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http://foragerestaurant.com/

ForageIt was a little hard to find, not because of the location, but because I have driven by it a number of times and never noticed it. The establishment is kept pretty discreet, but I believe that to be intentional to keep it feeling like the hidden treasure that my guests and I found it to be.

Upon arrival the staff took our winter coats and led us to our table. The dining room was comfortable and clean. None of the tables were too close to others, and we quickly observed that the seating is limited to a maximum of four persons per table. The temperature was cozy, especially for being such a cold night, and the lighting was low but certainly not dark. The space felt high class: simple, clean, uncluttered – sophisticated through and through. It was clear that Forage wants their guests to focus on the food.

Ordering was easy since Forage has a fixed menu – all selections are made by the chef, but they are very accommodating to guests who cannot or do not like to eat certain items. The food was incredibly fresh. In fact, some of the meat was raw, smoked, or cooked to rare, which normally scares both of my guests, but Forage pampered us with premium culinary products which were fresh and seasonal. This fact was key in our dining experience at Forage, because superior dining and culinary experiences start with quality ingredients. There were no mediocre morsels or bites consumed.

Every single dish that came out was art. Edible art. We had 20+ courses – all simple, sophisticated, and highly creative. With each dish, we all found ourselves anticipating what was coming out next. The menu only gave us enough information to identify the main ingredients in the dish, but how it was prepared and the complementary flavors were a complete surprise until the courses were presented. We were all hooked and intrigued to see what we were going to be given next. No doubt we all were beginning to experience a food euphoria. There is no restaurant in Salt Lake that compares to the quality of presentation: unique dishes included large glass bowls, stones, slat slabs, and so on and so forth. The plates themselves were heated or chilled, various utensils were offered. Forage presented itself was a combination of class and flair. Can any other restaurant compete with them?

If you are not an adventurous food eater, unwilling to try new flavors, or are dedicated to specific foods, you might not want to try Forage. Also if you expect to get in and out quickly, do not try Forage. It took 4 hours to finish the dinner served, although the entire experience was a lovely adventure and time flew by. Every single one of the courses had flavors that married well together. The temperature, textures, seasoning, and aroma were one hit out of the ball park after another. If Forage were a musical ensemble, they would get a standing ovation with “bravos” shouted out. The only courses that made me shake my head were a frozen horseradish dish paired with an apple butter and the trout skin. Yet, even with these dishes we tip our hats to the chef for being creative and pushing all of our palates to the limit. For example, my guests wouldn’t go out of their way to order duck liver and roe, but tried it and found it savory and refreshing. The entire menu encompassed the feeling of winter – the food was comforting, homey, and warm.

Nothing could have made these dishes better. In fact, I was in awe when a guest of mine stepped out of her culinary bubble to try trout skin, roe, and other courses that she typically wouldn’t ever attempt to eat. She certainly appreciated the accommodation to certain food restrictions and the alternative dishes the staff presented. How accommodating! All three of us would absolutely return to Forage. The only downer would be that since we believe each night offers a different menu there would be no guarantee that we could get the same dishes again. What happens if we are craving one!?!

The service was impeccable no matter where we were: staff courteously stepped aside while I walked to the restroom. At the table they didn’t create a hierarchy among my guests and me, as every dish was set down at the same time. Servers took turns explaining the dish being set in front of us, each showing detailed knowledge about the complexity of each dish.

No doubt my experience at Forage screamed,”We are here for a memorable, delightful, culinary experience where you are our royal guests.” At the end of our four hour meal, we were presented with our coats without asking which ones belonged to us: it was, simply put, very polite and respectful.

As you will notice, I have not uploaded any photos, because I do not want to strip away the integrity, the nature, and experience of what Forage does – you will just have to go and experience it yourself.

Rating: Damn, somebody needs to contact the Michelin Man.

Edited by SELF
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