My fiance and I always wind up in Redhook on the weekends. Usually it’s to attack the Country Boys huaraches cart or to grab a random picture frame from Ikea. As much as we wind up there we never really go out to eat there. This past Sunday we were at a friends’ party out there and we were starving. I really felt like we were going into a blood sugar coma after all the drinks and lack of food we had. So actions had to be taken.
We decided this would be a perfect time to check out one of the places we were looking to check out of our New Brooklyn Cookbook. We went through the mental list and went with one recommended by many of our friends… The Good Fork.
Now a lot of people talk this place up, but just as many talk it down so it felt like a crapshoot. I hate playing craps with my stomach but the odds were being bettered by my extreme hunger and slight drunkenness. As we stepped up to the front of The Good Fork it immediately gave off a warm and friendly vibe, a big plus in my mind. You can see people in the tightly packed dining room in a cozy way, not in the least bit overcrowded. We were drawn in from the start.
We both decided to continue the wine train and purchased a nice bottle of Gewurztraminer while our table was being prepared. Don’ t knock good white wine, it’s perfect pre-meal palette refreshing. Would you want to drink a Pina Colada before going to a Whiskey tasting?…. I think not. Keep your pre-eating drinking on the light side. The choice was a good one and their wine list offered a lot of possibilities. Plus they have a full bar with some great signature cocktails that are worth checking out, and I will do so next visit.
When we go to a new place we like to split an appetizer, order an entree each, and then split a desert. That way you don’t get too full and you give yourself a sample without stuffing yourself. Give it a try next time you try out a new place. It’s also a good gauge of the entire meal experience from a restaurant. I am sorry, if you cant make a nice desert to finish a meal off then you don’t provide a well rounded dining service.
We took the bartender’s recommendation and ordered the gnocchi with mushroom appetizer. Gnocchi can either be done right or really, really wrong. These were done just right, in the new Brooklyn cuisine way. They were fluffy and light, pan seared with a rich and lovely porchini mushroom butter sauce. The finishing touch was a sprinkling of some aromatic herbs that rounded out the dish off so well. This was a winner for us in it’s simplicity and execution. If they have this on the menu when you go… get it fast!
Next came the entrees, which we were pretty amped for. I went with one of their signature dishes, The Korean Style Steak & Eggs. This dish represents what The Good Fork is all about… a perfect blend of Asian meets locavore new Brooklyn cuisine. The Kimchi rice is perfectly spiced and an excellent bed for the richness of the stacked steak & eggs. The steak was cooked perfectly medium and had been marinated in a complex Korean spiced marinade, a little sour & a little spicy but not overpowering. Lastly, you have a fried egg. Don’t sleep on a perfectly fried egg, especially when you break that yolk and it leaks all over that steak and rice. If that egg was over cooked this would be a disaster…. but obviously it was cooked to perfection and how it should be done.
Erin opted for the Atlantic Cod over Squid & Eggplant. This was a perfectly executed seafood dish. Nice piece of fish… check. Cooked properly… check. Squid and eggplant base that was a soothing vehicle for the Cod… check. Interesting flavored broth… check. Perfect complete dish from The Good Fork…check. This was a nice seafood dish that combined two interesting seafood flavors together in a perfect match. Give it a try and you will be surprised how this common Atlantic fish is elevated just enough.
And lastly came the desert. We opted for the Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream. This dish had three of our favorite desert elements… chocolate, vanilla & bread pudding. You put any one of those three on a menu and I can’t resist… you put all three into one dish and it’s culinary crack to me. This was a great shared desert as it was presented in a long plate and was something one person couldn’t really finish on their own.. We took turns digging in to this dish with a passion. The chocolate bread pudding was rich and warm helped by the simple & flavorful vanilla ice cream melting into every nook and cranny. We loved how the chocolate had a powerful cocoa taste but wasn’t over powering, as many chocolate deserts can be. This was that perfect twist on Americana we were expecting in our meal and a great way to finish us off. Chocolate always is.
I would have to say that I was very apprehensive to come and eat at The Good Fork. I heard so many conflicting views on their food and that always turns me off. But we were pleasantly surprised at how great the food was and how warm and charming the staff were. These guys really made you feel at home, something a lot of the new Brooklyn restaurants forget to do. I highly recommend taking a day out to Redhook during the day, walk around and then end your afternoon here for a great meal that represents what Brooklyn is all about in this new era.