My Obsession With Fork & Wrench: Pt. 1 Of The Dining Dolo Series
One hellaciously frigid tuesday morning I was sitting at my desk in a tattered bathrobe sipping on my third cup of coffee while scrolling through an inbox of emails that never seemed to end. I took a break for some social media scrolling and was welcomed to my newsfeed by a "suggested post" from a place I had never heard of called the Fork & Wrench. There was a beautifully photographed plate of blood orange slices amidst a bed of ridicchio and what looked like crispy golden slivers of something godly. I was absolutely intrigued but I just kept on scrolling and sipping,
I refreshed the page and was greeted by yet another suggested post from this Fork & Wrench only this time it was for half priced wine bottle tuesdays at their bar. I put down my cup and backed away from the monitor thinking to myself, I like beautifully plated fried things, I like bottles of good wine in dimly lit boutique establishments. So I hurried through my workday, got extra cute and went out on yet another culinary adventure in the city i've grown to love so dearly.
I pull up to this lovely corner location on Boston St., A classic 4 story rowhouse appropriated into a stylishly quaint eatery. I walk in slightly past your typical dinner hours, grateful that I had made reservations earlier in the day. The host walks me over to a charming crescent-shaped booth upholstered in a gorgeous crimson and gold jacquard textile against an exposed brick wall painted off-white and adorned with a few interesting little whatnots. I am seated next to a table of onlooking hipsters who think the louder they speak, the more interesting they seem. Totally not the case here.
To drown out the noise and the overall weight of the day I order up one of their craft cocktails. I got a brief backstory on how they do things at the bar. lots of infused this and spiced that. So I asked for a margarita with a signature F&W twist. What i got blew my mouth away. It was tequila infused with ancho chiles, ginger root and cinnamon mixed with agave nectar and fresh lime juice. A pitch perfect seasonal take on an otherwise mundane cocktail. I went between savoring each little swallow and taking generous gulps of this very potent beverage. It went down like a sweet, smoky citrusy hug to the throat.
I went on to partake in the well advertised, half priced wine night and ordered the only bottle I wasn't familiar with, The Old Soul Cabernet Sauvignaun. A full bodied blend of dark fruit, with creamy vanilla notes and a slightly smoky finish on the palette.
This would dictate my entree but first I had to ask about the salad that inspired my whole evening. I was then introduced to a dish that would keep me coming back for more, the crispy pig ear salad with blood orange and caper aioli. I would later order this dish two at a time on one plate topped with two eggs over easy served as an entree salad. . . That just how I roll.
Now on to the main course. I was Torn between the brisket and the sea bass. despite my red wine selection, I go with the whole roasted black bass served with smoked eggplant and a cumquat relish. The plating alone was a marvel. I could smell the use of ingredients that I'd never think to pair together but alas we have another win.
The dish was like a Pollock painting of wild textures and colors atop a canvas of delicate flakey bass. The smoky earthiness of the eggplant and toasted pinenut mixed with the subtle sweetness of the cumquat carried out the clean delicate flavor of the fish.. To sum it up; Balanced, Beautiful and brilliant!
For desert, I decide to have my cake and drink it too. So I order the goat cheesecake with vanilla poached pears and a shot of High West Campfire keeping the theme of light and delicate meets bold and smoky. The perfect ending to the perfect foodie outing that sprouted from some very seductive social media promos.
With half a bottle of good wine in tow, I float out of the restaurant on a cloud of fullness and complete satisfaction, I hop into my Uber, and realized the neighborhood looked super familiar. I glance to my right and saw the lights of the Sip & Bite diner that I found myself grazing at 3 times a week while in college. If only I had known that a more sophisticated menu was waiting for me just a few blocks down the boulevard. I guess my good taste was just waiting for my wallet to catch up.
Stay on the look for part 2 of this story when I interview F&W's executive chef and head bartender this valentines day weekend