Last Monday, Fiddlehead Cafe quietly morphed into Fork, a bar, kitchen and tasting room that brings a more casual and cozy spot to Lincoln Square. In other words, the neighborhood got a new gastropub.
When exec chef Josh Rabbie came on board a little more than a year ago, he and owner David Byers decided to reconcept and do something more suited to the neighborhood. While Lincoln Square had seen a number of more upscale places over the years, the residents have started seeking out more affordable options with greater variety.
They started making changes over the last year and never actually had to close for business, according to Chris Burkett, the staff manager and beverage program director. They removed some walls, added a big leather couch and a fireplace to open things up and create a more homey aesthetic.
Rabbie overhauled the menu to focus on a variety of tapas-style plates, fresh cheese and charcuterie, which will be made available in flights. They'll offer snacks like candied bacon, duck crostini and olive oil roasted beets. Fork will serve various burgers and sandwiches, like a PBLT with pork belly and a BBQ burger with onion strings and a bourbon BBQ sauce. Large and small plates range from $6 to $21, and include things like short rib pot pie, duck confit poutine fries and two preparations of mussels.
Burkett added 20 taps with 140 total beers currently and will cap out the list at 200. The wine list has 30 glass pours and 300 in bottles, including Ports, Madeiras and dessert wines. The beers and wine can be ordered in half or full pours or in flights.
As for the response, last week's blizzard allowed them to ease into things, Burkett said, but the weekend was busy. "At one point we had a three-hour wait," he said, "so I definitely recommend making a reservation."
· Fork [website]