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Side Dishes: Localvore restaurant opens in Rutland

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Ever wished the foods your doctor recommends were, well, tastier? Mark Logan, a Rutland MD who’s part of the holistic practice Sanctuary Integrative Medicine, has come up with a prescription for making diners healthy and happy.

His new venture, Roots the Restaurant, opened for lunch on February 1 at 51 Wales Street. Starting February 8, Roots will be open for lunch and dinner every day but Monday.

According to Roots’ manager, Logan’s daughter, Alison, “He really wanted to start a restaurant but he couldn’t cook, so he found Donald Billings.” Billings, formerly of Cattails Restaurant in Brandon, was on board with Logan’s vision of an eatery that would help teach Rutland county residents about the health benefits of fresh, minimally processed food.

“I think Burlington is on top of it, Brattleboro is on top of it, but Rutland really [didn’t] have a localvore restaurant,” says the younger Logan, who left a career in health communications and marketing in Boston to help get Roots off the ground.

The focus on supporting local farms is evident from the moment diners enter Roots. While folks wait to be seated, they can look at pictures and read short descriptions of each farm that provides food to the restaurant.

Billings’ cuisine isn’t limited to health food. There’s a cheese fondue appetizer, and Alison raves about the smoked-pork sandwich, which uses meat from Brown Boar Farm in East Wells, Vt.

However, plenty of menu options are gluten free, including emu from Neshobe Farm baked with chipotle peppers, caramelized onions and garlic, then served over Blue Ledge Farm goat-cheese mashed potatoes. Billings is equipped to whip up vegan dishes or whatever patients require to meet FirstLine Therapy standards, a protocol meant to reverse or manage chronic illness.

Sounds like Roots has a solid Rx.

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