prepare yourself for a very comprehensive and long winded post about food. it's what i do best, no?
a couple months ago my friend told me about this amazing restaurant in slc. it was owned by two chefs who prepare a different menu every night full of things they forage themselves, cook up with class, and serve in the most uncanny of ways. being intrigued, i decided then and there that no matter the cost, i was going for my 21st. food binge! it is just how i celebrate. luckily for me, i've got a pal who is also a foodie deep in her heart. she agreed to fork over the cash and experience with me. thank you, britni! i've forever indebted!
our reservation was for 7:30. when i called and made it, i told the guy i was a vegetarian, and asked if that would be a problem... he assured me that since i'd called so far in advance, quote, "the chefs would be able to personally prepare vegetarian courses for me". but he told me not worry- only two of the courses even had any meat in them. scoooooooore.
forage is located in a little blue remodeled house on a forgotten street in salt lake. we passed it almost twice before spotting a tiny sign on the door and a driveway.... where tons of nice cars were parked. we were super out of our element, i will tell you what. upon entering, the fancy of the place was intoxicating! we were seated by posh waiters who asked us if we wanted our water distilled or sparkling... to which i stammered and responded distilled, remembering my times in spain of always asking for "aqua sin gas, por favor!". that is as fancy as i get.
and then the courses came.
appetizer 1. malt crackers with new onion mousse. when it came out i thought the waiter was bringing us a center piece.. nope, those sticks were edible! and delicious, i might add.
appetizer 3. soft scrambled egg with maple syrup and sherry cream. the egg was still in the shell! it was beautiful. and tasty. it was served with a mini spoon i wanted to take home.
appetizer 4. dried milk skin topped with herbs. i didn't ask, i just ate it... then the deliciousness wouldn't let me keep my mouth closed and i had to ask a million questions. turns out milk skin is the skin on boiled milk... or something. i don't know, but i loved it.
appetizer 5. house made bread with butter and sea salt. we buttered every bite and topped it all with sea salt. new favorite thing! also, the bread was kept warm but hot rocks in the bottom of the bowl. genius?
main 2. carrots in spruce sauce and yogurt.... to tell you the truth i can't remember the fancy name of this dish, but the flavor. i die. it was so concentrated and perfect... like the small portions were only natural. if they would have been any bigger it would have been overpowering, but it was just perfect. did i say perfect enough? perfect!
main 3. young radishes on cabbage with chilled lemon butter. again... these radishes were bonkers. i don't eat radishes, but i was doing my best to be nimble the whole time, even while eating the stems... which britni said probably weren't supposed to be eaten. so much for being fancy... i think while i ate this britni was eating halibut. she said it tasted like the sea.
main 4. baked potato soup with nasturtium and green pea tendrils. WHOA. incredible dish right here. there were pickled green pea tendrils in there i could have eaten for days. that soup was relished. britni ate elk... which she said was delicious and bloody.
dessert 1. and then the sweet stuff came! crushed rhubarb and sorrel with herbs. so that white stuff is NOT bread or cake, like i thought it was. when it entered my mouth the flavor and texture was so unexpected... it was foam! the waiter said it was marjoram tea. yum yum
dessert 2. lavender ice cream with a ribbon of chocolate ganache with milk skin, milky foam, and dried milk. that ice cream and ganache were the game makers. do you see all those lavender flowers i ate? good stuff right there.
dessert 3. the night ended with a chocolate ganache and caramel... it came out with the bill to lessen the blow a little bit i think. i hardly remember the ganache because it was overpowered by me wondering how i had just spent 10 dollars on water, but ya know, it was pure and we sipped it with our pinkies in the air, so it's all good... and that caramel... oh that caramel. buttery and sweet and savored. the perfect way to end a meal.
and that's it, folks! three hours later we were pleasantly satiated and feeling good. my forage experience was definitely a good one- not something i plan on doing again in the near future, but definitely memorable. i love the social aspect of the meal- the progressive eating and the anticipation of what was to come really heightened the experience. huge flavor in small portions left my palate always guessing. the combination of flavors and textures challenged my taste buds... does that make sense? rather than scarfing down the meal, it was such a nice change to actually celebrate food as something that is as appealing to the eye as it is to the stomach. anyways, if you're up for a cool experience with tiny spoons and quirky, earthy, rad dishes, i say head on over to see what forage is all about.
next stop, french laundry! (one day, one day :)