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Davis Square's "Foundry on Elm"

anyone heard anything about this place?

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  1. They have PR representation, they're interviewing FOH staff, and the website isn't live yet. That's all I know.

    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

    Best case: fits perfectly between Highland Kitchen and Gargoyles on the Square.

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    Highland Kitchen
    150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

    1 Reply
    1. re: enhF94

      Thanks for this link enh -- I missed the news about the concept. I'm hoping it has a Gallows vibe, a gastropub menu, locals and destination diners as regulars, and a nice cheese course. Is that too much to ask?

      With this and journeyman opening up shortly, I'm as excited as ever to live in my City.

    2. Anyone been to Foundry yet and care to share their impressions?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jongen

        There are a handful of yelp reviews cropping up (under two separate entries), but most of them are the typical mix of "i went there during the friends & family party, 5 stars!" and nitpicking what's likely to be opening night issues. Not sure any have been worth that much attention so far.

        1. re: Boston_Otter

          I don't mind it, but the Eastern Standard decor and menu layout copying is pretty shameless.

          Interior picture:
          http://www.dailycandy.com/boston/arti...

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          Eastern Standard
          528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

          1. re: DoubleMan

            Reminds me a lot of Gaslight's menu and decor as well. Standard, cookie-cutter Disney brasserie look and feel. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the food is good.

            Also, I would contend that 2010 is the year of poutine. I do believe 2009 was the year of Sichuan, even though it spread like wildfire this year.

            1. re: yumyum

              I think "Year of Chicken and Waffles" might be a contender as well.

              1. re: yumyum

                I think of 2010 as "another year of boring comfort-food menus". Can't blame the operators, but yeesh. Meatloaf, again?

                Foundy on Elm's menu looks like a mashup of Gaslight and The Gallows or Russell House Tavern: brasserie plus gastropub. If I lived around there, I'd be starving for something like that. Seems like you have to aim high on the beer front in Somerville. Do they have a full license, or just beer/wine? The performance angle (proposed cabaret or other theatrical entertainment) sounds interesting to me, too, though I guess that's coming later.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  If the economy continues as it is going, I'd expect a lot more comfort food in our future. I just wish places would look into comfort food a la beef stew, Shepherd's (or fish) pie, milk braised pork and the like. There's a whole world of comfort out there. And I mean to try it all.

                  1. re: yumyum

                    Someone should get out there and nail the sausage and mash concept. Cheap to serve and good to eat.

              2. re: DoubleMan

                Seems like just the standard bistro menu layout, not very creative, but not a shameless copy of one particular restaurants unique idea.

                1. re: enhF94

                  Tried the spaetzle last night -- it's very good. The German friend I was with said a) hers is better HA! and b) it would have been better with a sauce of some kind. The dish was flavorful with ham, mushrooms and cheese, but just a tad dry. I love spaetzle as a side with roast meats, and yes, the juices make the dish for me. We also shared the burger, which was very good. Served on a ciabatta roll, not my favorite type, but nicely flavored meat, juicy, and cooked to temp. The ubiquitous beet and goat cheese salad was good, with lots of pine nuts.

                  What was astounding about the Foundry was that on a rainy Monday night, at 8, the vast space was packed and there was a 30 minute wait. The manager told us that since they opened a week ago, it's been full up, both at the tables and the bar. For a newly opened restaurant, the service was pretty good -- our server was more than competent, dunno what those yelpers are on about. We sat in a small banquette near the back where we had a good view of the kitchen which was fun. They were cranking and occasionally singing. It's always nice to actually run into neighbors at a neighborhood spot, and I did. One of the owners was there with his parents from Dublin and he couldn't have looked prouder. Cool crowd, nice room, pretty bar, good food -- it was a pretty sweet scene all around. I think the Foundry might have hit on the right formula for Davis Square.

                  1. re: yumyum

                    And really raising the bar for the Bur'n and Joshua Tree? I realize that they are probably not looking for the same type of crowd, but still...I haven't been in either of those places in ages, but I will be checking out the shiny new penny.

                    How much of the buzz is just that, do you think...?

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I think Burren is going to be just fine, their niche with the live music and pub grub is safe. Just as you wouldn't necessarily go to the Foundry for a properly pulled pint, you wouldn't go to the Burren for a classic cocktail. I think Joshua Tree might have reason to worry, since they are the mediocrest of the mediocres. OTOH they could get the overflow from Foundry if this buzz continues. Time will tell.

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                      Burren
                      247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                      1. re: yumyum

                        If I wanted a properly pulled pint, I would have gone to Redbones (maybe up until recently given all their bartender changes). Actually, I'd still go there. But I was of the impression that the Foundry was supposed to have a lot of taps and be a good beer option? Something about proper ale?

                        I hope you're right and the Joshua Tree will be forced to shape up. On the other hand, it does serve as a magnet to keep people who don't care about service or quality away from the places I might want to go...

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                        Redbones
                        55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                        Joshua Tree
                        1314 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                        1. re: Parsnipity

                          If The Foundry is anything like The Independent, it will be much better for beer than The Burren. The Burren might be a better bet for the full Guinness pour theatre, though. (Settle the partial pour, send the punter away, "I'll bring it to your table", etc.)

                          -----
                          Burren
                          247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                          1. re: Parsnipity

                            From what I understand there are 32 tap lines. But if $6.50 pints of local beer are the norm (heard this was the asking price for a basic Berkshire beer), Redbones and Flatbread don't really have anything to worry about. Although Green Flash IPA on a new tap line might get me in there to at least check it out.

                            -----
                            Redbones
                            55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                2. I have been there twice and the first time I popped in for a drink before work (easy I work evenings) and it was packed, I took a look at the menu and I feel like it is just "whats hot in food" which I feel like I shouldn't have a problem with but for some reason I do.

                  They have a great beer selection most are in the $5.50 to $6.50 range, I went last night as well and they had $5 80's retro cocktails which I think was pretty fun. For apps we had a scallop ceviche with a mango relish, it was very good and at $6 it was a pretty good deal. The poutine was exactly how poutine is suppose to be the cheese curd was melty fries were surprisingly crunchy and the gravy had a bit more black pepper than most but I thought it was great. My only problem was that it was $9 which I think is a little expensive for fries cheese and gravy. The charcuterie plate was incredible, it had a duck liver pate, prosciutto, and the other pate on the plate was amazing highly recommend it.

                  For meals we had a lamb special which was basically a perfect sandwich, the only thing that was better than that sandwich was the Croque Monsieur, I honestly have never had ham that tasted so good, I polished off the first half in record speed and then toned it down for the second half because I wanted it to last as long as possible.

                  My only issue was with the place was that we were sat at a table that was next to the kitchen when there were plenty of other seats left, I am not sure why that happened.

                  It is very nice and everything I have had or my friends had was very very good. Can't wait to go back again!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: natethegreek

                    We had a similar issue with seating. They placed us in the back near the kitchen and bathroom despite plenty of open tables in the rest of the room. When we asked if we could sit at a booth instead, we were told "sorry, we have a lot of reservations tonight." That was pretty lame seeing as we were one of the reservations. I think those tables way in the back should be some of the last they fill, not the first.

                    Our experience with the food was a bit different than what others have said. We tried the confit pork belly with pickled grapes and frisee. That was very tasty with well-cooked crispy pork belly and delicious pickled grapes. The warm bread basket was also great. That was all we had that we could really recommend. One dc ordered the burger medium-rare. It came out dessicated and grey throughout. She sent it back and they handled it very quickly. The second burger came out just shy of medium-well. My dc ate it, despite being way off temp again. She said it was just "fine" in terms of flavor and seasoning. Because of the first burger being overcooked, they comped it. They didn't need to, but that was a nice touch. Another dc tried the roasted chicken. It was well-cooked and seasoned, but not great. The other dishes we tried were the carmelized onion, olive, anchovy, and thyme flatbread and the grilled chicken sandwich. The flatbread was good except for the three unpitted olives - not cool. I had hoped that the grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, jack cheese, and chipotle mayo was going to be similar to the delicious pressed chicken sandwich that the Independent used to have (I should have asked, I know). Instead, it was just a chicken sandwich like you can find at any pub-style place anywhere. Admittedly, we ordered boring things, but I've enjoyed similar things at the Independent much more.

                    Service was great overall - attentive and friendly - and helped to make up for that weird response about seating.

                    Cocktails were good - better than many places, but definitely not top-tier yet. The main problem with the drinks is that they didn't get enough stirring. The sazerac, which had too much absinthe left in the glass, didn't get enough chilling or dilution. The Scollary Square had the same chilling/dilution problem.

                    They have a "Seelbock" on the menu. That would have been cool as a cocktail with beer replacing the sparkling wine. Nope, just a spelling mistake. And it would have been nice if their Aviation included violette.

                    I'm not going to write-off the place at all. I'll definitely go back, especially once the downstairs saloon opens, but I don't think it will be displacing the Independent or Highland Kitchen in my regular rotation.

                    1. re: DoubleMan

                      Went for lunch on Sunday during Octoberfest. There was a good crowd, but there were still plenty of seats. Nonetheless, we were ushered directly to the rear of the room, next to the bathrooms. (Could this be an age thing? DC and I do not belong to David Square's predominant demographic.) The worst thing about the dry burger (which came medium as ordered) was the overpowering roll. Ended up eating the burger with a fork. DC's eggs were find. Service was friendly and attentive. We'll be back for dinner, but overall the experience left something to be desired.

                  2. Went here last night. It was super-crowded and we were told 1-2 hours for a table at 7:30. I was expecting this and me and my husband had already eaten, but our 2 friends planned to order food. We were able to snag stools at the bar table though, which worked fine. Their taps are pretty impressive- my husband had a Flemish sour that he hadn't ever seen before, which is rare. It was not cheap at $10 for less than a pint, but we're of the opinion that if you'd pay that much for a glass of wine or a cocktail, a rare beer is worth it. Our friends had a flatbread with tallegio ($10) which was nicely cooked and tasty, and the spaetzle entree (?16) which was incredibly rich and I thought could have benefited from the addition of some thing green- either some veg or being on a bed of arugula or something like that. We shared a side of fries ($4) which were really excellent-- crisp, not oily. I'd definitely eat those fries again. Service was good, and I like the decor. My only quibble was the incredibly high noise level. This is not somewhere to go for an in depth conversation. They do have acoustic paneling on the ceiling, but it was still shouting volume at all times. I think they fill a niche in Davis and they certainly seem to be doing good business with a real mixed crowd of ages and levels of dressed-up-ness.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Parsnipity

                      Is that the same Flemish sour ale the Indo's had on tap at times—Monk's Café? If so and you like it, the Wine and Cheese Cask sells it for something like $3.50/bottle. Downtown in Davis has it too for more like $4.20.

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                      Wine and Cheese Cask
                      407 Washington St, Somerville, MA

                      1. re: djd

                        No, it's not Monk's. It was an import from Belgium. I suspect a bottle would be significantly more expensive, ie, I don't think they were price gouging. The beer menu is not online-- anyone know? Also, Slim, they do have full alcohol license. My friends enjoyed their cocktails.

                    2. We went on Sunday around 7pm, after the Patriots game. There was a 20-30 minute wait for a table for 2 but there were a few open seats at the bar, which we took.

                      First impressions were that it was a bit big and slick for me to totally trust it, if you know what I mean. The cocktail menu had some good-looking cocktails although the creative spelling ("Seelback", "burbon") increased my distrust. They did have lots of the right bottles displayed, though. Something like 30 beers on tap, a really good selection. We both went with beers.

                      We had the spaetzle (very good) and the shrimp etouffee (fine). Service was very friendly if slightly slow. Our experience was diminished a bit for a while by two nearby young men, presumably from Tufts, who had already been drinking for a while, though they weren't aggressive or anything, just loud and slurry. Foundry will probably have to decide how they want to deal with that sort, since I assume it will be attractive to students.

                      Anyway, our meal was perfectly fine. I was hoping for a Highland Kitchen or Green Street but it's not quite on that level. I'll definitely return - it would be nice to be able to make this a standard local destination.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dfan

                        Yeah, the menu misspellings are total bush league. I ordered the "Croddock cocktail," pronouncing it as it was spelled on the menu, and was met with, "Oh, the Craddock?" Tasted delicious (genever, lillet, citrus) but, like, no one was around to proofread?

                      2. Link added

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                        Foundry on Elm
                        255 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                        1. last night I tried the spaetzle side-dish and the meze plate.

                          The spaetzle was rich and I could certainly taste the eggs in the dough, as well as the butter and pecorino. I have been jamming on spaetzle for a couple weeks since I saw they had it. It seemed like the boiling water had broken up the spaetzle into balls instead of noodles, which I didn't mind so much but seems technically "incorrect" for those who care. I liked the seasoning, and it was full of the flavors they intended it to have. This was the side-dish portion with pecorino instead of ham & mushrooms, and I found my palate getting a little bored, so could have used either yumyum's sauce or Parsnipity's greens to go with. Which is why I ordered the meze plate, but that didn't quite match.

                          The meze plate included buttered crispy pita chips, loose hummus with good seasoning, a handful of olives, a shredded carrot salad, and an unknown, bland cold grain salad. I couldn't find much wrong with the execution, but I wouldn't order it again unless it had something green on it.

                          Heading back tonight, probably for spaetzle #2.

                          Totally unrelated, wikip informs me that there are dessert spaetzles such as Kirschspätzle and Apfelspätzle and now I can't rest.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: enhF94

                            Spaetzle can be anything from little nugget shaped pieces to ribbons. If you use a spaetzle maker the pieces tend to be more uniform. If the cook slides the spaetzle maker rapidly, nuggets. Slowly, ribbons.

                            If you go old school and essentially flick batter off a cutting board into the boiling water you get a much more rustic irregular effect.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              Further research agrees with the above poster; apparently the nuggets are Knöpfle, "small buttons," per wikip. I was taught the old school method, which I like because it doesn't require extra equipment - I swept my ribbons from an upside-down cake pan. It can, however, make a colossal mess.

                              I liked the entree portion of spaetzle, with ham, mushrooms, hazelnuts and Comté _much_ more than the side, primarily because of more variety-per-bite and the salty, buttery, slightly-crispy mushrooms added in. I could have wished for more (any?) nutmeg and pepper and a higher quality ham, but I'd still order and enjoy it again. Especially with bourbon.

                              I'd also like _something_ green on the plate with it, but this was less of a problem for me with the main-size portion than the side.

                          2. We went very early tonight (~6pm) to try to beat the crowds before we headed to see Tallest Man on Earth at Somerville Theater. It was already packed but we managed to snag two seats at the bar (gawd, do Bostonians eat dinner early!). The space is crazy anti-Davis Sq, but we (guiltily) both loved the make-over. B had a Dark Horse IPA which hit the spot and we both had a few glasses of malbec and tinto to follow (both reasonable at $8 and $6). We shared calamari which I liked for its lightness, but B thought it lacked some oomph. The puree was a nice accompaniment. Bread on request came out warm and delicious plus the butter was melty warm. B had the steak frites, which came out perfectly medium rare as requested. Fries were crispy, thin, and rather addictive. I had the veggie penne, which tonight was wonderfully al dente maccheroni (spelling?). Bartender was terrific (name? cute blond guy...), arriving just when we needed a refill on anything. Total was $84 before tip for 6 drinks, calamari app, steak frites, and veggie penne. We'll be back!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: digga

                              We also checked it out last night for the first time and agree about the anti-Davis Sq. comment.
                              I also had a Dark Horse IPA but thought it was kind of stale as it was showing oxidized hop character - my wife had a Pretty Things Jack D'Or served it a PT goblet which she enjoyed. Shared an order of poutine which was tasty - good fries, excellent peppery gravy, but cold curds - not something I would order again at $9 for a small portion.

                              1. re: LStaff

                                Do yourself a favor and get some fresh bottles of the Dark Horse...absolutely delicious. Don't know your location, but Berman's in Lexington seems to stock it regularly, as well as Liquor World and Downtown.

                                1. re: LStaff

                                  I went this past weekend. I had the calamari and the poutine. I also had cold curds in the poutine. I'm not sure why they can't keep the cheese out at RT before throwing them on the orders. Too bad because I loved the peppery gravy. I loved the basil sauce that the calamari came with, but there wasn't enough sauce to finish up the calamaris with. I had some of the classic cocktails. They were okay, but not as balanced as I was hoping for. They tasted watery even though there was plenty of booze added.

                                  The chairs at the bar are very comfortable. I'll certainly go again.

                                  1. re: uman

                                    I'm going to have to agree with uman about the wateriness of the cocktails. I had a disappointing sazerac at Foundry last night. It tasted as if the bartender had forgotten the rye and simple syrup in the drink. And, at $9.25 their cocktails are not cheap. I, for one, will be sticking to their beer list from now on.

                              2. We called to see how long the wait for a 2 top would be on Saturday night, and were told 60-90 minutes. Always the smart one, he went on to open table at 7:50 and snagged us a prime table for two at 8:15. As we learned later, they're trying to limit the number of two tops, which a food runner told us halfway through dinner. A fun tip for you.

                                Anyway, dinner: Red Rock Ale and Stone IPA while we waited for our table, served by some of the most overdressed bartenders I have ever seen. Once seated, Dan, our very competent waiter, ran through the specials, of which we chose salmon crudo with cucumber salad to start. What was even more amusing to us was that every single special featured some sort of thinly sliced meat. I diverge; the crudo was supposedly salt cured and soaked in chardonnay, but we couldn't taste anything other than normally cured salmon, which I'd happily buy from a grocer next time. The cucumber salad was nicely herbed.

                                Shared the poutine - peppery gravy, sure, but please stop burning the ends of my frites when you stick the plate in the oven in order to melt the curds. Is no one in this town able to make poutine decently, I ask rhetorically?

                                For our entree, we split (we're now Joanie, evidently) a decent bottle of Cab and the lamb Provencal special. Piles of sliced (yet again) roasted lamb over 3 string beans and a couple of roasted red bliss potatoes sprinkled with a semi-tasty jus. It was fine, well cooked mid-rare, and there was certainly a lot of sheep on the plate, but it wasn't exactly great.

                                Finally, we ended with the three mousse special: chili, grand marnier and chocolate. Actually, pretty good. Nice job, pastry chef.

                                We had a fun night out, but I'm not aching to get back. The food is about the same as The Independent's, in a swankier and more expensive locale. I'm just glad they seem to be killing Joshua Tree's business.

                                A side note: Our high top table, next to the host stand, had a great view of the television program COPS for about ten minutes, while it was playing on one of the bar flat screens. It was changed, after we alerted the hostess, and I'm not sure whether I'm sad about that or not.

                                -----
                                Joshua Tree
                                1314 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: gini

                                  I guess all of us were there on Saturday night! My wife had the lamb special and was pretty unimpressed by the meat, although she really liked the accompanying beans and potatoes (and apparently got a lot more of them than gini). A little salt helped. My beef carbonnade was very tasty, though, and the beer was good. We've now been there twice and have gone around two for four with the success of the entrees.

                                  1. re: dfan

                                    Glad to hear you liked your carbonnade. When I had a bite of my d/c's, I found the meat dry and the sauce way too thin to coat. Maybe I got unlucky and they rushed the braise.

                                    1. re: enhF94

                                      I was slightly concerned when it arrived because it did look a little dry, but it turned out to be perfectly fine and there was more than enough sauce to add supplementary moisture.

                                      1. re: enhF94

                                        Is the beef carbonnade made with ale from Flanders? I would be interested to cheat on my vegetarianism if it's the real deal Liefmans Goudenband or other Flemish Brown Ale.

                                        I've always wanted to try a Beef Bourguignon with Rodenbach Grand Cru instead of wine, just throwing a recipe out there...

                                      2. re: gini

                                        Not to step on your rhetoricality, but have you tried the poutine at The Gallows? If so, interested in your thoughts on that.

                                        1. re: Alcachofa

                                          I am sad to say I haven't been to The Gallows yet. Take away my chowbadge! I have been promised a South End bar crawl before it starts snowing though, and I shall report back on my poutine findings.

                                          1. re: gini

                                            FWIW the Gallows poutine was very good when I first had it, but they've switched to using a funny house made ricotta-like cheese which doesn't stand up.

                                            I also tried the poutine at Eat at Eat at Eat at Jumbos and it wasn't anything special. I gather they have them at ASSBar, and I better get over there to have a look.

                                            SRSLY how hard is it to make this dish?

                                            1. re: yumyum

                                              The one at ASSBar is decent (as in, a grade above Foundry's), but really, in the Northeast nothing holds a candle to Duck Fat's.

                                      3. we had dinner on Saturday 10/16....it was mobbed, crazy, insane, busy
                                        our pre-reserved table was ready when we arrived which was good as there wasn't even standing room at the bar
                                        food was good, service was good but we couldn't even shout over the background noise to hear each other speak

                                        all in all it wasn't worth the trauma of parking or the stressed vocal chords from shouting at each other all night

                                        1. Went back for dinner last night with 7 friends at 10:30pm. Yes, we eat dinner late. Anyway, the food all around was quite tasty - someone had a bowl of the cauliflower with chorizo that was awesome. The hushpuppies were also fantastic. Way better than Redbone's across the street. I had the burger with bacon and cheddar cheese. It was better than Russel House Tavern's. This makes me exceptionally happy because now I have Gargoyles, Foundry, and Craigie all so close to each other for excellent burgers. Two folks ordered the brat sandwich, which they really liked, though one sandwich came out with one brat and the other two brats. The waitress sent out the another brat though when we pointed out the discrepancy.

                                          Their beer list just keeps getting better. The bar was still a mob scene, but was no one in the dining room at 10:30 on a Thursday so we were seated really easily.

                                          -----
                                          Redbones
                                          55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: gini

                                            Go early, we had a 6pm reso and we got in and out before the crowds. I agree the beer is kinda pricey, so I got a well crafted vodka martini, just one. Wifey had champagne cocktail which made her happy. Started with the Poutine, which wifey argued is a better gravy fry concoction than the version at Trina's Starlight Lounge. A delicious toss up IMHO. Wifey had the Banh Mi sandwich, crazy good. I got a pasta and shimp special with lots of delicious little extras in it.... cleaned the plate like a D O GG. We liked it, good vibe and will go back. Early.

                                            -----
                                            Foundry on Elm
                                            255 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                            1. re: hounda

                                              The Banh Mi is way better than it has any right to be -- one of the best banh mis in town, easily the best I've had in the Cambridge area.

                                          2. We tried Foundry last night and had a mixed experience.

                                            The beer selection is excellent and the scotch choices were pretty good as well. Unfortunately the Lagavulin I ordered from the bar before dinner was served in a hot glass straight out of the dishwasher. This is just unacceptable, particularly when you are charging $14 for an average pour of alcohol. The bartender replaced the drink, but his displeasure at doing so was evident.

                                            We arrived at 6:45p for a 7:30p reservation and let them know we would be having a few drinks at the bar. I went back to the front at 7:20p and let them know the rest of our party had arrived and we were in no rush, but could sit when it suited them. She told me to settle the check and come back to the front as the table was being set (rather than offering to come get us at the bar right behind her when the table was ready). It was another 25 minutes before we were seated. The other, and seemingly more experienced hostess apologized and told us they were busy. I let her know that this was fine, but I wish we weren't asked to close our tab and give up our seats at the bar. We would have happily had another drink and waited at the bar, instead of being jostled by the door with no drink.

                                            Service from our waiter won par with the FOH staff. He seemed to have an attitude and was too rushed to give proper service, all compounded with being a low talker in a fairly noisy restaurant. We never received the bread we later saw going to surrounding tables. 3 of four apps came out together and I had to flag him down for the 4th (a salad) which arrived after the other apps had been consumed. Drinks ordered while apps were on the table arrived when the entrees were nearly finished. The waiter was clearly trying to turn the table and did not offer desert menus, instead asking if we were 'all set?'. We did request the dessert menu and more drinks. We were given two different versions of the dessert menu and then told that the peppermint ice cream with the profiteroles was 'obviously' from an older holiday menu. I would have thought he would be happy to have the large tab, but instead worked diligently at encouraging us not to tip over generously as we normally do (he was successful).

                                            Some of the food was excellent and some just OK. A quick rundown follows.
                                            Appetizers:
                                            - Caesar Salad (2x): Just drowned in dressing and served in the undesirable half heads of romaine on the plate style. Blech.
                                            - Frisee Salad: Truly excellent dish. Egg cooked perfectly, delicious bacon and crouton. A standout dish.
                                            - Shrimp Cocktail: Shrimp were not overcooked, but pretty small in size.

                                            Entrees:
                                            - Steak Frites (2x): Perfectly cooked steak and delicious with the shallots and sauce. I enjoyed the flatiron cut used in this dish. Fries were extra crispy, hot and delicious.
                                            - Coq au VIn: I expected more out of this dish being the Saturday special. The skin on the chkcken was not cooked properly and had an off putting runnery and fatty feel. Flavor was just OK and there was not enough sauce. Served over egg noodles which seemed to be right out of my mother's pot of overcooked pasta growing up. I will stick with the Brasserie Jo version.
                                            - Pan Roasted Salmon: Cooked competently with an excellent sear and crisp. A good salmon dish if not very creative.

                                            Desserts:
                                            - Profiteroles: Meh. Again, go with Brasserie Jo's version.
                                            - Apple & Pear Tart: Might have been good if the ice cream wasn't completely melted into the tart before it got to the table.

                                            We had been looking forward to trying the Foundry for some time, as the menu looked enticing with a somewhat reasonable price point. The final scores:

                                            FOH: Fail
                                            Bar: Fail
                                            Waiter: Epic Fail
                                            Food: Mixed

                                            We are still searching for experiences that exceed expectations on the local dining scene. I am thankful we are going back to Bondir this week, and spending a weekend in Manhattan later this month.

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: Gabatta

                                              I had a similar experience at Foundry last weekend. We were asked if we wanted to sit in the front or back, which was nice. We chose the back since it was less noisy, and were put next to the bathroom even though there were other booths empty. I asked for another and got attitude, but she acquiesced. Service was poor. My soup was delivered without a spoon, and by the time I tracked one down, it was cold. My DC's steak was served without a steak knife. We barely saw our server, and had to ask for dessert menus.

                                              My squash bisque had great flavor and silky texture, so might have been great hot. My mushroom risotto also had good flavor and was creamy but not mushy, but the mushrooms were rubbery, so after having to swallow a couple whole I gave up on them. My chocolate bread pudding with butterscotch sauce was fantastic. The two cocktails I got were bad, both poorly balanced, one with too much tequila, the other with too much water.

                                              I'd hoped this would be a place where I could sit at the bar for cocktails and a snack. I could put up with poor service since the food had its moments, but the cocktails sunk the ship for me.

                                              1. re: Gabatta

                                                Yeah, it's been a rough FOH operation most of the times I've been there. I've had to wait at a vacant hostess stand. The menus are always out-of-date in some way (if they have enough for your party, which they didn't once). The cocktails vary wildly in quality depending on who's behind the bar. I was once seated next to a table where a staff member had left a bunch of personal belongings, including a giant, sweating Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. A shame, because the food is pretty good and reasonably priced.

                                                Gabatta, for a more Bondir-like experience, you're better off at Rendezvous, TW Food, Ten Tables, Hungry Mother, etc.

                                                1. re: robwat36

                                                  "Can I get the cocktail menu back as soon as you're done? We only have a few for the whole restaurant." -- heard from my server the last two times I was at Foundry

                                                  My feeling is that Foundry started awkwardly, then got its footing and had a brief period of being focused and high quality, but has been unfocused and 'off' as they've gotten ready for Saloon. I'm really hoping they get their act together.

                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                    Ever since my initial optimistic report back in Oct 2010, it's been downhill for us (and we always sit at the bar - service hasn't been the issue, but the food has).

                                                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                      I found Saloon about as good as Foundry. Which is not. From my Yelp review (yes, my visit caused me to write my third one with my other two being glowing):

                                                      "I have to disagree that the drinks were Green Street or Drink caliber. While I saw a bartender jiggering his drinks, the other three were free pouring with disregard to the recipe (I was surprised when I asked the jiggering bartender what the recipe for my drink should have been for what I saw the other bartender made for me and what it tasted like was rather different). It leaves me with the same distaste that Foundry (their owners down to the POS system) did -- trying to do a craft bar program without the skill to pull it off.

                                                      Otherwise, I rather enjoyed the physical space and I hope my memory of my one trip was good enough to last."

                                                      The tiny squirt of lime juice and pineapple syrup in my Sour (I'd judge at most 1/4 oz each) were apparently 1 oz and 1/2 oz, respectively, according to the other bartender who actually jiggered. The other two measurements didn't add up to what was delivered, but at least an egg white was an egg white. Since the jiggering bartender was adamant that it was how he made his, I expect wide variation in what drinks you actually get served.

                                                      1. re: yarm

                                                        The Saloon is a nice enough bar-room, but they really do need to get to grips with their beer. I ordered a pint of Bombardier, an English ale from Charles Wells. What I got was a pint of over-chilled, murky liquid that was obviously off. Either the beer had been in the pipes too long, or the cask had been open for too long, but that metallic taste is unmistakeable.

                                                        When I requested something else, the waitress took it away, then came back with another pint saying that there had been a mistake, and the first one was not Bombardier as ordered, but a different ale, so she had brought me a pint of Bombardier. This was just OK. Cloudy, over-chilled, but just OK. I don't want to labour the point, but at those prices I expect to get the right beer and to have it properly cared for. It ain't hard, just takes someone who cares.

                                                        1. re: Green Drake

                                                          gd, as a non-beer drinker, i just want to thank you for posting this because i had no idea there could be those particular issues w/ beer. thanx for the education.it's very helpful when we try to advise CH visitors.

                                                          1. re: Green Drake

                                                            >at those prices I expect to get the right beer and to have it properly cared for.

                                                            +1 Big pet peeve of mine that bars that want to pretend to know craft beer and cater to craft beer entusiasts like The Foundry charge top dollar, but don't have a clue when a beer isn't up to par. My first and last experience with The Foundry was an IPA that was past its prime and when I complained about it, server thought it was ok.

                                                        2. re: Boston_Otter

                                                          Yes, exact timeline I've found. I live nearby and have stopped going.

                                                        3. re: robwat36

                                                          TW Food has been on the list to try for some time. We will have to get there soon. I'm not sure why it never occurs to us.

                                                          1. re: Gabatta

                                                            ditto. Out of the others, do love Rendezvous. How 'bout Catalyst? And this new place- Casa B- sounds really super.

                                                      2. Based on the overall comments here, I was a little apprehensive entering for brunch today on initial visit, but was pleasantly surprised by the total experience - great service, very nice interior, interesting cocktail menu (have to return to check out execution on those) and one of the best renditions of eggs benedict in quite some time. The croque madame flavors were excellent on the fresh Iggy's francese bread and the egg was perfectly cooked on top. The only improvement for me would have been to press / grill the sandwich longer to get it piping, melty hot with a crusty outside. The salad with it was fresh and delicious with greens, fennel, and light dressing application. The bread basket of small fresh, warm cinnamon rolls to start was also a nice surprise, and the coffee was fresh and strong enough.

                                                        I am looking forward to returning for cocktails one night soon in hopes they've worked out the bartending kinks upstairs or downstairs - it would be a nice addition closer to home (Arlington) than Backbar and Brick and Mortar (though the bar at Flora is getting better as well) or the fine Boston options.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: rlh

                                                          For us, service has always been slowwwwwwwwwww at Foundry. Food is just ok too...smallish portions for the price.

                                                          Try Five Horses Tavern about a block away on the other side of the block. Surprisingly creative food, though they seem to have an obsession w/ pork belly :-)
                                                          Smallish portions as well, but tasty and creative...