Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
monavano

Fork, Modern American Bistro in Old City - Chef Eli Kulp Steps In for Terence Feury

Recommended Posts

We'll be in Philly on the 19th/20th for a show and will be eating at Osteria on Saturday. However, we have friends whom we haven't seen since...???...and want to get together with them Sunday -- any thoughts about what will be open (and good) for dinner on Sunday? As for Tinto, sadly, we began boycotting them after they promised the chef -- brother of a friend -- a raise and then fired him instead. Grrr.

Perhaps check out Fork on Market- 3rd and Market - a convivial bistro open 7 days a week(Old City- also where Amada is on Chestnust so you just can't go wrong in the area). A great location to grab a drink too- 2nd St.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fork is a good recommendation. Forgot about that place.

We spent the day up in the Philadelphia area yesterday and stopped at Fork for dinner before the drive home. I mentioned my interest in the place upthread. I loved the decor and feel of the place, though the seat cushions are so soft that I felt like I needed a booster seat laugh.gif. I'm very short, so those kinds of things affect me more than other people. I really liked the diner tables. The service was very good, though they had to get creative when it hit a brief packed full period--not too much room there to circulate.

I loved my warm escarole salad with brussels sprouts, bacon, poached egg, and sherry-shallot vinaigrette. The sprouts were perfectly done and worked wonderfully with the other flavors and textures. The vinaigrette had just the right bite to it. I polished off the entire large bowlful of salad and could have eaten more. My husband had a bowl of black bean soup with ham, sour cream, and scallions, which was good, but I was quite happy with my escarole. For a main I had braised lamb shoulder, cooked with red wine, cumin, and maybe (?) tomato. It was fork tender and delicious. The accompanying polenta was a bit on the dry side but worked nicely for mopping up the lamb juices. The broccoli rabe that came with it was fine, but maybe I'd just had my fill of bitter greens by that time. My husband had the braised free range chicken with the giant corn posole, mole, corn tortillas, and cucumber salad. He ordered without really looking at the description--just going for chicken--and I don't think it was probably the best choice for him. I might have said that if I had noticed it on the menu. I had only a bite--to identify the posole--and the mole seemed pretty heavy on cinnamon. Hard to conclude much from one bite, though wink.gif. He thought the chicken slightly dry but that didn't stop him from cleaning his plate.

We needed to get back on the road and were pretty stuffed, so we didn't have dessert. I had a beer early on but mentioned to the server that I'd probably order a glass of red wine with my lamb. It got so crowded, it was too hard to track her down to get the wine before the lamb arrived. I'd decided I didn't really need it, but as soon as she got back to the table to check on how our meals were, she recalled my earlier comment and asked if I wanted to order the glass of wine. She suggested a glass of, I believe (consulting the online bottle menu) M. Ercolino, “Memo”, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, 2006, which I received promptly, with plenty of time left to enjoy it with my meal.

It wasn't too easy to get there at Friday rush hour on the route we were taking (an hour to go 7 miles mad.gif ) but I'd love to head back there again on the way north on 95, since it's right by the exit at Penn's Landing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also in Philly food news, the chef at Fork retired; there's a new guy starting there on February 1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[These paragraphs were copied from The Mother Thread as part of larger posts.

Use the Snapback Function (the little icon at the top-right of each entry) to view each post in its entirety.]


Fork - Love it. One of the best meals I've had this year anywhere. 

Two places where we've enjoyed brunch are : Cochon -- we were there this past March and really enjoyed our experience.  A meat-centric menu and very delicious.  I believe it's closer to your hotel than my other suggestion, Fork -- this has a more typical brunch menu and a more upscale ambiance.  Had brunch there within the last year and would definitely go back.


Thumbs up on Fork here too.  Sounds like you had a fun trip; very cool.  Next time you go, check out the Barnes exhibit since you love the main museum. Only relocated downtown earlier this year after a monster-sized legal conflict, the history of the collection is as fascinating as the quality and breadth of the collection.  Really worthwhile and fascinating also just to compare and contrast the new venue from it's longtime location in Merion, PA.

For dinner a smaller group of us headed to Fork. We started with cocktails at the bar. My earl gray tea infused gin cocktail was tasty and refreshing, which was what I needed having spent the day walking in 90+ degree heat, but the star of the cocktails imo was the bourbon drink from the citrus section (they don't name their cocktails): bourbon, fernet branca, mint, grapefruit, peychaud's.

At the table, the 5 of us shared 2 duck feasts for two plus several additional items off of the menu. We started with the Sea Scallops with parsley kimchi from the raw bar and the Vitello Tonnato, a veal carpaccio topped with precisely cut squares of raw tuna and melon and a tonnato sauce. Both of these dishes were outstanding. The Charred Octopus with sweet & sour glaze and thrice-cooked potatoes was a big favorite of the table although I wasn't as enamored as I was of the raw dishes. Still, the octopus was cooked well and I would happily eat it again. The one dish we probably would not order again is the Crispy Chicken Nuggets with spicy mustard and agrodolce from the bites section. This basically amounted to chicken nuggets with honey mustard sauce and while good, as a friend said, "there's a ceiling for how good a chicken nugget can be".

The apps were followed by the duck feast, which starts with them presenting the whole roasted duck to your table. They quickly whisk it away and suddenly a group of servers appear to drop off the dishes. A large board contains the star of the show, the sliced duck breast, cooked perfectly medium rare with crispy skin and a really tasty szechuan-pepper sauce on the side. The duck meatballs topped with a tomato sauce with bits of duck liver & cheese were surprisingly impressive, improved by a textural component that I'm unsure of (maybe something as simple as breadcrumbs?). The confit with broccoli rabe is a tasty play on a roast pork sandwich and the bitter greens with duck heart and prosciutto was a nice palate cleanser, even if the duck heart got lost in it. We also supplemented by ordering one entree, Roasted Skate with clams, smoked fingerlings, chorizo, and parsley sauce. Another outstanding dish with perfectly cooked skate and the chorizo playing a supporting role crumbled on the plate rather than in slices.

As if we hadn't eaten enough, we ordered 2 desserts off of the menu to share as well. I chose the Eggplant Cake with charred eggplant, chocolate crème, creamed orange sorbet, which I was so enamored with that I can't even remember what the second dessert was (okay, so the wine may have had something to do with that as well  :P). Speaking of wine, the server was very helpful and patient as we tried to settle on 2 bottles of red wine to share. We ended up with a burgundy and the Tete-a-Tete from La Terre Rouge, the latter of which turned out to be a nice pairing with most of the duck dishes. They were happy to bring us appropriate glasses for each wine so that we could enjoy them side by side with our dishes. Service across the board was outstanding, from my conversations with Justin on the phone ahead of time (he was happy to explain the duck feasts to me so that we could determine if, well really how many, we should reserve) to the bartenders to our fabulous server.

All in all, one of the most outstanding meals I've had in terms of their being no low points and a lot of really high points, especially when we all walked out of there for about $120 each.

Fork has gotten a lot of buzz in the last few weeks, receiving write ups in stories about Philly in both WaPo and NYT.  They recently poached a chef from Torrisi Italian Specialties in NY, and with that came a revamped menu.  The meal didn't start great, with a pretty standard kale salad and a 'burnt grains' pasta that did everything it could to avoid letting the ragu cling to it.  The saving grace was the bread service, which was two mini homemade bialys with fresh cream cheese.   I could have taken down a half dozen if I didn't know what was coming... Our main entree was duck feast for two - which started with the completed roast bird presented on a slab to the table.  It was then whisked away and about 10 minutes later we were presented with 4 plates.  The breasts on the roast bird were sliced and served with a celeriac puree underneath and a duck liver/fig sauce to go on top.  It was... perfectly roast duck.  The other plates were all duck but not part of the just roasted item (unless they are magicians back there).  Plate 2 had two baseball sized duck meatballs smothered in a duck liver marinara.  These were rich, crazy meaty (I think I've been having too many ricotta meatballs), and I was scraping the sauce off the plate.  Plate 3 was duck confit with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone.  Yes, the sandwich filling on a plate.  It worked.  Plate 4 was a salad of bitter greens, duck prosciutto, and duck heart.  This was the only real miss of the feast, primarily from lack of seasoning on the duck components of the dish.  Still, I'd order that feast again in a heartbeat.  Or maybe the short rib feast the table next to us had.

Fork- While I read above that someone had a recently disappointing meal there, our meal there was excellent. I am not sure what bottle of wine FIL ordered. It was a Soellner, Wogerain, Grí¼ner Veltliner, 2007, Austria that was lovely after a hot day, it was crisp and fruity, but not too oaky or sweet and paired very well with my food. We started out with a choice of multigrain, french or other bread, I had the french which had a great taste to it, crusty on the outside, tender within. They had a nice cow butter which was soft and had good flavor. I started with the baby lettuce salad with croquette and balsamic. It was very fresh, nicely dressed and the croquette was was warm and crisp on the outside while almost, but not quite gooey on the inside. Hubby had the fish provencale soup with crouton and that was very good, it had a lovely fish broth thickened with cream that was very light I really enjoyed the couple bites I got. For entree I had the citrus cured salmon that was then seared on carmelized shallots, potatoes and a lovely spinach sauce. The citrus with the shallots and spinach sauce balanced very nicely. The fish was cooked with a nice sear and had great flavor. It was seasoned just right. The potatoes were a nice bit size, but in a rustic style that blended nicely with the bold flavor of the fish. Hubby had a duck dish that was very good as well. The duck itself was incredibly juicy, again not overcooked at all, a perfect medium rare. We split the chevre cheesecake with oatmeal crisp and champagne pear. The pear was a bit hard to cut you had to use both fork and spoon but was very juicy and had a nice texture, almost like a plum in texture. The chevre cheesecake was rich and tangy and the crisp was sweet and crunchy so the flavors and the textures were nicely varied. All in all another nice meal.

If it didn't have such a darkly nice bar and dining room, I would be tempted to scratch fork off my list. A round brown roll glazed in sesame seed was nearly hard as a stone. I could have probably bent my tines on it, but tearing it open found tender and flavorful bread within. I derived a surprising amount of pleasure from picking it apart over the next half an hour or so it took a half portion of fettuccine to arrive, feeding it to myself the way I would have fed it to the pigeons prowling around nearby independence hall. The pasta when it finally did come, perfectly cooked and supple, was good but unexciting, dressed in olive oil, a judicious amount of garlic and slivered basil and relying perhaps too heavily on "heirloom tomatoes" to set things off. They turned out to be a half dozen peeled cherry tomatoes, one or two of which were transcendent and the remainder rather ordinary, proving the unpredictability of crops even when they come from the finest pedigree. A grating of parmesan might have helped and I can only assume was withheld because it would have clouded the purity of the simple flavors and textures that were the aim of this ambitious exercise, a mild failure. Less successful was the thick hunk of halibut that also took its time in coming to the table. Reminiscent of the restaurant's bread basket, it was hard, almost armored outside, but thick enough to contain some moist and clean-tasting flesh within, though disagreeably fishy on the surface. A stew of baby squid, sliced beans, roasted pepper and preserved lemon would have done better on its own. The sea scallops served to my wife had cooled down in their wait for the over-roasted halibut and were otherwise good despite being brutally seared. Tucked underneath, surviving a bath of wan broth, a large summer vegetable raviolo with mascarpone and basil nage deserved the starring role, and my wife said if she had just been able to order a few of these she would have left raving about the place. Fork's wine list gathers a number of inexpensive but nice wines, including the Canaletto rose we ordered for $32. I would have had to lean too far back in my chair to see what was going on in the open kitchen, but I left with the impression that the cooks had fallen behind and had a hard time catching up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a good brunch there.  It's a very very good traditional brunch with great pastries, really nice house cured Arctic char, and a nice pastrami sandwich.  It's rather pricy for brunch food, but they did deliver the goods.

We were a bit disappointed that the brunch menu lacked a few of the more interesting items that we had hoped to see (the "Vitello Tonnato" dish in particular).  The Sunday brunch here was very quiet that day, possibly because of the newish High Street on Market next door -- a more casual/experimental joint opened by Chef Kulp next door. Or maybe not -- the first time we heard of High Street on Market was when two separate waiters at Vernick Food & Drink asked if we had tried High Street after we mentioned that we had had brunch at Fork.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...