New England seafood, Asian Spare Ribs, Southern Hush Puppies, and Italian Bolognese. Whatever flavors you’re craving from all around the world are probably on the menu at Food Court.
Located in historic Plymouth Massachusetts, Food Court Craft Kitchen is a dream come true for Executive Chef and Owner John Ricardo, who wanted to create a comfortable casual restaurant, offering the kinds of foods he likes to eat, served the way he likes to dine.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “When I like to go out to eat, I like to try a bunch of different stuff. So this gives you the opportunity to do that. We try to get creative with all different types of cuisine. We don’t stick to one specific thing. We change our menu, at least seasonally, if not more. We try to have a good vibe, and make it friendly for anybody and everybody to come in.”
The dining room has a laid back feel, filled with families, couples, and friends enjoying everything from snacks, to sharable small plates, to full size entrees. While the 14-seat bar offers creative cocktails and about 20 craft beers on tap.
As for the name of the place, Food Court is a clever play on words serving two purposes. The restaurant is actually located on Plymouth’s Court Street, and the menu offers the kind of variety often found in a food court.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “When you go to a food court, there’s a little bit of everything. It’s not one specific thing, which is what we do here.”
Of course the food at this Food Court is miles away from anything you’d find at the mall, with gourmet small plates like house made Pimento Cheese with crispy Potato Chips.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “I love chips and dip. That’s my go to.”
Deviled Eggs with bacon and pickled onion.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “I joke around it’s the reason why I opened up a restaurant. I love eating deviled eggs. They’re just damn good.”
And golden fried Hushpuppies with buttermilk herb ranch.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “Our herb ranch is definitely not Hidden Valley. We use parsley, chives, there’s a little onion and garlic in there. So you’re gonna get like a nice bite from that, and then when you crack it open, fluffy, steam coming out. Little crisp on the outside but it’s gonna be a nice moist interior.”
If you’re in the mood for two seaside favorites in one, check out the Fried Clam Chowder.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “Instead of putting chopped clams into it, I’m like, why not do fried clams on top instead of your traditional oyster crackers. I mean it’s the best of both worlds. You get good clam chowder and you get good fried clams.”
Which begs the question: eat the fried clams first, or mix them in?
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “You got the two different types of people. You know, you get some people that are going to be like, ‘I want a fried clam.’ And then you got the other people that will mix it in and then we’ll get like a little bit of the actual chowder with it, like an oyster cracker.”
The Food Court kitchen uses as many local ingredients as possible, and that commitment really shines through in this bowl of Roasted Cod with littlenecks, kale, and chorizo.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “Good local cod. It’s got great flavor, great texture, the sweetness that you get from it, it’s just perfect. So it’s nice to highlight the things that we get around here.”
If you’re in the mood for some meat, there’s a Grilled Flat Iron Steak with creamed shishito peppers, grilled pickled onion, fingerling potatoes, and homemade steak sauce, or the “FC” Burger, with two four-ounce patties, cheddar cheese, and onion jam, on a house made English muffin.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “Cheesy, greasy, you get nice texture from the English muffin, sweet and acidic from that onion jam. A lot of goodness.”
There’s also plenty of goodness in the buttermilk brined Crispy Chicken Thighs with root vegetable chow chow, and the comforting Wild Boar Bolognese.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “I mean who doesn’t like a good Bolognese? I love working with wild boar. It’s just has a little more meatiness to it than like traditional pork. It’s been cooking all day. And we’ll toss that with some homemade ricotta cavatelli, and then some whipped ricotta on top. It is so good.”
Rounding out the menu are Asian flavors like Kung Pao Spare Ribs sprinkled with pork fat fried peanuts, and Pork Tonkatsu with celery root and apple slaw, Chinese style mustard, and hoisin sauce.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “I really love this dish. It hits on all points, crispy, acidic, sweet, spicy, it’s got it all.”
Finish your meal with a house made Ice Cream trio featuring Peanut Butter, Coffee, and Oreo, and you’ve just experienced a Food Court like never before.
John Ricardo – Executive Chef/Owner – Food Court: “We’re a little bit different than every place around here. Using different ingredients, different techniques. There’s always something new. We’re just doing our thing, you know.”