We were considering going to our regular place- Gargoyle’s, because they just started a new menu and it is VERY tantalizing, but then I saw Nadeau’s review of this new place and thought we should try it. Wednesday night 7:30PM and the very large room was 3/4 full. Black/ mahogany, white and red motif. Clubby comfy banquettes, long bar, tall tables and regular height tables. In fact, a type of seat for every customer. If you sit in the back room where we were, the infamous noise is not overwhelming. Young friendly helpful staff. Authentic ,professional, positive and helpful waiter. .
It is a VERY big menu. Like the seating, they seem to want to have something for everyone.While that formula can easily fail, the food we had was inexpensive, generously portioned and tasty. After reading many CH and Open Table reviews as I could, I realized that choosing well is important here. (After previewing the gravy[boring one-note black pepper beef sauce] that accompanies the poutine, I opted out of that dish. ) Everything that we did order was very good. The Arugula salad with beets,chevre, nuts- was a huge portion of greens, easily 4 times bigger than any Boston salad I’ve had ,and the substituted cabernet vinaigrette worked quite well. The Fried calamari was better than any I can remember- the coating was just perfect, and the squid plump and fresh. The Scallops with leek and fennel soubise and lentils- made My Love very very happy; 6 good sized scallops. My Shrimp etoufee brought 5 moist 26/30 shrimp, 3 hushpuppies, a bit of fried okra and sauce,all artfully arranged around the mound of basmati rice. The plate was only lacking in its sauce; just lacked oomph and acid. The highlight was that Spaetzle dish- imagine gnocchi by any other name (but shaped differently)with wild mushrooms, ham, hazelnuts and melted Comte cheese. Beautifully conceived and executed Autumn knockout dish.
Each night they offer some ‘deal’; tonight it was 1/2 off desserts. Lemon sorbet was not the best I’ve had, but refreshing and 3 big scoops. The list of Reds by the glass was good sized and adequate.
At a very similar price point, THIS is the food Johnny D’s should have and I would imagine that they might lose a lot of dining customers to them. It is obvious from the crowds on a rainy Wed. night that Foundry is filling a niche. I hope the best for them.
Foundry on Elm
255 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144