Dallas’s newest envelope-pusher, Red Fork, opened its doors a little over a month ago on Fitzhugh just east of Central. They took a risk opening where they did, and their cocktails followed suit. The cocktail magician that formerly liquored up Smoke, Brian McCullough, does some crazy (like a fox) things behind the deep bar at Red Fork.
When I arrived, I immediately noticed various bottles holding a multitude of colored elixirs – dark purple, yellow, you name it. Upon asking, I was informed that they are all reductions of delicious combinations of unexpected ingredients. There was the habinero and basil reduction (used in their sangrita) that has a spicy kick with a sweet undertone. Then we got to watch Brian add fresh ingredient after fresh ingredient to another carafe for “stewing” and reducing into a cucumber/peppercorn/some random herb/grapefruit/orange elixir to be used in their ridiculously creative cocktails. As Brian put it, “[They] make a lot of fresh stuff and give people the choice to make whatever they want with it.”
The staff at Red Fork is a little different than I expected, but don’t let the crazy hair and piercings mislead you – they really know what they’re doing and they are incredibly friendly. I got to try all of the reductions (and got a free drink) without even threatening them with an impending review. These are some nice folks for sure! The cutlery is also arranged very aesthetically which made my first impression of the bar that much better. On a side note if you are looking for new knives and forks my friend recommended Nella Cutlery to me as a great supplier!
Red Fork offers a good menu of happy hour food (prices below) and even offers a great late night menu complete with pizza, charcuterie and cheese boards, and “snacks”. I tried the white bean hummus (perhaps some of my favorite in Dallas now) and the croquettes (sadly not on the late-night menu but delicious). The food better be darn good because they have the highly acclaimed chef from Craft, Jeff Harris, as their head chef. (Red Fork just starting doing a weekend brunch – both Saturday and Sunday – this past week.)
Extra details: valet parking is the best plan, they have a small patio, decent beer selection, my favorite waiter from Fearing’s/Perry’s has made his way to this eatery, prices are very decent.
in general, I strongly recommend trying Red Fork at least for happy hour or late-night drinks. I’ll go with Yogi Berra on this one … “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Drink strength: 4.6
Monday-Friday | 4-7 p.m.
$3 wells, $2 domestics, $5 house wine
$3 hummus and cheese croquettes, 1/2 off burgers
Free dessert if you check-in (super bummed I missed that one!)