Forage was a restaurant I’ve always wanted to try so I took the opportunity of my birthday to ‘gently suggest’ to Fannypack to take me there on a separate occasion to celebrate (as that is our thing), so that brings us to birthday dinner #2!
As we were quickly told by the extremely attentive server, the plates here are meant to be shared (although you are welcome to hoard it all if you so choose to), so we (I) picked a few items to share.
On another note, Hitman lost these pictures too so the ones here are courtesy of Fannypack also! Lifesaver much??
First up the Kale and Apple Chips ($5). There’s a mix of purple and green kale which created a very aesthetically pleasing presentation. The chips were salted just right but I did find them a bit greasy as I suspected them to be deep-fried (I roast mine at home). Found out from Mary’s blog post about Forage as I was writing this that they’re baked in a convection oven so that’s not so bad then. I would be happier if there were more apple chips though.
Next was one of my choices: Marinated octopus ($15) with roasted garlic crostini, gribiche, and pickled yellowfoot chanterelles.
The octopus was extremely tender and flavorful. I liked to eat them by themselves as I found the gribiche (a sort of egg-based tartar sauce) too tart and overpowering when combined with the delicate octopus. The gribiche presented itself like your usual egg salad.
Speaking of tart…the pickled chanterelles were quite up there!
I can eat mushrooms all day, so the Foraged and cultivated mushrooms ($12) was of course another one of my picks. It had a mix of crimini button, chanterelle, shimiji and oyster mushrooms. Topped with Happy Island goat’s cheese, it was served with caraway rye bread.
I much enjoyed the mushroom-y parts but I did think this was on the salty side. It was also really rich.
On to my next choice: it was the Duck pastrami ($16). It came on a bed of frisee greens and black trumpet mushrooms on top of duck liver mousse, sprinkled with morel mushroom soil throughout. Honey black pepper meringue was the finishing touch.
This was Hitman’s favorite. He was especially smitten with the morel soil. The whole dish reminded him of a Dairy Queen ice cream cake and the soil was like the cookie crumble. He thought it was a very different preparation and was impressed with the creativity. I enjoyed this too. The meringues were so cute. They were just slightly sweetened to offset the richness of the duck liver mousse. The pastrami themselves weren’t quite as memorable.
Our last savory dish was finally Fannypack’s choice. The Pepper braised bison cheek ($20) came with charred onions, 64° egg, homemade fettuccine, bone marrow croutons and watercress. We were excited about the bone marrow croutons as we had memories of our dinner at Merchant’s Oyster Bar.
When the dish came though we were disappointed at the croutons. I guess we had our expectations too high…the croutons just tasted greasy. The bison cheek though was very melt-in-your-mouth tender. The egg when broken and mixed with the fettuccine made it creamier. The fettuccine though didn’t compare to my last experience with homemade pasta (also at Merchant’s).
Last dish of the night was of course dessert. I picked the Malted chili chocolate cake ($8). It came with cinnamon apples, cocoa popcorn and drizzled with raspberry caramel. I loved that it was baked in a cast iron pan. Forage also wrote a personalized “Happy Birthday Wendy” message in chocolate sauce around the plate which was a very very nice touch. Like I said before it’s little touches like this that show heart.
We didn’t even bother to use separate plates and just dove in with our spoons. It was warm and rich and was like a fresh-out-of-the-oven brownie. The chili added a bit of kick to it but the whipped cream rounded it out. It was the perfect end to a great dinner and even greater company.
Oh–I forgot to add: forage does a nightly meat draw Sunday through Wednesday at 8:30 PM. They give away local meat from their suppliers to one lucky patron; on the night we were there it was pork belly.
It was great to be able to spend a milestone with a great friend. I’m sure there will be lots more to come. Thanks Fannypack love you!