There’s a New Kid In Town On The Avenue
Madison Avenue, make room for Rood Food and Pie, Lakewood’s newest addition to the west-end of Madison Avenue, located on the corner of Atkins at 17001 Madison.
Since I live on Atkins and walk around town a lot weather permitting, I kept wondering what’s going into this corner building covered with stark white paper with a sign that says Rood. I stopped into a shop across the street-- The Good Goat Gallery-- and inquired, what’s happening across the street? Nancy Cintron, owner of the Goat, told me a restaurant was opening in the spring. I never saw any action going on and thought hmm, they must be secretly working in the middle of the night into the wee hours of the morning.
Now that fall is here, and winter is hurriedly knocking on autumn’s door, Rood Food and Pie is finally open. I strolled down the street the other night to explore this long-awaited mystery restaurant. It was a brisk night and I was pleasantly beckoned into the alluring warmth of the back room and seated at a table. Looking at the brick wall, a few radiators, and warmly lit lamps that reminded me of a beehive, I immediately felt warm and cozy.
Looking over the wine list I went straight for the top gun of the reds, a McManis Cabernet. I chat with Jasmine, the server and let her know I want to relax a bit and take the chill off, but I won’t be leaving until I try some pie.
After walking around exploring the place and checking out the décor, it feels like John Travolta meets Michael J. Fox, in a "Grease" welcomes "Back to the Future" sort of way. It has a cohesiveness about it and you have the sense Divine Order had its hand in the mix.
The owner, Brian Ruthsatz, a former Clevelander, who spent some time in Austin and most recently Chicago, returns home to follow a dream. Ruthsatz, an art enthusiast has taken several trips to Amsterdam. On a recent trip with his daughter, looking for the missing piece to the puzzle they stumbled upon a place with the word Rood, which means red in Dutch. The rest is history-- the word just fit.
Upon walking into the entrance of Rood, you see a 1950’s Shasta Camper with windows that serve as a walk-up bar where you can order a variety of hand-crafted cocktails, beer and wine. The front dining room wall adorned with live reindeer moss, amongst stone pavers adds to the uniqueness. A neon pink flamingo, a movie-style marquee and some of Ruthsatz’s personal art covers the walls.
Being a chef myself, I can be a tough critic in the culinary world. Chef Mark Wilson and Ruthsatz have created quite the distinctive menu, offering novelty items along with familiar standbys created with a twist. Fresh baked curry and cardamom rolls, a build your own slider selection, chicken, BBQ, yucca chips and vegan options are just a few delectables you’ll find on the menu.
Rood’s mission is art centric, social and food that is GOOD! Ruthsatz envisions a communal type atmosphere akin to Italy where people can come to gather, laugh, talk and eat while enjoying some local culture.
Now the moment I’ve been waiting for, pie please! I went for the Salt & Honey pie. A culinary delight composed of rich custard, wildflower honey, Maldon flake sea salt and served with a vial of bee pollen to sprinkle on top of your pie. I was in Heaven, no doubt about it. You can’t go wrong, even if you go there just for the pie.
Rood Food & Pie is open Mon-Thurs 4:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm and closed Sundays. 17001 Madison Ave. 216-712-4506
Eva Starr recently moved back to her heartland state of Ohio, after the transition of her mother. Starr spent the last ten years in San Diego digesting the alluring buffet of wisdom the West Coast had to offer. While there she attended the San Diego Culinary Institute, and worked as a chef in San Diego.
Starr also published her book Quit ‘Should-ing’ on Yourself, while in San Diego featured at the 2016 LA Times Book Festival, and Oprah Winfrey’s Reading Room.
She continues to follow her metaphysical path, teaching Astrology, hosting her television show Reach for the Moon, and exploring the diversified culinary delights Lakewood has to offer.