Evening dinner review
At this time of year I get so overloaded by the ridiculous amount of food at my office, in gifts, and at various events I’m barely able to think about eating out. It seems like weaving through the landmines of chocolates, cocktails, and candies is an Olympic sport, and forget about cooking. Most days grabbing a quick meal is all I can hope for. This year, however, I decided to set aside some time to finally try Forage.
On a recent Saturday night 4 of us decided to slap down the $85.00 per person to try their tasting menu (I considered that a Christmas present to myself). We did not choose to do the additional $45.00 per person for wine pairings, but really I didn’t mind. Let me first apologize a bit for the picture quality. It was fairly dark in the restaurant and my Photoshop skills are pretty meager. And let me also mention that the courses were coming so fast and furious that I probably don’t have the exact descriptions for most of the dishes. I’ll repeat what the menu said things were, but I’m probably getting some of it wrong. It was a heady meal.
For example, we started out with a little amuse-bouche and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. I think it was a mushroom puree that they froze and then it liquefied when they fried it. Whatever it was, it was an unexpected combo, crunchy and liquid, and also very tasty. The next amuse was a real treat, soft scrambled eggs with maple syrup in the bottom. I’m not a maple syrup fan, and I thought this was delicious.
We were also served a wonderful rye bread – you can see in the picture I didn’t hold back on the fresh butter. I was pretty hungry by this point The first “real” course was arctic char sashimi style with exotic citrus. Although this dish had fairly subtle flavors, it was a good start to the rest of the meal.
Next was a lovely soup that came out without the broth and they poured it on table side. My only real complaint is that I felt they were pretty stingy with the broth and even with the small amount I got they ran out when they got to our fourth person and didn’t come back with more. But I digress. The soup was diver scallop (perfectly cooked), truffle broth (maybe that’s why they didn’t give us more?), truffled turnip relish, toasted rice, braised green onion, and soft quail egg. That egg was amazing.
Next came the “vegetable garden with herbs of the season.” The radish and beet were really flavorful, and we all agreed this was one of our favorite dishes. I, personally, could have done without the celery, but that was just me. Next was the “house-made farmer’s cheese in buckwheat pasta with smoked beet, dill, and preserved mushrooms.” I love pasta of all kinds, but this sort of left me flat. The foam was fun, but this dish didn’t have the punch of flavor I’d hoped for.
The entrée courses were next. We had beef striploin, with beef cheeks in savoy cabbage, and vadouvan potatoes; wild north American sturgeon, parsnip (I think), baby carrots and mustard cream;
Braised Colorado lamb, cauliflower puree, Meyer lemon marmalade, toasted buckwheat; smoked maple farms duck, tokyo turnips, roasted shiitake, and glazed chestnuts. These dishes were all very good, my favorite was the lamb though. I loved the Meyer lemon marmalade.
I have to say that at the end of all those tiny bites, I was beginning to get a little, well, bored. Everything sort of blended together, and I think that’s more an issue with the tasting menu than with the food. I’d go back anytime for that lamb though. This might also be a good place to mention that all the bringing and taking away of silverware and plates was distracting. The service was great, but I easily could have kept my silverware for a couple of courses. We were seated in a table in the corner so we constantly had someone scooting behind us or reaching past us to take things. Not really a complaint here, more of a comment. The dessert courses started with a wonderful cheddar cheese, apples, and crostini. The apples were preserved, or confitted, or infused (I can’t remember which exactly) and were delicious (as you can probably tell, I was full into food coma at this point). Next came the “amino ocumare chocolate pave, with pomegranate, hibiscus pudding, and cranberry sorbet.” Loved the sorbet and also the coffee they served with it in its own French press.
Next was poached local quince, preserved meyer lemon cake, quince flower yogurt, hazelnuts, and the second most amazing thing I had all night – the earl grey ice cream. I love tea, hate earl grey though (too bergamotty for me), but absolutely loved this ice cream. Finally, the best thing I ate all night, the cinnamon, or nutmeg, or some spice marshmallow with a light and perfectly sweet cookie.
As you can probably tell from this description, I’m not doing this meal justice. Sometimes, as a reviewer, you just have to stop worrying about getting all the details right and just eat. This was that meal for me. I can’t say I’d do the tasting menu again, but I would definitely go back for the maple eggs, the soup, the lamb, and both the earl grey ice cream and marshmallows. I bet you can guess what I asked Santa for.
370 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 708 7834
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 5.30p.m.