First Look: Foundation Social Eatery, Roswell

Newly opened in the former Dick and Harry’s space on Holcomb Bridge Road, Foundation Social Eatery from chef/owner Mel Toledo conjures the current wave of suburban casual fine dining concepts, such as Table & Main in Roswell, Seed Kitchen & Bar in east Cobb and Century House Tavern in Woodstock, where Toledo recently worked.

The look: With help from the Ai3 design team, Toledo remade the strip center storefront with an eye to a bright, open, contemporary look. Pale wood, rebar wine racks and artful lighting accent the long bar and miscellany of seating areas, including a chef’s table adjacent to the open kitchen. There’s also a small patio hidden in back.

The scene: One recent weeknight, it was apparent that Foundation had already gained a following among area residents, who filtered in for drinks and dinner, greeting one another and the friendly bartender. At the bar, a group of women ordered wine and discussed dishes they’d tried on previous visits while waiting for a table.

The food: Toledo’s menu mixes French, Italian and Southern influences with flavors from a wood-burning oven. A substantial starter of potato gnocchi ($10) comes in a bowl with roasted mushrooms, asparagus, bacon and a soft-cooked egg. A sauteed peeky toe crabcake ($12) is accompanied by tropical pineapple-vanilla puree and herb salad. Main course “plates” include house-made pappardelle pasta ($20) with lamb Bolognese, black olives and goat cheese, and Mediterranean sea bass ($26) with white bean-fennel ragout, olive relish and basil oil.

The drinks: On the beverage menu, reasonably priced house cocktails ($7-$8), listed as “strong pours,” include the Azalea with Bombay Sapphire gin, elder flower liqueur, lemon, lime and rosemary-infused simple syrup. The mostly budget-priced wine list features “interesting” whites and reds in the $25-$77 bottle range. The recent draft beer list ($5-$6) included Stone IPA and Wrecking Bar Jemmy Stout.

The extras: Foundation may be reserved for private lunch or dinner events. Look for lunch and brunch hours coming soon.

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