On a recent visit, things got off to a nice-enough start with the charcuterie platter ($18), which was super-rich in its selection of meats. But it was the housemade gnocchi ($14) that hinted at the greatness to come. Cooked with local chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms, the sauce was tempered with garlic, Parmesan and brown butter for a deliciously savory result.
The entrées were nothing short of extraordinary. The smoked duck breast ($28) was a pleasant surprise: It was so well cooked and light that it didn’t have the rich heaviness usually expected with such a dish.
The pan-roasted pork chop ($26) was another winner. The dish took the makings of a traditional family dinner — pork chops, applesauce, potatoes and sauerkraut — and refined and elevated each element to stellar elegance. The sides were every bit as important to the perfectly cooked chop. The apple mostarda had all the hearty sweetness of grandma’s fresh apple pie filling. The braised shredded cabbage was crisp, tangy and far above anything you would dare drape across a hot dog. The fingerling potatoes were crisp on the outside while remaining hot and soft on the inside.
The seared Viking village sea scallops ($28), also cooked to perfection, raised the bar considerably, thanks to some effective accompaniments like a spicy tomato jam, piquillo peppers and lemon-coriander vinaigrette.
In our experience, when a restaurant is super meticulous and high quality with its entrées, something on the dessert menu fails to impress. We’ve had more than one stellar dinner end on ho-hum note when the desserts rolled out.
But that definitely was not the case at Fork.
The small-bites dessert platter accommodates a sampling of two to five of the dessert offerings ($8 for two, $11 for three, $13 for four, all five for $16). Do yourself a favor and get all five.
Just so we’re clear, we’re going to say it again:
We don’t care what havoc it wreaks on your finances or diet. Modesty be damned. Order all five of the small dessert plates.
We expected one or two of them to be so-so, but all of the sweets were phenomenal. The rosemary semifreddo was a delicate frozen treat punctuated by pine nuts. The mint pots de crème struck a perfectly even and silky balance of mint and chocolatey mousse goodness. The chocolate brioche was truly decadent bread pudding. The pumpkin pie with ginger cream crushes the hopes and dreams of any pie that hopes to come close on your family’s dinner table this Thanksgiving. The apple galette with cranberry sauce will bring a freaking tear to your eye.
No doubt, the level of talent behind the food at Fork is top-notch.
Larry Nichols can be reached at email@example.com.