What is “New American” food? When I think “American,” I think classic burgers and fries, but New American is a whole different ball game. According to some food critics, New American is a blend of cuisines that defy other categorizations. Others are just as confused as us. Whatever New American is, Found Kitchen does it right.
Located just two blocks south of Northwestern's campus, Found Kitchen is conveniently located no matter where you live. The awning and outdoor seating create a French café appearance as you walk by. As soon as you step through the door, the décor and music give the restaurant an old-timey vibe. The mix of lounge seating and regular tables create an antique and cozy ambiance.
Although Found Kitchen is a bit pricey, it is definitely possible to dine on a budget without sacrificing the classiness. Ordering at Found was a little different than most restaurants – an almost tapas-like experience, each person could order one or two plates and everything was meant to share.
To start, we ordered the cheese plate. As a cheese enthusiast, it is tough to pass up an opportunity to sample some fancy cheeses. The cheese plate consisted of three artisan cheeses accompanied by some house made lavash, a Mediterranean-style flatbread. Our plate was made up of all hard cheeses, but the selection varies by day. Rest assured that no matter what the variety, they are all rich and flavorful, pairing perfectly with the flatbread.
Next, we ordered the main plates. Found Kitchen is known for their lamb meatballs, so I had to try them. The dish was definitely unique – the meatballs were placed on a base of mint yogurt and topped with pistachio chimichurri. The flavor of the meatballs was fairly mild, which allowed the flavors of the sauces to take over.
The blend of mint and the greens from the chimichurri put a refreshing twist on a traditionally heavy dish. The ratio of sauces to meatballs was also perfect, since the meatballs were not drowning in sauce.
We also ordered the chickpea fritters, a dish inspired by Indian cuisine. With strong similarities to Indian pakoras, the fritters had a spicy kick from the green chilies. They were also accompanied by green and coconut chutneys to dip them in.
As a biased lover of coconut chutney, I preferred to dip them in the coconut. The cooling flavor and texture paired well with the spice from the chilies. The fritters were fried, but it was a pleasant surprise that they were not drenched in oil. The crispy but not overly oily outsides made these fritters pretty addicting.
We weren’t too hungry going into Found, so the two plates and cheese were enough for two people. Had we not snacked beforehand we would have gone for a third plate. The smaller portions made it easy to try multiple dishes, and the ambiance made for a unique dining experience right in Evanston.
For the entire month of February 2017 be sure to visit Found Kitchen for 15% off as part of North Shore Restaurant Month!