Foster's in New Haven?
I just went to a new-ish restaurant in New Haven, down on Orange Street in the 9th Square area - it's called Fosters. Has anyone else been? (www.fostersrestaurant.com ) I'd never heard of it, but I had a fabulous meal, on par if not better than the standard "American" high class New Haven restaurants (Zinc, Union League) in terms of food quality and preparation, and particularly innovation. But what made it even better in my opinion was the atmosphere - the chef, Dave Foster, came out in the middle of the meal (wearing a black chef's coat and tye-dyed pants) and chatted with us about the food, his ideas, and the restaurant for at least 10 minutes. Very funny, very knowledgeable, very passionate about food. A much more welcoming atmosphere than UL. The service wasn't anything to write home about, but it was adequate; the food was definitely something else.
Has anyone else tried this place? How do you think it compares in the New Haven line-up?
Foster's is a great restaurant. The food is always inventive, although it does occasionally miss the mark. But as you noticed, Dave himself is a big part of what makes it special. His warmth infects the place and makes a good time almost inevitable.
So in the line up, on straight food quality I would say top 10, on overall experience top 5.
While certainly innovative and a welcome addition to the New Haven dining scene (and one has to admire David Foster's enthusiasm and passion), having dined their on two occasions, we are just not fans of the food. For the most part, many of the dishes seem heavy handed - what my wife calls "boy food!" WhiIe think that creativity is a definite plus in a restaurant, itseems that sometimes the chef allows his creative juices to go overboard. We have enjoyed parts of both meals, but each time we dined there, some of the dishes, both apps and entrees, seemed well off the mark.
We had a dessert special - "Peach Foster" - that the chef prepared with great panache in the dining room, but consisting of a very unripe peach half and ice cream (with the typical bananas foster sauce), it was an expensive ($10) and very mediocre ending to our meal.
This is the kind of place that you really WANT to like, and yet, we still prefer most of New Haven's other destintaion restaurants.