perks for your palate.

Root & Bone

A family-style feast from the city’s best fried chicken joint

By Maria Yagoda

For a place known for its childhood memory–good fried chicken, any deviance from the battered bird is risky. Yet Root & Bone, a quaint Southern outpost in Alphabet City with a Top Chef pedigree, has been quietly mastering their beer can–roasted chicken for a family-style prix fixe. And miraculously, it rivals their fried bird.

As chefs Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth explain, beer can chicken (the homecoming queen of backyard BBQs) works like this: A can of beer is stuffed into the cavity of a chicken—they gets theirs from Pennsylvania Amish country—which is then basted for hours in its own flavorful liquids, And here, those then drip onto caramelized rainbow carrots.

As is true of most Southern feasts, the sides dazzle as much as the centerpiece. The smoky-sweet corn on the cob, rubbed with herb butter and sprinkled with popcorn, farmer cheese, and dehydrated cornbread crumbles, is a revelation that genuinely tastes even better than the plain grilled thing. The sliced peach salad with fresh tomatoes and basil, a dairy-free take on a Caprese, is summer actualized, and leaves you just enough room for crispy chicken-fried zucchini—and more saucy chicken.

They may half-jokingly ask you if you want to carve your bird yourself, but don’t play along—the name of the game here is relaxation. The space, while New York-small, feels spacious and breezy, and though the pace moves Southern-slow, there are no lags in service, and lots of valuable input. (When they tell you to order the beet-stained deviled eggs, you order the beet-stained deviled eggs.) As your chicken gets chopped, pop some deviled eggs, sip on beer from a mason jar, and make sure you get every last taste of the basil oil on your peaches.

BBE exclusive off-menu family-style feast ($45 per person)

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Beer can–roasted whole chicken tarred and feathered with sticky BBQ sauce, puffed grains, seeds, and herbs
Rainbow roots caramelized with chicken beer jus drippings

Grilled peaches, sliced ripe tomatoes, and basil
Husk 'n' all grilled corn, farmer cheese, herb butter, and cornbread crumbles
Chicken-fried zucchini with buttermilk-ramp Ranch

Unlimited beer or wine by the glass for an additional $35 per person (2 hour time limit)


Dinner: Sun–Thu 2:30 PM–10:30 AM; Fri–Sat 2:30 PM–11:30 PM
Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 AM–2 PM
Brunch: Sat–Sun 10:30 AM–2:30 PM

price range

$19 (half crispy fried bucket of bird) to $29 (grilled New York strip steak)