Design firm ai3 brings its signature flair for contemporary-cool to Foundation Social Eatery.
Don’t be fooled by the Roswell address—Foundation Social Eatery is ITP eating just beyond the Perimeter.
The culinary gem is the brainchild of chef/owner Mel Toledo, a 15-year kitchen vet who’s honed his skills in some of Atlanta’s hottest haunts (including Westside standout Bacchanalia), as well as in New York City, San Diego and France, where he perfected his Provençal prowess under many of the country’s greatest chefs.
The chef and his wife, Sandy, got the itch to open their own spot after helping Chef Daniel Porubiansky open Century House Tavern in Woodstock. While serving up some of his signature dishes on an April evening, Toledo explained, “I want [patrons] to feel like they’re eating at my house—sitting around the kitchen with great food and talking.”
The ai3-designed FSE nails that vision. (In his typically hands-on fashion, Toledo collaborated on the design.) The rustic-industrial space combines rough-hewn wood, Edison lamps and agricultural/industrial elements with hypermodern color palettes. Mirrored booths provide a chic and shiny contrast to the matte blond wood whittled into latticework. There are no TV sets (to promote conversation). A soundtrack that includes The Black Keys and Florence and the Machine rocks softly in the background. It’s Atlanta-meets-Brooklyn in the best possible way (and decidedly not the kind of space you’d expect to find outside the Perimeter).
The chef’s passion for high-end dining and disdain for the snooty attitude—and high prices—that often accompany it are evident in his well-cultivated, well-priced menu.
When JEZ stopped by, small plates like scotched black olives (olives wrapped in housemade sausage, lightly breaded and fried, and perfectly garnished with a basil orange aioli) and the seasonal mushroom ravioli featuring foamed red-wine truffle sauce and shaved Grana Padano wowed. On the entree side, the potato gnocchi is destined to become a signature FSE dish. Fresh vegetables (roasted mushroom and asparagus) mingle with light-as-air gnocchi and thick-cut bacon, while a soft-cooked egg ties the ingredients together. The egg makes for perfect sopping when paired with the resto’s house-baked bread. Though the lineup of main courses is impressive, it’s the sauteed scallops that had us hoping for seconds. Cooked to perfection and served like none other—thanks to a sweet and savory carrot puree—the entire dish melts on your palate. Top the meal off with the rosemary olive oil cake and save room for a few drinks at the bar—well-stocked with craft beers, a carefully curated wine list and signature cocktails.
Just 11 miles from Buckhead, FSE is a low-fare Uber ride away and is guaranteed to have ITP foodies making the gastronomic pilgrimage to Roswell again and again.
Foundation Social Eatery
1570 Holcomb Bridge Road Space 810