The Foundry

Sugar snap peas, broccolini, bok choy, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, carrots, sushi rice with Teriyaki sauce combine to create the Fire-Roasted Stir Fry. Chicken, steak, shrimp or salmon can be added.

The Foundry restaurant is in the Trilogy Lake Norman community off N.C. 73 in Denver.

The short hike from Mountain Island lands customers in an alternate reality – like a country club and a bistro had a child. But no club fees or pretension here. All are welcome to enjoy the food and ambiance.

In fact, people from the community are extremely happy to see you. Just the walk from the parking lot to the restaurant is filled with smiling people.

“It’s like working at Disney,” said Marketing Manager Cassidy Nicholls. “Everyone is always in such a good mood.”

The Foundry opened in 2017 with the idea that it would be an inclusive restaurant.

“We wanted to be able to sustain the operation for our community members,” said Nicholls. “And we also wanted to bring a level of dining that had not yet been brought to the area.”

The result is a chic-yet-accessible dining room with wide-plank wooden floors, comfortable booths, large hanging lamps and a gray, yellow and black color scheme.

There are private dining areas, conference rooms and a large outdoor patio overlooking the art studio. A Level 1 Sommelier is on staff if you need a wine recommendation, but beer by the pint is also an excellent option. The result is a place that can accommodate jeans and boots, or a cocktail dress, and no one will feel out of place.

The menu consists of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizza and entrees. The items that are gluten-free or vegetarian are highlighted on the menu for easy ordering. There is a gluten-free pizza crust available as well.

For the healthier diner, try the Salmon Superfood entree with quinoa, spinach, radish, cucumber, avocado, dried cranberries, sweet chili vinaigrette and watercress. If you want to indulge, try the Burnt Ends with crispy brisket pieces, barbecue beans and mac-and-cheese; or the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken with mixed greens, cornbread croutons, red onion, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes and buttermilk ranch.

The decadent desserts include croissant bread pudding, butter cake and even a skillet cookie sundae.

Most everything on the menu is made in-house, including sweet ginger sauce, lemon champagne vinaigrette, pomegranate vinaigrette, peppercorn demi-glace sauce, cheddar grit cake and more.

The full bar features an array of cocktails, craft beers from North Carolina and other regions, and a stellar-yet-accessible wine list that even has vino on tap.

Sundays are a big day at The Foundry. Brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a specialized menu of cocktails. Try the Giggle Juice with house-infused vanilla vodka, peach nectar, sparkling wine and raspberry ice; and food such as omelets, pancakes, steaks and more. And don’t forget the $5 mimosas.

Sunday evenings feature a “Supper Series” from 3 to 7 p.m. with weekly changing menus highlighting Southern comfort food for $15.95. There is often live music on Saturday evenings. Check out the website and/or join the email list for acts.

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