Foreign & Domestic revisited
We have now eaten at F&D four times since they opened and I'm very happy they are really getting it right. Previous meals have had some issues such as slow/inattentive service and a lack of salt. Our meal this week was excellent from start to finish. It seems they spent the last three months tweaking various things and it has really improved the restaurant.
They now have their version of happy hour with a cheap beer special and a couple appetizers. We had the fried okra/shishito peppers off this new menu. I'm a big fan of fried okra and this was the tastiest version I've had. The batter was light and salted well. The peppers were a new thing for us and they basically taste like small banana peppers. A nice tangy bite.
The black olive popovers definitely have more gruyere flavor, but I still wish there was a bit more olive in them.
For entrees, we tried the ditali & cheddar dish. Great version of mac & cheese with a soft boiled egg added. The addition of celery leaves and I believe some celery salt was nice. Since we don't eat meat, they left the oxtail off without a problem. We ordered the tofu/summer pea/carrot butter entree again and found it to be even better this time. The tofu was better seasoned and crispier on the outside. In addition, the carrot butter/puree tasted brighter and more flavorful. I hope they are using it on some other dishes because people deserve to taste it, even if scared off by a tofu dish.
Our dessert was the pistachio ice cream/fried blueberry pie. Definitely a much better pie than the Ms. Baird's artificial flavor.
As a side note, don't get too fixated on a menu item from the online menu since there have always been additions/deletions on the nightly menu. A good thing in my opinion.
We finally visited this restaurant this past weekend.
Being December, we did not notice in problems with the AC as had been previously reported.
We tried the popovers but weren't really impressed. They were very dry.
The pate however was great. The only thing we would add to that dish would be some pickled gherkins. A few of those would make this dish perfect.
Husband had the pork belly that he liked, and I had the beef with mushrooms, Kale and a mustard sauce. I adored this dish. The mustard sauce went so well with the beef and the mushrooms, and the kale was an interesting tasting mash.
The best part for me was the dessert. I had the chocolate/coconut dish, and it was a lot like an almond joy on steroids. Husband liked his carrot cake sundae.
Our server was helpful, friendly, and we had no problems with any of the timing.
I must be one of three people in this town who do not like this restaurant (the other two were my dining companions). I've been twice - once when they first opened and this past Tuesday - and didn't really like anything I ate either time. We had the pork belly - it was tough. We had the squash fritters - they were runny and bland. We also had the veal heart tartar, and it was bland and flavorless, although not offensive. The mac and cheese with braised beef was one of the most flavorless dishes I've had in recent memory. My husband compared it (unfavorably) to prison food. Our friend swore he tasted cream of mushroom soup in it. We skipped dessert and headed to Uchiko because we were still starving. Our neighbors said their dessert was very good though. I just don't get this place, although I really wanted to like it. Service, however, was excellent.
We are there this Wednesday and I'm really surprised to hear your comments about the squash fritters. Seems like a totally different dish was delivered to us. The butternut squash/cheese combo plus the ham on top was very popular with the meat eaters at our table.
On a side note, we tried one of the new desserts (chocolate coconut cake with a toasted almond ice cream) and thought it was awesome. The toasted almond flavor of the ice cream was great on it's own and even better when you combined it with some of the cake.
per the austinist, f&d is having two seatings of a truffle-themed NYE dinner.
the price includes wine pairings:
Friday, December 31
Foreign + Domestic (306 E. 53rd St.)
$90, 6pm and 9pm (Two Seatings)
Amuse: Gougeres, Spinach, Black Truffle
First course: Salad of Endive and Petit Herbs, Truffle Marmalade
Second Course: Jamon Serrano, Truffles Toast
Third Course: Cocotte of Chanterelles and Chestnuts, Duck Egg, Truffle Snow
Fourth Course: Scallop and Uni, Black Truffle Risotto
Fifth course: Roasted Wagyu New York Strip, Potato Mille Feuille, Truffles, Truffles, Truffles
Sixth Course: Chocolate Brownie Sundae, Truffled French Fries
Seventh course: Truffle Marinated Camembert, Traditional Accompaniments
Coffee & mignardises