The Witches of Eastwick is a 1987 flick starring the last remaining aging celebrities who didnt declare their political alliances (minus Cher). Foul Witch is a 6 month old restaurant in East Village. To be precise on a rather strange corner of Ave A (Houston), dangerously close to the tourist central Katz’s Deli, and Il laboratorio del gelato. By dangerous I mean you may be tempted to consider them for your first and last course, but I’m here to convince you otherwise, at least for the first course.
Foul Witch is the highly anticipated New American/Italian from the people that brought us Roberta’s, Roberta’s to-go, and Roberta’s in [name any food hall]. It seems like Roberta’s pizza footprints are all over the city, including in the nearby Market Line food hall in the form of a sound NY style pizza by an alumni. But with the now closed two Michelin Blanca, Carlo Mirarchi and co. long proved that there’s much more than pizza up their sleeves.
The hype surrounding Foul Witch means in order to reserve a table, you may want to move to Sidney Australia for a few months where ressies open in the middle of the day. Unless you are a night owl, its virtually impossible to do so here. Are there day owls? I thought all owls are night owls by definition. I dont understand the rationale of releasing reservations at midnight, as oppose to 9 or 10 am as some are doing for us day owls.
Then how did you score one Ziggy? Another outstanding question Timmy. I tried for months. I must have had ‘Notify’ on for many days which for me rarely works. My plan was to arrive 15 minutes prior to opening and get seats at the bar. Instead, early in the morning on the day of, I had two tabs open on Resy (Claud, the other one) and lo and behold, after only a few hundred refreshes, a 5 PM spot opened up. I pounced like a morning puma.
I think every meal at Foul Witch should start with the “Fire and Ice”. Ice for creamy Stracciatella, Fire for ‘Nduja, that glorious spreadable Calabrian goodness. Why not just call it Stracciatella and ‘Nduja. Its not like the rest of the menu is a puzzle. Extra Brownie point for the the delicious free bread in today’s $10 bread NYC. And another brownie for room temp spreadable butter, another NYC luxury. Minus one brownie for no brownies on the menu.
The Veal Tortellini in Brodo is some serious witchcraft. In a very Italian fashion, big, deep flavors come from very little meat. And that sweetness from the amaretto in the Brodo adds another layer. Ingredients, and attention to detail are key as expected, and its especially evident in the Sunchoke Caramelle. Freakishly good candy shaped pasta with lemon, and poppyseeds.
The menu changes more often than the one shown online, so you may be disappointed or thrilled. And while the prices seem fair, you will be tempted to order more than the usual two dish per. One reason is that some of the smaller items like the excellent buttery Sorana Beans are more like glorified sides you’d want to pair with the mains.
The lone main we tried was also the lone miss. The roasted shoulder of goat had a nice flavor, but lacking in texture, and a bit too much gristle for our taste. The buttered turnips and ramps were the best part of the dish. Oh, I just realized why. Buttered! We skipped dessert.
Italian craft beer lovers would be in beer heaven at Foul Witch. Although I really liked my aromatic Portuguese white Douro blend, I’m not skipping the beer next time. Two drinks, 5 dishes, tip/tax amounted to around $200. The space is comfortable, and intimate. As one would expect, friendly and efficient staff, especially Arlet the Sommelier. Go! If you can get in.
15 Avenue A (East Village)
Recommended Dishes: Fire and Ice, Veal Tortellini, Sunchoke Caramelle, Sorana Beans