The Foundry on Melrose
Popped in there for a quick dinner on Friday night.
I had the poached Jidori chicken with tomatoes, rapini and croutons while my friend had the Halibut with Polenta. Both were extremely well-cooked, the chicken done right to the point of being cooked but still extremely juicy and tender.
The kitchen is operating with a great deal of precision and the menu reminded me in some ways of that at Blue Velvet; both are fond of foams and more adventurous preparations (Veal scallopini with sweetbread gremolata as an example). I believe Greenspan and Kris Morningstar worked in some of the same kitchens didn't they? I happen to be more of a fan of places like Jar or Table 8, where even when they use adventurous ingredients root their food in more classical presentations, but the food here is definitely up to par.
Despite the good food I'm not sure I loved the place. I was in the mood for something quick, and probably should have gone to BLD or Village Idiot, but something about the place through me off. Not sure if it was the open kitchen or the informal attitude of the staff, but the the menu seems to belong to a different, more serious restaurant. The prices a little high (I believe dinner with tax and tip was about $45 each for an entree and glass of wine), and something about the whole experience just didn't completely click for me.
That being said, I will give it a second try at some point, if not right away.
I'm the friend that had the halibut. I thought it was very good, cooked perfectly, seasoned with sea salt and no sauce, which it didn't need. The polenta was light and flavorful.
The biggest problem I had w/ the place was the piano player, who was clangin' around the keys way too loudly for such a small room. The hard surfaces didn't help matters either.
Still, an intriguing restaurant that I would recommend, especially since the food (admittedly, I only tried one entree) was so strong.
My meal there was a qualified success. There were two amuse that were sent out, first a good quality thick slice of raw salmon served in a spoon, then a delicious vegetable tartlet. My appetizer was the pork belly with soft scrambled eggs--the eggs were wonderful but the pork belly could have been tenderer. For an entree, I had an osso buco that was served with a side of sweetbreads and topped with a slice of tuna sashimi (not a typo)--the individual elements were great but did not work well together as a dish. For bread, they brought out individual muffins with a honey butter and then a foccacia with a roasted balsamic for dipping. The patio strikes me as more comfortable than the interior of the restaurant (there are heaters if it gets cold). The restaurant is promising and it will be interesting to see how it develops.