Foxley – Tantalizing Taste Buds

I had heard about Foxley a couple years ago at a Christmas party my neighbor was throwing.  The reviewer went into lengthy detail about the food and the atmosphere so it’s been on my long list of places to try for some time now.  After several attempts to try this place (I seem to have always been in the area on Sundays when they were closed), I finally had my first meal here last night.  The narrow restaurant was packed from wall to bar but the busy atmosphere still felt warm and welcoming. It was a little too dark for my phone to take any decent pictures so I took most of these off google images…thanks internet!

We were seated at a small table at the back while we waited for a dining table.  We went through the wine menu and settled on a Beckman Cabernet from California (’08).  Full bodied, nice long earthy finish.  We had hoped for something a little spicier but this was still really nice.  We went through the food menu after we were seated in the dining area.  Honestly I would have eaten everything on the menu.  It all sounded really good.  We decided to go with eight dishes between the two of us.  That’s right! Eight! We were both really hungry and wanted to try a lot of different things.  This was my kind of dining partner.  The waitress seemed a little weary after we ordered indicating that this was a lot of food.  We were up for the challenge though.  The first dish to arrive was the Arctic Char Ceviche with green apples and ginger.

I had mentioned before taking the first bite that I usually like to order anything with apples.  I like apples on their own but I find it to be an unusual twist when people use it in cooking.  I usually find it to be a hit and this occassion was no different.  After the first bite, I had a huge smile on my face.  The fish was fresh; wonderfully meaty; and not to mention flavorful.  The complimenting apples, citrus flavors and oils melded wonderfully with the fish.  The ginger added another level of complexity that made this dish both refreshing and exciting.  Next up was the Scallop Ceviche.

I’ll admit ordering two ceviche dishes seems like overkill but after tasting these two I would go back and try the other two.  The scallops were perfect.  They had this almost char-grilled smokey flavor but they weren’t thrown on a grill.  My friend commented that it was the oils.  Loved this dish!  Taste, texture, the plating, it had it all.  Then came the Deep Fried Oyster Handrolls.

One bite and I was completely won over by this place.  First off the oyster was HUGE!  My friend saw me struggling to get the hand roll into my mouth and mentioned that the oyster was the size of my face.  Now that’s a big oyster!  It was lightly deep fried but didn’t taste oily.  It was just that extra little cruchy texture surrounding the warm succulent oyster.   In addition to the oyster, the rice was lightly dressed with a spicy dynamite type sauce and it also had a couple strips of mango.  The mango balanced out each bite.  The warmth of the oyster, the coolness of the mango, so good!  It’s times like these when I remember that eating is more than just sustenance, it’s sensory bliss.  Next came the Crispy Garlic Shrimp with Jalapenos.

I took a bite as soon as the dish hit the table. Almost burned my mouth but it was so worth it!  I had previously mentioned that Sidecar had the best battered shrimp in the city I had so far but I think this place just topped it.  Perfect, light and crunchy breading surrounding bouncy and tasty shrimp.  This is a must order for anyone.  The japalpenos added a small kick but nothing that would leave a burning taste.  The dish had a fair amount of garlic but it wasn’t overpowering.  The other great thing about this dish was the amount of shrimp they gave you.  There was easily over a dozen large shrimp pilled into this dish.  We also ordered the Grilled Calamari and Shrimp mango salad.

Shrimp….good.   Calamari…good.  Mango….so much mango!  The dish came with three pieces of perfectly cooked bouncy shrimp.  The calamari had a nice texture and flavor.  Not too seafoody and not rubbry at all.  Just chewy, slimy and delicious.  The mango was fresh, juicy, tasty and plentiful.  There was also some red onions in there to add a subtle sharpness that worked well with the sweet mango.  We also ordered the Black Cod which came with Asian greens in a fish broth with truffle oil, butter and soya.

The cod was great.  Tender and tasty.  It wasn’t the cod flavor that made this dish outstanding, it was the broth!  First off, truffle oil, butter and soya….how can you go wrong!  Richness from the butter and truffle oil, saltiness from the soya, tasty fish broth.  Wow!  The waitress actually saw how much we were enjoying the broth and brought us some rice to soak up what was left after we ate the fish and vegetables.  That’s how good it was.  My friend doesn’t eat land animals or birds but I had to try the Lamb and Duck proscuitto dumplings so I had this dish to myself.

Deep fried to a crisp outside however it wasn’t oily.  My first reaction, ‘this is meaty!’   The meat was tightly packed and had a bit of a gamey flavor from the lamb.  Couldn’t really taste the duck procuitto.  Was expecting a slight salty hit from the duck proscuitto but never tasted it.  The dumplings were good but perhaps not living up to the excitement I felt when reading it off the menu (they were only $7 so definitely worth a try).  The last dish was the Grilled Pike Mackerel.

The fish was good.  Nicely grilled, the skin was nicely seasoned.  There wasn’t anything exceptionally exciting about this dish but it was still good and well executed.  And for $8, I couldn’t complain.

We considered getting dessert since the green tea creme brule sounded really interesting but were both pretty full at this point.  Maybe that extra rice was a little overzealous….nah!  So to conclude, this is the best meal I’ve had in a long time.  It’s not only how well they cook the dishes but how adventurous they get with the ingredients.  It’s been a while since my taste buds were tantalized like this.  Great food, great company, great night!  And to my dining partner, if you’re reading this, I had a blast that night!   Tequila flights on me next time we’re out in the Oss!

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~ by jlowjlow on April 9, 2011.

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