Michael Ruiz, the former chef-owner of Bistro Verdu and Ingredients, has resurfaced in Montrose with Fork, a “working class bistro” with “updated country/peasant cuisine” and influenced from France, Italy and the American Heartland. Ruiz plans to open on Tuesday, December 2. To keep prices down, Fork will share space with Gail Connell’s Gourmet A Go Go catering company, but Ruiz plans to handle all the cooking for the restaurant.
Ruiz is utilizing as many local products as possible, including Berolina bread, Schreiner’s meat and Harmony Farms. That translates to a lot of braised meats, pates and terrines. At dinner, expect dishes like grilled Gulf shrimp ($9) with chorizo butter and pickled peppers; braised pork shoulder ($17) with green chilies, slab bacon, heirloom polenta and applewood smoke; and local white sea bass ($18) with eggplant rattatouille, beurre blanc, Meyer lemon and parsley. If you’re looking for bistro classics, Ruiz has those too, including roasted chicken and steak-n-fries.
Lunch is more casual, with counter service, salads, sandwiches, panini and a fork burger ($10) with grilled onions, red pickle relish, hot mustard, slab bacon, cheddar and tomato jam.
House-made desserts include chocolate torte, ice cream sandwiches (a Bistro Verdu signature) and pain au chocolat. These are just guidelines, since Ruiz plans to change the menu a couple times per month.
The space features red brick, mustard color, plenty of wood and low lighting. You’ll find 40 seats inside, a brick patio out back that seats 20 more people, plus sidewalk tables.
Jeff Zimmitti from nearby Rosso Wine Shop will create and manage the WINE LIST, which involves 30 bottles costing $30 or less.
“We just want to do something in the neighborhood that’s accessible and easy to understand,” says Ruiz. Why the name Fork? “It doesn’t get any simpler than that.”
Update: Fork bistro is now CLOSED.