such as guacamole and chicken salad. The frozen chicken pot pies made by chef Jenn Crovato of D.C.’s 1310 Kitchen & Bar in Georgetown are so good they’re hard to keep in stock.
The café menu features espresso drinks, breakfast fare, sandwiches, salads and bowls (the quinoa tahini bowl is a best-seller), as well as indulgences such as milkshakes, ice cream cones, cake pops, croissants, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and apple pie. Sandwiches, bowls and salads range in price from $10 to $14.
Roots Provisions & Grocery, 8100 Old Dominion Drive, McLean