Food

Michael Ruiz opening Fork bistro in Montrose [CLOSED]

By Joshua Lurie | November 17, 2009 5 comments
Michael Ruiz opening Fork bistro in Montrose [CLOSED]
2263 Honolulu Avenue
Montrose, CA 91020
818 248 2100
View Web Site
Photo of pork shoulder taken at Ingredients

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.

Comments

  1. forksman says:

    Wowee…it appears that Gail Connell of Gourmet A Go-Go has taken in the talented orphan, Michael Ruiz, of short-lived Bistro Verdu (and shorter-lived Ingredients)fame. I had a very nice meal there- not off the charts, but very good, which bodes well for this latest effort from Ruiz and Connell who have each demonstrated that exceptional talent in the kitchen makes for good eats, but hasn’t insulated this pair from bitro-flops in terms of running a business and keeping the doors open. Connell and Ruiz are wizards in chef’s hats but neither have succeeded in the past to comprhend what it takes locally to reach the critical mass necessary to keep a Montrose restaurant afloat. In a town where folks are still complaining that OV Bistro doesn’t serve frozen and nuked tuna casserole, Fork, which has yet to stake out its own vision, borrowing instead quite obviously from the aforementioned OV Bistro, has a tough row to hoe. I am very impressed so far. I look forward to returning in a few months when Fork has its sea-legs under it.

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  4. Betty Musacco says:

    Hi Michael, I’m glad to hear you are back in town. I was sorry your other place, Bistro Verdu didn’t quite make it. I enjoyed it. Looking forward to the opening of Fork. I am a friend of Mary Krempl’s & met you several times. See you soon. Betty

  5. sounds like a great spot to hit up when it opens! cant wait, i still haven’t had Ruiz’s food.

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