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Discovering Delight

David Zivan | August 27, 2018 | Feature Features National

After five years, Found remodels and pivots toward more vegetables. The Evanston charmer still has its heartfelt touch.
The bright ginger-braised beet salad shows the kitchen's dedication to freshness and balance.

The new decor at Found Kitchen and Social House, the 5-year-old Evanston favorite, might best be described as eclectic. Large tropical plants subdivide the softly lit space, working nicely with the reds and burnt oranges around the room. There are lamps of various sorts. The exposed brick is still exposed. In the cozy back room, a wall of books is turned so the pages, not the spines, face out.

As for the dishes new chef Bradford Phillips puts out—derived from an ever-evolving menu—everything has a pleasing balance. An increased focus on vegetable offerings means ingredients like cashew butter and green harissa bring flavor and texture to dishes.

Sometimes the combinations of ingredients are quirky, but they work beautifully. The Tip Toe Through the Tulips cocktail—gin, aquavit and Lillet blanc—ought to succeed, and it does. The Intuition, though, seems more ambitious: A well-shaken mix of tequila blanco, crème de cassis, lime juice, egg white and activated charcoal, the drink came with a warning from our server that it “tastes a lot prettier than it looks.” We did not object to its appearance, a murky purple topped with a light violet band of foam, and the drink itself was terrific. Black currant and lime notes danced around the agave without hiding its pleasures.

Before that cocktail arrived, a server brought us a Tang Tang in error. A mélange of turmeric-infused vodka, carrot juice, honey, lemon juice and bitters, it looked tantalizingly pretty, but we did not try it.


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