Sometimes, you can imagine the atmosphere of a restaurant even when it’s not fully open.
That’s what happened recently when I headed to downtown West Dundee, right next to the Fox River, to check out Bleuroot.
The restaurant is described as a farm-to-table eatery, and if you don’t quite believe the marketing, you can find a list of the actual food sources displayed on the premises.
Something especially great at locally sourced farm-to-table restaurants are the charcuterie ($20) choices. You can select the variety you like (and eliminate items you can’t have like nuts or gluten), but we ordered the full assortment of spicy meats, all sorts of cheeses, crackers, fruit, nuts, cherry tomatoes and more.
Throughout our meal, we all snacked on the charcuterie board from the two containers it came in. For one of our diners, in fact, it was the main course.
Add to that the rosemary portabella fries ($10), and you have an interesting and tasty snack-type meal. The fries are thick-cut portabella mushrooms with panko breadcrumbs for crust, along with fresh rosemary and chipotle mayo for dipping.
I stole a few for myself, and they were absolutely delicious.
For one of the main courses, we kept it simple with the Bleuroot signature burger ($14), made with grass-fed beef, smoked bleu cheese, caramelized onion and bibb lettuce; we had them hold the tomato.
It’s recommended medium rare, but we ordered it medium, and it was cooked perfectly, a great burger without a ton of frills. It came with steak fries and a pickle spear on the side.
For my main course, I got a little more creative, ordering the beef tenderloin sandwich ($17), actually a trio of sandwiches to be more precise. The three featured tender, roast beef tenderloin on mini brioche rolls with sides of sweet onion bacon jam and horseradish sauce that I spread on top.
On the side, I went with the mango jalapeño slaw, which had a minor amount of citrus and kick, but wasn’t something completely different than you would expect from a regular coleslaw. It was just a little more enjoyable, if you know what I mean.
Our final diner picked out the gnocchi in vodka arrabbiata sauce, which is a little spicier version of the regular gnocchi in vodka cream sauce that he’s used to. The sauce melds garlic with crushed tomatoes, vodka, cream and crushed red pepper, an excellent counterpoint to the tender potato dumplings.
It was more than one diner could eat, and we were able to save half for the next day, as well.
The dining experience at Bleuroot was excellent. Soon after the restaurant opened for the day, I was able to order and select my pickup time through Toast Tab.
There were plenty of options with each meal, and it was straightforward. I arrived a few minutes early, and my order came out of the kitchen right on time, warm and ready for us to enjoy after a short ride home.
I look forward to getting the entire Bleuroot dining experience in the future. But, for now, this was an enjoyable start.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.
IF YOU GO
WHERE: 98 W. Main St., West Dundee