The last time we spoke to the folks at South Fork in North Bend, they had their ‘Hurry Up Pants’ on for an expected Grand Opening in April.
Even though it took a bit longer than expected, South Fork finally had its Grand Opening on October 1st and is now open Thursday through Sunday (check their website for opening and closing times). While I needed to act faster to secure my ticket to opening night (they went fast!) I had a chance to ask co-owner Karin Ayling how that first night went.
Ayling said, “Our grand opening party and opening weekends were incredible. The show of support from our community is amazing. They came out to celebrate with us, and many keep coming back. We far exceeded our expectations. As with any new restaurant opening, we have been working out some kinks, but our staff is stoked. Everyone that came to work with us here at the South Fork are rock stars. We could not have made it to where we are without them.”
After seeing all the glowing reviews, the following day on Facebook, my husband and I went to check out the breakfast the next morning. The remodeled restaurant felt instantly welcoming with warm wood décor and soft lighting when we walked in on that bright, sunny Sunday morning.
I left the dining to my better half that day, not being much of a morning eater myself, and he raved about the Corned Beef Hash with potato, onion, peppers, poached egg and horseradish crema. I stuck to coffee and can say South Fork does make a damn fine cup of coffee.
Co-owner Luke Talbott was in the building that morning and sat with us for a minute to chat. Even though he was tired from the festivities the night before, he told us about an event coming on October 26th. South Fork was hosting its very first Supper Club!
The club was the collaborative brainchild of Luke & the Compass and South Fork Teams. The club is a sit-down five-course meal served family style. The food is the choice of chefs Alex Paguagua and Charlotte Glaves. Their collective cooking knowledge comes from years of experience working at the North Bend Bar and Grill, the Fairmount Hotel, Suncadia and cooking for Microsoft executives.
This event will be on the first Wednesday of each month, with the price for five courses being $150 per person. Also available for purchase will be craft cocktails, local wine pairings, and custom nonalcoholic options. They’re so confident diners will be blown away; your payment is guaranteed.
Talbott explained that the inspiration is the same as all of their events, getting people talking, laughing, and communing. Of course, we immediately said yes and bought tickets on the spot.
The first Supper Club was last Wednesday, and we wondered what to expect. My husband had been back several times for breakfast, loving the laid-back family atmosphere, but I hadn’t yet been able to get back to try the food I had heard so many raves about.
The restaurant was packed with people when we arrived at 6:00 pm, where we were told to fill out nametags with our first names and the year and make of our first car. A colored star on the tag showed us where we would be seated. This was the first of a couple of games cooked up by the staff to be icebreakers.
As my husband checked out the Kusshi & Kumamoto Oyster bar with Ginger & Allium Mignonette and Pickled Blackberry Pearls, I waited for a cocktail. I chatted easily with a few Snoqualmie Ridge residents about our first cars as we all wondered what food we’d soon be served.
After securing our drinks, we sat down at our red star table to find warm assorted Macrina Bakery artisan bread with Smoke Salt whipped French Butter. It was difficult to resist filling up on the yummy bread but not knowing what was coming made it easier to pace oneself.
Our table included a former mayor accompanied by his partner and friend and Snoqualmie and North Bend residents. We were given a deck of cards as another icebreaker with such varied questions as “ What could you give a 40-minute speech on without preparation?” or “What is the story of your most interesting scar?” and “What is the weirdest food you’ve eaten?” I learned things about my tablemates I don’t think I’ve ever known at a dinner party.
After a brief introduction to our chefs from Luke, the first delicious course of an Heirloom tomato & Whiskey Barrel Smoked Burrata with a Honeycrisp apple vinaigrette preserved lemon and herb salad arrived at our now hungry table. This starter was followed up by hand-rolled herb & squid ink Norkotah potato gnocchi & Heirloom Kuri, Blue Bell & Delicata Squash, Pistachio Rolled Chevre and Tomato Confit. This had to be my favorite dish of the evening.
As our end of the table chatted about North Bend issues such as water rights and housing, our next course of Italian Sausage stuffed quail with a pine bud & a whiskey barrel aged maple syrup glaze, leek, herb & puffed black rice appeared. We briefly stopped talking to dig into the latest delicious offering.
After that, it was a blur of delectable offerings, including 15 Hour Braised Short Ribs with miso & butter braised onion, smoked carrot and Yukon Gold potatoes; and to finish, spice cake with maple cream cheese buttercream, coconut oat crumb with candied delicata squash and a Sitka Spruce Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie. My mouth is watering just thinking about it all.
I highly recommend you try this fantastic event but sign up quickly. Space is limited, and the next supper club is on November 9th at 6 pm. You can buy your tickets here.
If an event such as that doesn’t seem like your thing, Chef Alex and his team put together a daily menu focused on elevated pub fair. From the trailhead burrito to the ‘shanwich’ to the BBQ Brisket and the Tofu Banh Mi, Chef Alex put together a menu for almost everyone. This is extra special food you can take outside to enjoy with a beer or a Bloody Mary. Not only is the food delicious, but its presentation is also beautiful.
Manager Lashann Ross not only runs the front of the house and oversees the beer list but also created South Forks tasty cocktails like their Evergreen Mule, the Fire lookout Margarita and the very popular Bloody Mary. Ross has years of experience in bartending, and every drink created and beer chosen has been carefully selected.
In addition, South Fork had a fun Halloween party and looks forward to hosting sports viewing parties on their three indoor and one outdoor TV. Thanks for the fantastic evening, Luke, Karin & gang! We look forward to many more to come!