I again returned to Fork recently for a beer dinner with Ten-Ninety Beer Company that was also the second preview for Fork's sister restaurant, Knife. I had heard of Ten-Ninety before, but the only beer of theirs that I had had of theirs was called Pink Tie Saison which was brewed to support a Breast Cancer Organization. The beers served on this night seemed to be there main beers and they were all pretty big. All having an ABV above 9.00%. After finding out how big the beers were that were being served, I was a little worried because I had biked there and depending on how much we were served, it might have been difficult to bike home. In the past, they have been pretty good about being able to serve enough without getting their diners blotto, but I still was a little concerned. We started things out with Ten-Ninety's Rancorous, which is an American Wild Ale with an ABV of 9.00% . Wild Ales are called such because they use wild yeast for fermentation. They tend to have a sour flavor to them. While Rancorous did have some sourness to it, it also had some sweetness to it and kind of reminded me of a Belgian Tripel. I liked it and it paired well with the first course, Lobster Tempura with Ginger Cranberry Orange Sauce. The dish consisted of half of a lobster tail with most of the meat removed, battered, and fried, the shell was included, it was also battered, but the amount of work necessary to remove the meat was not worth the effort. I would guess that the shell was included more for aesthetic reasons than anything else. The ginger cranberry orange sauce was pretty complex with sweetness from the cranberry and orange, spiciness from the ginger, bitterness from the cranberry, and tartness from the orange. It went well both with the lobster and with the beer.
The dessert beer was the biggest beer of the dinner. It was called Jaggery Tripel and "weighed in" at 11.00% ABV. The name actually tells you everything that you need to know about the beer. It's a Belgian Tripel, a high alcohol alternative to a European Pale Lagers with a sweet finish. The sugar used in this beer is Jaggery, a minimally processed date palm and cane sugar of Indonesian origin. It contains a significant amount of molasses which, while also sweet, imparts a more complex taste than your standard cane sugar. It had a lot of tropical fruit flavors and a friend suggested that it tasted as if it was brewed with a fruit cup. In order to pair with such a big and sweet beer, the chef decided to do a "shock-and-awe" performance and served a Baked Alaska. The description that the chef gave us when he described it made it sound really good. It started with Yellow Cake and was topped with Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee Ice Cream. This sounded good, but the dessert that arrived at our tables looked pretty white. Baked Alaska's are supposed to be browned on the outside, so this was a bit of a surprise.
I have been to Fork many times and they have never disappointed. I will continue to return for their special dinners, and am very interested in the opening of their sister restaurant, Knife.