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Fork & Wrench w/ Chef Keefer

Formerly of Birroteca, the new chef's menu reads delicious and a few sampled confirms that they are. Tortellini en Brodo (no longer on menu) and the lamb tartar were refined yet rustic, with high level of execution without the apparent fuss that fits the overall concept. Friendly staff and engaging bartender. Decent wine list. Looking forward to returning here in near future.

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  1. Speaking of F&W... a post from Thursday 12/12/13...

    "Fork & Wrench will be closed tomorrow evening for a private event. We will be back to our usual schedule Saturday with a new Winter menu we are sure you will love."

    1. As the plumber said to his helper: "Where's the Fork & Wrench?"

      1. why can't I see their menu on their website? I went their Facebook page and can't find a menu.

        1. On 1/28, they are serving the menu chef Keefer will be making at the JBF dinner. Couldn't find the menu online, but browsing through their website their regular menu has completely changed with much needed facelift of the website. The ticket is $163.80 all inclusive ( wine pairing, tax and gratuity) which makes the cost of food alone around $85/pp. 18 seats left.

          1. I have reservation there tomorrow night. If I go, it's because I'm going to the casino afterwards. Their all over the place fusion menu kind of scares me. Foie gras pho? Foie gras in pho?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Worldwide Diner

              In the spirit of Emeril, even the bumper would taste good in pho broth, no?!?

              I've had foie gras mi cuit in duck broth and in connsommé which worked very well that more aromatic pho will add interesting twist in my mind. But it's hard to get a good pho broth even in local VN places that im not too optimistic on this one, but the menu overall adds to otherwise homogeneous menus of new American/gastropub/ftt places in Baltimore, and in this regard a good concept if the kitchen can deliver.

              1. re: Kurtis

                I love foie gras and I love pho - just never had the two together. Pan sear the foie and then put it in pho? How would the foie add to the flavor of the pho or vice versa? I'm baffled.

                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                  Looking forward to your report, wwd : )

            2. So I asked about the foie gras pho and was told it's basically slices of torchon (cold) on top of a bowl of pho. I suppose if you let the torchon melt into the broth, you'd get a pretty flavorful if not lukewarm broth. My waiter, however, suggested the smoked bacon dumpling soup is better if I was in the mood for soup. I passed on both and asked for the bollito misto as my my course.

              The bollito came with seared duck breast, corn beef, bone marrow, a slice of foie gras torchon, a chunk of mixed ground meat, some kale, and carrots (which I initially thought were hot dogs). As one can see, the foie gras immediately started to melt into the broth so that had to be eaten first. The dish also came with two slices of toast, which presumably would be good to smear the torchon and bone marrow on. Everything tasted pretty good (if you like boiled mystery meat), and the duck breast was perfectly cooked (medium rare), but dropping cold torchon into soup just doesn't make sense. It really cooled down the temperature of the broth, which was a tad too salty to drink.

              The duck wellington was served in a bowl of rather salty soy based sauce. Because I didn't want the pastry shell to get soggy and the saltiness of the sauce, I placed the duck on the side of the bowl. My waiter subsequently brought me a plate to cut the duck on. Other than the sauce, the duck was perfectly cooked (again, medium rare), and there was a side dish of maitake mushrooms and baby bok choy.

              I did not finish all the food. With a couple of glasses of inexpensive wine, dinner was about $86 with tax but before tip. My waiter said duck was the specialty of the house and he was right. This is a fun restaurant that I haven't seen the likes of in DC.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                It seems the chef is in love with the torchon in broth concept. That bollito itself looks like a meal or two!

                I do remember that the broth was at room temperature on foie+ broth I had, and they were very mild in flavor ( so was the foie gras mi cuit) contrary to how F&W version is described - intense broth. I am willing to give this a try as I too love both. Not a huge fan, but here's Dufresne's version:http://www.dartagnan.com/Pho-Gras/rec...

                Less the salty broth, the duck looks nice and perfectly cooked as you describe. Appreciate the report. Will likely visit here sometime this week.

                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                  Foie gras pho is no longer on the menu due to unpopular demand...

                2. I also had some issues with execution and seasoning when I was here a couple of weeks ago. Wish this is an isolated event as it wants to offer something different and unique, and I can certainly see and taste some good ideas from this place. It was packed on a weekday nite.