Monday, February 15, 2016

Fork - Knife Steakhouse Preview with Revolution Brewery

Fork is becoming a favorite restaurant of mine.  They do some great food, but they also are good at varying things by doing special events like beer dinners featuring different area breweries and dinners to support a cause.  Their most recent event dinner was a preview dinner for their new sister restaurant, Knife, which will be a steakhouse.  For this dinner, they featured Revolution Brewing who provided a good winter beer to pair with each course.  The first course started with what they called "Amazing" Shrimp de Jonghe which is a Chicago classic, created by the DeJonghe brothers, at the DeJonghe Hotel and Restaurant, who had emigrated from Belgium to run a restaurant at the World Columbian Exposition in 1893.  The original recipe consisted of a Shrimp stew blanketed in soft, Garlicky, Sherry-Laced Bread Crumbs.  Fork's version was similar in that it used Shrimp, Garlic, and Bread, but the Shrimp was Farm-Raised Indiana Shrimp with Garlic Bread Crumbs Soaked in Revolution's Coup D'etat Saison in a Puff Pastry Basket.  In addition to being used in the Shrimp de Jonghe, the Coup D'etat was the beer used for the pairing.  It was hoppy with an earthy flavor and was the lightest of the beers that we were served.  It was a nice start and I was excited to see where things were going to go next.
The next course was a bit heavier, starting with a Jukebox Hero, the winter varietion of their very popular Anti-Hero IPA, this being a black IPA.  While it was black, it doesn't have the coffee bitterness of a stout or many black IPAs, the roasted malt adding a toasty flavor to the the pine and citrus flavors  provided by the hops.  For the food side of things we were served with a tender Roast Pork Loin (pasture raised) served with a Butternut Squash Raviolo, an Arugula Salad with a Butterscotch Vinaigrette, and a Ciderscotch Gastrique (a sauce made by caramelizing Butter and Brown Sugar and deglazing with Cider Vinegar).  As one might guess, this course skewed sweet, although it did have a variety of flavors besides sweetness with a lot of butter and cider, and some bitterness from the arugula.  The Raviolo was interesting in that it was completely made from butternut squash.  The filling was butternut squash as one might expect, but the shell was made from the skin of the squash.  It was sweet and tender and went well with the pork loin.

For the main course, what better to show off a steak house, than a steak?  In this case, it was a dry aged rib-eye.  It was served with a Beef Fat Roasted Potato, Brussel-Kraut (Sauerkraut made from Brussels Sprouts) and Foie Gras Beerdelaise (a Bordelaise sauce substituting Foie Gras for Marrow and Very Mad Cow Milk Stout, which was also used as the beer pairing, for the red wine).  The steak was served medium rare and was very tender and flavorful.  The Brussel-kraut was good.  It wasn't as sour as a standard sauerkraut, which is surprising because Brussels Sprouts tend to be more sour than cabbage.  The Beef fat Potato was special.  It was a roasted potato that cooked like the very best frites,  It had a brown crunchy exterior and a very soft, fluffy interior with a very rich flavor.  The beerdelaise added a richness to everything.  The Very Mad Cow Milk Stout is a Bourbon Barrel Aged Milk Stout.  It was sweet and woody with a pronounced bourbon flavor.  It was also my favorite beer of the night.

Dessert was about presentation although I am going to guess that I didn't give it enough time for a proper presentation.  It was called S'Mores and was presented with Rise, an American Stout.  There wasn't much sweetness in the beer which, to me, didn't make a lot of sense with a dessert that looked like a giant chocolate egg.  When the Hot Fudge was poured on the egg I understood that there was enough sweetness in the dessert to enhance the flavor of the beer.  On videos that I have seen after the fact, I have seen desserts presented like this melt away when the hot fudge was added.  While the egg did get a dent in it, it didn't collapse and I didn't really know what to expect when I cracked into it.
When I cracked into the egg, I found a Charred Tangerine Marshmallow stacked on a Graham Ginger Sandwich Cookie sandwiching more marshmallow.  It was very good with a lot of good chocolate  and fudge and the presentation was very cool even if I possibly didn't wait long enough for the chocolate to melt.  I again enjoyed my dinner at Fork and plan on returning when they do their second preview dinner for Knife with 1090 brewery.           

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