Bewitching…NYC Restaurant Review

Dining at the new, creatively delicious Foul Witch was a dynamic experience.

Foul Witch is a tough get.

I was able to secure a Sunday at 5pm reservation.

Arriving at the destination on the Lower East Side/Alphabet City was interesting.

Driving was unacceptable due to the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The D train heading downtown was a new challenge since I was unsure of the route as I only take the D uptown to Yankee Stadium. Disembarking it was almost a mile walk to the restaurant.

It was worth the challenge.

The former dentist’s office has been transformed into a seductive, Gothic space.

Taking its name from the 1985 Ridley Scott dark fantasy film, Legend, Foul Witch is an exploration between light and darkness: “Black as midnight, black as pitch, blacker than the foulest witch.”

Foul Witch is brought to the hungry, discerning public by Carlo Mirarchi and Brandon Hoy, the team behind Roberta’s and Blanca.

We sat at the small bar by the kitchen with Johnson, the delightfully accommodating, knowledgeable bartender.

We engaged with our counter mates, Jane, who had just flown in from Ireland and Gabi, the owner of Baba Cool, a unique vegetable forward restaurant located in Williamsburg and Fort Greene.

We had our own intimate dinner party, swapping food and life stories.

I kicked the meal off with a delightful orange wine from Slovenia and my husband went for a lovely Italian sparkling wine ($16).

Crispy, warm, exquisite, freshly baked bread and cultured butter arrives with the drinks.

I could just drink my orange wine and eat bread all night and be happy with the obscenely delicious crusty exterior and a light, chewy interior smothered in creamy, rich butter.

The first course was fabulous. Celery Alla Romana with hints of anchovy and pecorino di fossa . I  shared and then scooped up every last drop and I am not an anchovy fan. Who knew celery could be so exciting ($19).

I just had to include the history of Pecorino di Fossa, a unique Italian cheese. It is a traditional sheep cheese dating back to the Middle Ages. Fossa means pit, because this cheese is aged in underground oval sandstone pits for months.

Jane shared her sweet and savory Fire and Ice that consisted of spicy meat and creamy cheese…a pile of stracciatella (shreds of Fresh Mozzarella soaked in sweet cream) on top of a bed of ‘nduja…an appealing combination ($18).

Gabi shared the Dressed Chicories Salad that was classically bitter, briny and tart ($18). Not my first choice for salad selection, but happy to sample.

The New Potatoes with tomato and horseradish were wonderful with crispy crumbs sprinkled on top ($16).

The rich Polenta was off the charts…creamy and a generous portion of delicate Maine Uni graced the center of the Polenta ($36).

Gabi offered a sampling of the Boston Mackerel with creme fraiche and watercress. It was quite pungent and, again, not my thing, but well prepared ($17).

The Chitarra with Dungeness Crab, Fennel and Serrano chili was perfectly prepared and was wonderful with a unique flavor factor ($30).

We passed on the mains since they were all meat offerings…pork, goat, Guinea hen and lamb.

The Sake Lees Pound Cake with Honeycomb and Clotted Cream was a very different twist on a dessert. The taste of sake kadu is fruity and is obviously similar to Japanese sake. Sake kadu is the lees left over from sake production ($12).

The prices trend high which appears to now be the new normal with intimate wine bars.

The food is delicious, the portions small and Foul Witch attracts interesting, fabulous women.

As our meal was drawing to a close two young, delightful women (Andrea, Julia) claimed the bar seats next to me ready to celebrate a birthday.

Despite the price points, Foul Witch is a must try where variety is rampant and every bite is a journey in contrast and uniqueness.

Foul Witch 15 Avenue A New York City. Open Thursday-Monday 5-10pm. Reservations on Resy.

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