FORK., a pop-up operating out of Irish Loop Coffee House, has been open for a month now, an I’m still thinking about the food I ate. I wrote an article for The Overcast about FORK. focusing on the “who, what, where, when, why” but I could have written 1000 more words about food. So here it is, the no-holds-barred deliciousness I consumed on my solo roadtrip out to Witless Bay.
Setting up in the Irish Loop Coffee House
The burnt orange walls match the bright exterior facade nestled hillside in Witless Bay, making it easy to see when cresting the hill into town. Colourful vintage chairs match teapots lining the sideboard, and while these touches are identifiably the Irish Loop Coffee House, it blends well with the muted blue hues of FORK’s dish ware. Simple linen tablecloths tone down the coffee house vibe and present a more fine-ding touch.
Shaken with iceberg, not stirred
The menu is decidedly focused on local: they source everything from goat milk to duck eggs and even make their own salt! Even the ice came from the iceberg I could see from my seat overlooking the bay. The punny cocktail list is right up my alley. I ordered a Berry Good By’ ($9) — a drink made with vodka, partridgeberry and blueberry syrup, and orange juice. It was layered in the prettiest way and tasted fruity fresh, but not too sweet.
Sitting at the table I smelled bread baking (making me drool incessantly), and I prayed to the carb-y gods they would bring me some. And then they did. The mini loaf just like nan used to bake arrived at the table accompanied by a huge dollop of salty house-churned butter. It was crusty on the outside and warm and soft on the inside and it’s actually the Chef’s nan’s recipe.
Sitting on the dock of the bay
Enjoying the ocean views, I felt inspired to have the scallops as my appetizer. The menu is divided into small and large plates, so you can order an app and a main or order things to share.
The Fortune Bay scallops ($16) were fresh and cooked perfectly, paired with apple and celery. The blood pudding is a welcome addition to this dish, making the appetizer rich yet light and crisp. The cider-braised mustard seeds popped like caviar in my mouth as I ate.
Large plates at FORK.
The large plates at the pop-up feature more local ingredients like Fogo Island cod with baby potatoes and salt beef, or Kimchi Fried Rice with shiitake mushrooms. The menu changes frequently and is dictated by what the chefs can source from nearby providers on a particular day.
For my main, I went with the house-made tagliatelle with duck confit ($28). The pasta is covered with parmesan like a mountain on a snowy day and the perfect compliment to accompanying sautéed greens. The roasted cherry tomatoes are bursts of flavour in each bite, and the duck confit is perfectly cooked.
If you live in St. John’s, you need to make the trip out to FORK. for a meal. If you don’t live in St. John’s, you need to find a way to get there.