A Solid Foundation: Foundation Social Eatery Raises the Bar on Holcomb Bridge

Written by Colleen Ann McNally | Photography Courtesy of Toren Anderson; Chris Hornaday Photography

My visit to Roswell’s new Foundation Social Eatery for lunch felt like a casual hang out at chef and co-owner Mel Toldeo’s home, although this was the first time I ever met him.

After 15 years of sharpening his knives in kitchens in France, California, New York and Atlanta, Toledo built on those experiences for the first restaurant of his own. Between courses, the multitalented chef and his staff humbly told the beginnings of success stories since their March 2014 opening and pointed out thoughtful details in the restaurant’s decor. From the exposed wood and rebar, to the orchid motif adorning the walls, to the small handprint from Toldeo’s son in the cement floor right before you cross into the outdoor patio, each reflects the vision and love he shares with his wife and co-owner Sandy. He said he aims to give guests a causal, social place to gather with friends while enjoying a well-executed meal and we think he hit the nail on the head.

Toledo’s aesthetic of simple elegance extends to the menu as well. For starters, pick and pair charcuterie and cheese ($5 each, three for $14), gobble up the homemade bread, cleverly prepared in a pastry oven, with the house pâté and Sandy Springs-based Caly Road Creamery’s camembert-style “Way Point.” There’s plenty to share, depending how greedy or generous your party feels.

Inspiration also draws from Italian cuisine, notably the idea to take simple ingredients and treat them simply, as seen in the in-house-made pastas – but with Toledo’s own spin, of course. Equally delicious and fun to eat, the colorful potato gnocchi comes crowned with a soft cooked egg ($11). As instructed, I broke into the egg, swirled the bright yellow yolk with the roasted mushrooms, asparagus, bacon and parsley, then indulged. For complete delight in Toledo’s dishes, the goal is to get all the flavors in one bite, like with his crispy pork ribs, combined with pickled red onion and pork jus ($8).

Just when I thought I couldn’t eat another bite, the vanilla pots de crème, layered with braised cherries and shortbread crumb arrived, and then simultaneously disappeared with my spoon ($8). I’ll be back another time to try the banana cheesecake with pecan crumb and peanut butter chocolate ganache.

If your late lunch turns into early cocktails, I recommend the refreshing Rebar – herradura tequila, lemon juice, simple syrup, ginger, mint leaves and ginger beer ($9) – served up with a side of conversation from Bartender Jamie McDonough. After all, this place is built for socializing.

1570 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Space 810