Last week, I paid a long overdue visit to Foundry on Elm. Foundry opened last fall just blocks from my apartment and I have been meaning to visit ever since. An invitation from Nicole of All Heart PR to attend the 2011 press dinner was apparently just what I needed to finally try it out. Foundry is billed as a gastropub with dim lighting, leather banquettes, and an extensive and intriguing selection of beer and wine. Just over a dozen area food writers and I were treated to five-course dinner showcasing some Foundry favorites as well as some dishes new this year. Throughout the evening we got to hear from both Foundry’s Executive Chef and its beverage director.
We began with two shared appetizers, the first of which was poutine with cheddar curds and beef gravy. I’d just had my first poutine experience the week before at the Gallows, where it was served with straight up cheese curds, which as far as I know is the traditional way to serve it. I have never been a fan of melted cheese on fries, but I ended up liking this rendition far more than I anticipated. The fries were addictive, thin with crispy edges. I usually find gobs of melted cheese to be heavy and greasy, but this was creamy and flavorful and tasted fabulous with the warm, salty fries.
One of my favorite dishes was the roasted beet salad with arugula, blood oranges, almonds, and sherry vinaigrette. The beets and blood orange sections were sweet and succulent and paired beautifully with the crunchy and earthy arugula. The sherry vinaigrette was sweet and acidic and really tied the dish together. The salad was served with Verhaeghe, Duchesse de Bourgogne from Belgium. It was without a doubt the most distinctive beer I have ever tasted. It was dark burgundy color. It was very sweet for a beer, but it was not sickeningly sweet in the way that some fruit flavored beers are. I very much liked it.
The final course of the evening did not disappoint, a pineapple upside down cake with caramel, coconut ice cream and toasted coconut. The cake was unlike pineapple upside down cakes I’ve had previously. It was not light and fluffy, but rather dense and biscuit-like. The outside had thick, crusty edges and the inside was buttery and tender. Cubes of sticky pineapple covered the surface. The cake itself was not extremely sweet, and the drizzle of caramel sauce provided a nice addition of sticky sweetness. The cool coconut ice cream paired nicely with the hearty cake, in both texture and taste. If I could change one thing though, I would have had much more ice cream for that quantity of cake.
Foundry is a very welcome addition (though it has now been there for several months) to Davis Square. It is cozy but refined, and would be perfect for either a date night or a large group outing. I was very happy with the selection of dishes we tried and it left me wanting to try more. More importantly, I am not a huge drinker, and so any place that manages to intrigue me with their wine and beer selection is a place worth revisiting. This meal was provided compliments of All Heart PR and Foundry on Elm.