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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RW 2012: III Forks

Hi Boys and Girls. It's that time again! One of my favorite times in Dallas. The Dallas Restaurant Week has officially begun!!!! For those of you new to RW... restaurants all over Dallas/Ft Worth participate every year for a week (and some extend a 2nd or 3rd week). They offer a 3 course meal for $35 per person. And $7 of that goes to the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas or Lena Pope Home in Ft. Worth. It's a great opportunity to try great restaurants around town for a good cause!

I had only made 2 reservations this year for later weeks. III Forks was a last minute add. Actually my bf had a giftcard and wanted to wait until his parents were in town to treat them to a nice dinner. We just lucked out that today is the first day of RW! Woot!

III Forks
17776 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75287
(972) 267-1776
Price: $$$$+

We had a super early reservation at 5:30PM since his mom doesn't like to eat late. I arrived on time but they were stuck in traffic. The host was super nice and said they could seat us at any time. It was still pretty empty at this time. Once they arrived, my bf asked if we could go to the bar for a drink before seating and they happily said yes. We can be seated at any time. How nice! The restaurant is massive btw. I had never been there and it was quite a surprise... Although from the outside it looks pretty grand, I guess I just never expected the inside to be that big for some reason.

We went to the bar. They have happy hour from 4-7PM Daily by the way. There are some food specials and $5.50 III Forks martini and $5 Sommelier's Pick of the Cellar. They ordered some drinks and then we were seated.

So far it's going pretty good. But then our waiter showed up... and it just got better from there! Our waiter was Pete. (I normally don't mention people by name as some of you have noticed but this is an exception.) He gave us a warm and friendly welcome. He found out this was our first time dining there and gave us some background info on the restaurant. Always interesting to me. :)

I was immediately impressed by Pete. He quickly gauged our group and was able to make us feel at ease. He was professional yet joked with us. My bf's mom is gluten intolerant so he joked around with her with the bread and dessert items (kinda rubbing it in but also accommodating to her dietary restrictions at the same time). It was all good fun. :)

As he brought the bread, he explained that it's baked in house. I particularly loved the presentation of it. It comes wrapped in a cloth napkin and he crushes it as he places it on the table. You can hear the crunch of the bread. What a great sound! It's always nice when we can dine with all our senses!
The bread was great. The shell was nice and crunchy and the inside was soft, slightly chewy, and fluffy.

I signed up for the restaurant's newsletter when I found out we were going and received an email for a free app. Yay! :) I showed the email to him and he immediately put the order in while giving us more time to look over the menus. Beef Croustades (Filet Mignon sliced and topped with blue cheese and red wine demi) normally $12.95~
So delicious! The beef was super tender and the bread was just the right thickness and not too hard like crostinis can sometimes get. I loved the blue cheese sauce on top as well. It was a good indicator of the food we were getting next!

The other 3 people decided to order from the RW menu and I opted to order from the regular dinner menu (I didn't feel like I could eat 3 courses!). **And I apologize for my pictures. The restaurant was quite dim and my flash isn't doing the food justice!**

First Course --
III Forks Salad (award-winning signature salad prepared with crispy green apple slices, Wisconsin blue cheese, toasted pecans and field greens laced with housemade vinaigrette). This was really good. It was fresh and had just the right amount of vinaigrette. The addition of apple gave a nice crunch and sweetness.

Steakhouse Wedge (classic crisp iceberg with spring onions, bacon, and tomatoes topped with blue cheese). My bf ordered this. It was drowning in dressing. Wayyyy too much. But other than that, it was really tasty. I loved the bacon and the flavors were great. If you order this make sure you ask them to ease up on the dressing (unless you like that of course).

Asparagus Soup (fresh tender stalks simmered with thyme in rich chicken broth, pureed and finished with a dollop of cream, Asiago cheese and pecan smoked bacon). This was my fav out of the 3. The soup was pretty massive. It was warm, creamy and so comforting. It was super smooth and had lots of flavor. Dip bread in there and sop up everything! I would order this again in a heart beat! But unfortunately they don't offer it on their regular menu...

The service was very attentive. The water glasses were always refilled without asking and Pete came by to check on us a lot. You can tell he enjoys the food at the restaurant and is proud to promote it and serve it. Always makes a better dining experience. :) Also, the manager, John, came by and checked on us a few times. He was constantly making rounds in the dining room and making sure everyone was having a good time. I also saw him help serve when the restaurant filled up. The place was packed by the time our entrees came around.

When the entrees were served, Pete asked the guys to cut into their meats to see if it was cooked to their liking. I think this is the first time I've seen a restaurant do that. But before they cut into it, I had to take my pictures! hehe. So he asked if I was blogging and I said yes! I also added that so far it's been fantastic and that he was an A+! He was very happy to hear that.

Entree Course --
Aged Midwestern Beef Filet Mignon (topped with a fresh herb pink peppercorn butter; served with side of mashed potatoes, sugar snap peas, off-the-cob cream corn, ripe tomatoes and spring onions). The filet was cooked perfectly medium rare and extremely tender. The peppercorn butter added great flavor.

Pan Seared Idaho Brook Trout (crusted with toasted almonds in a champagne buerre blanc; served with wild rice, sugar snap peas, off-the-cob cream corn, ripe tomatoes and spring onions). The trout was huge! OMG!! I liked the crust on it. I think it had nutmeg in it or something... tasted a hint of that. The texture of the fish was also very good. It also had some fruit on top... I think they were grapes. My bf's mom loved that. She liked the hints of sweetness from the grapes with the fish.

Pipestone Farms Prime Pork Chop (over sweet potato-spinach hash in a Dr Pepper Serrano BBQ Sauce; served with sugar snap peas, off-the-cob cream corn, ripe tomatoes and spring onions). My bf ordered this. It was the best out of the 3 RW choices, we all agreed. But all 3 were really delicious. He ordered the chop medium and it was cooked to perfection. It was a pretty thick cut and was still super tender and juicy. Hard to come by with a pork chop. My favorite part of it all was the sauce. It had a hint of sweet and spicy and the flavors were just bold and fantastic. I also liked the sweet potato and spinach hash that came with it.

Before I made my order I asked Pete if he would recommend the prime rib over the fish dishes. He said "absolutely not!" Really? Since I thought it was more of a steakhouse. He explains they have an excellent fishmonger and all the fish is fantastic...the seabass being one of his favorites. I was already considering the seabass so I was sold!
Chilean Seabass (in beurre blanc; served with wild rice, sugar snap peas, off-the- cob cream corn, ripe tomatoes and spring onions) $37.95~
I asked if I could substitute the rice for another veg. He said normally they can only substitute a starch for another starch but he wrote it down and said it doesn't hurt to ask. hehe. Of course they made it happen. I was able to get broccolini instead of rice. He didn't steer me wrong. The fish was amazing. AH-MAZING! I've never seen such a thick piece of sea bass in my life!
And it was like butter. I didn't use a knife at all. It just melts in your mouth and I loved the sauce (which is basically a white wine butter sauce). And there were so many sides that came with every dish. When Pete was explaining the dishes to us, I was shocked that we got ALL the side dishes instead of just one or the other. He also said that the cream corn will be our favorite. I think he was right. The cream corn was the bomb! But everything else was yummy too. All cooked perfectly and seasoned well. They also come by with a tray of sliced tomatoes and spring onions. It was a cool way to present a side dish I think. It's like a bread tray but for veggies!

So yum...everything! I was truly impressed. And of course the service just elevates the experience to another level.

But it's not finished... there's dessert! It says it's "chef's selection" so I wonder if they change it from day to day? And everything is made in-house. I didn't get a dessert since I didn't do the RW menu, but Pete brought me a spoon and fork "to share". hehe. It's little things like that that makes the dining experience better.

There were 2 choices for RW. But because my bf's mom cannot eat gluten, Pete let her choose from their selection of ice creams. She chose cinnamon which was super tasty.

The others got the 2 cake options. The cakes were surprisingly small compared to the other parts of the meal, but it's probably a good thing. We were stuffed already!
3 Layer Chocolate Cake. The cake was pretty moist and the frosting was yummy but it was pretty standard.

Pecan Cake (3 layer yellow cake with crushed pecans and topped with candied pecans). This was also really moist and really light. I also liked the candied pecans on top. I normally go for anything chocolate but I actually liked this one better. I think because it was a little moister and lighter than the chocolate cake.

It was an amazing meal. I was impressed from beginning to end. The food was perfectly delicious and unpretentious and the service was A+ through and through. The best service I've ever had in my life was during RW last year at Charlie Palmer (which was leaps and bounds above any other service I've had) and Pete was giving that a run for it's money. I've already written a lot and I can go on and on but I think you get the idea. :)

The only complaint (other than the overdressing of the wedge salad) was that the restaurant was too loud. I guess it was the acoustics or something but it's hard to hear others talk even when we were in a small table for 4.

I'm glad we lucked out and got to do RW at III Forks. It was more than anything I expected. I would highly recommend this for your RW experience (or just regular dinner and special occasions). And if you are lucky, you'll get Pete as your waiter! Tell him CHOMP! says Hi! hehe.

I'd love to hear about everyone's RW experiences too! Where did you go? What did you order? The good, bad and delicious~ Feel free to leave me some comments!

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Value (for RW):

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  1. Oh yes! please let me know how it is. I have reservations there later this week!

  2. It was wonderful. I hope you have a great time! I would love to hear about YOUR experience!! :)