Root & Flower settles into new, bigger space on Bridge Street after much anticipation
Root & Flower has opened the doors to its new digs on Bridge Street after much anticipation from the community.
“We’ve always dreamed of expanding. We’ve been approached by cities and other ski towns to take Root & Flower there. But we’ve decided to stay in our hometown and instead just change the brand at our old place to Two Arrows full time,” said co-owner Samantha Bisantz. “It took a while for us to get here, but we’re so excited that we finally are.”
On Feb. 28 — “it was kind of a gnarly weekend to open,” Bisantz said, reminiscing about the Burton US Open — Root & Flower revamped its menu, distinguished itself from sister business Two Arrows Coffee and found a customer of base visitors and locals alike.
As for the revamped menu: At its core, Root & Flower is a wine bar. It offers a selection of glasses and bottles, listed by tasting notes. For whites, they offer selections under “Crisp & Clean” and “Wood & Weight.” Same goes for reds, except there are a lot more options: “Elegance & Grace,” “Bright & Polished,” “Rustic & Complex,” “Bold & Structured,” “Jam & Spice,” “Underappreciated & Misunderstood” and “Sweet, Fortified & Otherwise.” And of course, no après wine list would be complete without “Pretty & Pink” rosé options.
Each wine menu also has an aroma wheel printed on it to assist guests with picking a varietal that will sing to their taste buds.
Root & Flower is now able to offer a larger food menu, thanks to a bigger kitchen and the talents of co-owner and chef Matthew Limbaugh. But the running joke at the bar?
“We’re a wine bar that specializes in cocktails,” Bisantz said. “We’ve always focused on doing the classics, but doing them well.”
Co-owner and product expert Jeremy Campbell hand curates all the wine and liquor the bar stocks. He likes picking products that have a great story to match the high quality.
“Everything in this bottle comes from his property, including the water source,” Campbell said, gesturing at the bottle. “The base for it is apples from the orchards. He hand-picks the juniper, the lavender, rose, all the botanicals in it. It’s really, truly a Colorado product. This is one of my top five favorite gins.”
And behind the bar, co-owner and sommelier Mathew Guzzetti holds down the fort making drinks like the smoking bird — mezcal, tequila, pineapple and bitters — and the OG Orleans — orange-infused cognac, sweet vermouth and bitters.
Far and away, the most popular cocktail Guzetti makes is the Root & Flower take on a gin and tonic. It starts with Cap Rock gin, topped with housemade tonic and a sprig of fresh rosemary. It tastes like après, but without the alcoholic burn of a poorly made drink, and it comes in a glass that practically begs for pinky-out jokes.
When conceptualizing Root & Flower, Bisantz and Campbell wanted to create a space that felt like it could be located in a major city. And with décor by local interior designers and branding by local graphic designers, the rustic-chic aesthetic feels as natural in Vail Village as it might in the West Village of Manhattan.
“This is a way for Vail to keep up with the world outside of us. I think that’s why the locals love us, is because feel like you’re in a big city,” Bisantz said. “But at the end of the day, we’re mountain people, and I think that’s another reason why people love us. It’s fancy, we have beautiful products … we all skied this morning.”
But behind the drinks, the food and the atmosphere, there’s a group of friends that, over the past six years, has loved working together and creating a space for the community to enjoy.
“The reaction when people come in here — the whole town is excited for us. We worked together for like, 10 years,” Bisantz said of her co-owners. “Just the community support and excitement is amazing.”