Had a charming dinner at Foreign Cinema last night, although really it's more the space and the service than the food.
It was empty when I arrived around 7 and had a drink at the bar waiting for my companion to arrive. Cocktails are more reasonably priced than glasses of wine (many $12-15 a glass, not warranted by the bottle costs), but we found them weak and unexciting. Table service was noticeably more attentive than at the bar, despite the lack of crowds.
We decided to share an assortment of appetizers:
-brandade, which I found too dry and not in the same class as the same at Delfina or even at the Grubstake
-crab cakes, which were tiny but delectable, accompanied by shaved fennel
-salad of miniature beets and mache, lovely although topped with bits of hard-boiled egg, which didn't quite go
-toasts with marinated anchovies and mashed fava beans; disappointing, and favas and anchovies are two of my favorite things
-frito of the evening was quail; the quail was juicy and delicious although the portobella and giant onion rings were a little soggy
-a side of polenta, creamy and satisfying (not on the menu--ask for it).
We also got an apple and berry crisp for dessert, which was perfect, a huge bowl with a scoop of ice cream. A glass of palo cortado was served much too cold. The flavors only awakened as we were leaving. Service was gracious and attentive, and we really enjoyed people watching from the table in the corner.
Total was fairly high for a bunch of small plates and a few glasses of wine: around $130, although I didn't see the final check. I'd go back as long as someone else was paying. I do think it's a better space in the daylight or dusk, and a better deal all around for brunch.
Infernal Affairs is currently playing on the wall.