The Foundry on Melrose was solid in November, but a little subdued. Eric Greenspan’s restaurant takes on new life in summer when the patio opens. The yellow-walled, open-air space provides an oasis to food-focused people who are looking to escape the trendoids who flood Melrose in the summer.
Our Amuse Bouche was serious, a glass of creamless “creamed corn” soup capped with a fritter, crab salad, a single morel and a tiny sprig of tarragon. The combination was sweet, earthy and crispy, and we were just getting started.
Since my last visit, Greenspan made the menu more democratic. Before, you could only order 5 appetizers, 5 entrees or the tasting menu. Now you can get the bar menu on the patio, and he’s even added a “Patio Burger” to his repertoire. Greenspan invited me to the patio to experience dueling tasting menus, which would normally cost $80 per person.
Greenspan’s take on Tuna Tartare was highly original, featuring a square of minced ahi, fried peanuts (and peanut skins), sweet plum and smoky eggplant. The tartare featured plenty of flavors, but they were all complementary.
The plate across the table hosted silky sea scallop sashimi with fibrous cuts of jicama, tangy strands of pickled onions and sweet mango. This was a very well balanced dish in terms of flavor, color and texture. Overall, the first courses were a draw.
The rival halibut separated in luscious sheets and came with a vermouth foam, crunchy cipollini onions, sugar snap peas, crispy bacon strips and a chunky fava bean puree that provided a much-needed textural contrast. Point to the core menu.