Foraged Eatery: Search no further for great food

I have a good news/bad news sandwich for you. I’m about to tell you about an awesome restaurant with delicious food, good news! Almost all of the pictures I’m going to share are of food I ate over the last few months that you won’t be able to eat until it’s in season again next year, bad news. New tasty items are appearing on the menu with every change of the season, good news!

We all mourned the loss of Aromés when it closed it’s doors last year. Mourn no more, Foraged Eatery has opened in the space. Foraged Eatery opened in December of 2017. Their menu is hyper-seasonal and features New American Cuisine. The restaurant takes farm-to-table one step further as Chef Chris Amendola actually goes out and forages for the ingredients. As someone who grew up mushroom hunting every spring, I have a great appreciation for the care and work that goes in to food that is being served every evening. I also love that Chef Amendola wastes not when it comes to the animals he is cooking; the menu has a whole section just for “Pig Parts”.

Okay, it’s time to get down to business! I’m grouping these photos in order of visit so you can see how the menu changes.

We first visited in early February, right in the heart of winter. We were craving cold weather comfort food and we were not disappointed. We started out with the confit garlic, ricotta, and grilled baguette with EVOO. The garlic was cooked well and easily spread onto the bread. A dollop of ricotta on top made it the perfect bite. I’ve never had a bad fried mushroom, but now I can say I’ve had the best friend mushroom. The oyster fritters were SO good. I love the creamy lemony aioli with every bite, I ran out and had to ask for more. The mushrooms were delicious on their own, but that aioli! Mr. Meat and Potatoes is not a fan of oysters but on this day he was converted by the oyster stew. Savory and creamy, with a perfect crunch factor from the breaded oysters and croutons. It would have been perfect with some bread to sop up all the goodness left in the bottom and I had to stop myself from licking the bowl. On to the true adventure: Pig Parts. I’m not a pig part person by nature and I don’t normally enjoy things that are overly chewy or fatty. Because of this, we took the recommendation of our waiter to order the pork cheek. It was really good, tender and tasty. The pickled veggies on the side added some good acid to each bite. The delicious aioli reappeared!

Dessert gets its own section for this meal. So above you can see the chef’s version of apple cheesecake. I’d call that deconstructed. It was very good but we both voted my dessert the tastiest, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar. I love a perfectly soft and warm chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. This was that and so much more. The creamy sauce tasted like a better version of sweetened condensed milk (my favorite) plus the whipped cream and crumbles, HEAVEN!

Our next visit was mid April. Another season, another visit, different food offerings. Foraged Eatery started out as a BYOB. Between our visits they were approved for a liquor license. This time I was able to order a great glass of Rosé to accompany my meal. They were running a special that evening for scallop crudo, SOLD! I love raw everything, especially scallops. Do you see how pretty it looked? The scallop crudo came with a ramp puree, shaved radishes, toasted pine nuts, basil oil and lemon vinaigrette. The wood violets make it look like a work of art. Up next was the mushroom stuffed brioche buns with whipped goat cheese. YES, this was SO good. The buns were perfectly steamed, the filling was warm and savory, the goat cheese on top was tart and creamy. It took everything I had to be a nice person and share these with Mr. Meat and Potatoes. That is true love right there.

After the small bites we shared a cup of mushroom stew. Please see the above gooey egg yolk porn. Was it as good for you as it was for me? The mushroom stew was delicious with the pine nuts, poached egg, and ricotta on top. I mixed it all together for a little bit of everything in each bite. Again, another beautiful dish. They just bring these works of art out for you to eat and sometimes you have to pause to take it all in.

After the stew we each had our own dishes. I had the ramp risotto with bacon. This might be the greenest risotto I’ve ever eaten. It was great. I enjoyed finding the little bacon surprises in every bite. The picture of the pot pie does not do it justice since it hides the best part. The pot pie was mushroom and bacon with a buttered puff pastry, parsnip, and mirpoix. Super savory and the heartiest dish of the night. Mr. Meat and Potatoes couldn’t finish it after all we had eaten and dessert being imminent.

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Keeping it simple, we decided to share a dessert. We agreed upon the citrus meringue pie with sugar cookie and white chocolate. I like the toasted marshmallow flavor of the meringue and dipping the cookies into it. Another deconstructed-type dessert. No complaints here!

Our last, but definitely not least visit was something special. Foraged Eatery was hosting a “Ramps & Rosé” fundraiser last Sunday so, of course, we had to visit again. You had me at rosé. It was a prix fix 3-course meal with wine pairings. There is always something new and interesting when you visit. This time it was edible table plants. They gave us a little bowl of lemony aioli for us to dip the micro green plant on our table in, fun. We both ordered soon our first course followed. Predictably, I ordered the Fluke Crudo, which was almost exactly the same as the scallop crudo I had last time but with fluke. I love crudo, I don’t care how similar it tastes because its delicious. Plus it’s not often you get to come here and order something that you enjoyed last time. I’ll take it. Mr. Meat and Potatoes order the pork jowl which came with a ramp puree, charred ramps, a jewelry box egg, and jus. What is a jewelry box egg, you ask? We had to ask too. It’s like a scotch egg with a gooey middle but cut in half to look like those fabregé eggs, pretty creative.

Time for the second course. You may not have noticed, but I never order pork chops when I’m out, like ever. I suffered through one dry pork chop after another most of my life, I have terrible luck, so I just decided to stop chancing it. On this day, I was brave. I ordered the pork coppa steak with ramp puree, charred ramps, glazed carrots, and pork jus. The world has finally caught on that you can eat pork chops medium rare, and you should because its the only way it’s not going to turn out dry. Foraged Eatery nailed it on my pork chop. It was crispy around the outside and juicy in the middle. Plenty of fat left to keep everything moist. I really enjoyed every bite of this dish especially the way the vegetables and jus mixed together. Thank you for breaking my bad pork chop streak Foraged Eatery. Mr. Meat and Potatoes, being the duck fiend that he is, ordered the duck breast with baby spring vegetables, ramp pistou, and jus. His duck was cooked to a perfect medium rare and he was excited to find some fiddlehead ferns mixed into the dish. he could have done with a little less fat on the breast but that’s just his preference.

Final course: Dessert! We agreed that I picked best again when it came to dessert. I had the Cookies and Cream which was chocolate shortbread, vanilla custard, and EVOO chocolate. Yup, it was tasty. I really enjoyed the custard. Mr. Meat and Potatoes had the Ramp and Lemon pound cake with a rosé sabayon, citrus segments, and white chocolate. More of that delicious toasted marshmallow flavor going on. The pound cake was really moist and the perfect mix of sweet and savory with a little acid. I still liked my dessert best.

I have to agree with the sign out front, they do have rad ish. I enjoy Foraged Eatery because every visit is a new adventure. The service is always great and the staff is so friendly; we never feel rushed. They have a great wine list now so no need to BYOB. The restaurant itself is small and cozy and the whole experience reminds us of one of our favorite restaurants in Paris, VAVA. Since we can’t go back to Paris on whim, Foraged Eatery is a good substitute. Also, some of the items we ate on our last visit are still in season and if you hurry fast you too can enjoy them!

Enjoy!

– Lindsey

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