Five Ideas for the New RedFork

izakaya.jpg
Something like Denver's Izakaya Den would kill in Knox-Henderson.
News broke last week that RedFork, the flailing gastro pub in Knox Henderson, has closed to undergo renovations. It will apparently re-open sometime early next year with a new menu and a new look -- "a neighborhood bar where you can watch the game and get a plate of food," manager Stephen Goniwiecha told Pegasus, which broke the story.

To which we said: Boring. Watch the game and get a plate of food? That sounds exactly like the old RedFork.

RedFork didn't work because the farm-to-table menu never came together and the concept didn't resonate with the dining space, which felt like a sports bar poorly disguised as something more elevated. But that doesn't mean a more refined dining experience would automatically fail.

For something more polished to work in the space, management would have to pull out all the stops. Everything that can be should be handcrafted. No shortcuts, no out of place menu items and no TVs.

Knox-Henderson already has neighborhood bars where you can watch the game and get a plate of food. So instead, I humbly offer these fantasy concepts for the space - dining options that are currently under-served in Dallas and would work on Henderson, provided the folks at RedFork go in whole hog.

Japanese Izakaya
Ditch the pizza oven and install a hibachi. Fire it with high-quality Japanese coal and grill fresh meats and veggies over the flames. Make some condiments and sauces from scratch for the grilled items, and use them sparingly. Offer sushi on par with the stuff you can get at Tei-An -- and then stop. No need for a noisy menu here. Fold in a small but serviceable sake offering and some great Japanese beers like Hitachino and Baird, and watch lunch, dinner and happy-hour crowds roll in. Also: Don't offer a burger. We're burgered out.

Ramen Noodle Shop
Your challenge will be finding a good noodle source. When you do, focus on an intensely flavorful broth and killer embellishments. Slow boil an egg at a low temperature for hours so the white barely sets and the yolk becomes thick and viscous. Offer lobster and fun, fresh seafood. Put in a big bar where people can sit side by side and fuel up on delicious soup, lettuce wraps and other small snacks. Oh, and don't do burgers. We'll go to the Porch or the Grape for one of those.

Belgian Mussels Bar
RedFork already had great mussels -- why not shift the focus there? Work with whatever source you used and continue to serve large, delicious mussels. Offer a few different flavors but don't go over the top - lemon with thyme, sausage and chili, and curry should be enough. Serve them in authentic Belgian mussels pots and offer hand cut fries, baguettes, and Belgian mayonnaise for dipping. Next assemble the biggest, most bad ass Belgian beer menu Dallas has ever seen. You'll freak people out -- in a good way. Specially if you don't serve a burger.

High-End Indian
You'll have to cook the absolute best Indian food Dallas has ever seen for this to work, so hire an Indian master chef to fill the restaurant with the heavy waft of curry. Deck out the walls and tables with colors and images that invoke the great subcontinent. Offer high-end chatt: delicious snacks featuring crunchy fried things, chutneys and crispy spinach leaves. Hire a mixologist that understands balance and instruct him to leverage mint, cilantro and cardamom. And design one namesake dish that gets Dallas talking -- I'm thinking a fiery curry from Goa, but anything that's not a curry burger should do.

Anything But a Burger Joint
Seriously, if you turn that space into a burger joint we're never, ever coming, and neither is anyone else.*

*Actually a lot of people will come. For like a week. And then they'll go to one of the 900 other burger places in town.


Location Info

RedFork - CLOSED

2537 N. Fitzhugh Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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20 comments
Info
Info

Ummm ok? Matthew...come on. Wake up.

Jason
Jason

Well from a business standpoint. Foodies suck! They want free food and pain in the ass requests so when they get done the tips suck and they run home to complain about the restuarant online. They dont keep business open, the drinkers the partiers keep the bars open. there are many bars in Dallas that I go to and drop 100 of dollars and support across DFW and i dont care what kinda of food they have or who is cooking it. Just show me a fun server strong drink and few good dishs or apps and I will be back to drop more money. The bar business is a business not an art form. If Redfork comes back. No wait if 2537 Fitzhugh comes back with a fun atmosphere and good plate of food with live music. Then hell yeah ill go back and if the foodies want to complain about how the chefs arent there maybe they can spend the cash to open a restuarant and feature over the top plates with over priced tabs and watch people leave soon as they get done eating. From a business man i want the 20 and 30 somethings drinking drinks beers and shots and hanging out for hours having fun not some dushie foodie mooning and groaning over each bite and then complaining about every detail on line. When did everyone become so high maintenance and so critical. i go out to have fun not judge every detail of an establishment.

This is america. Bring on the Hamburgers!!

jon from tjs
jon from tjs

for izakaya, check out Yutaka's sister restaurant Sharaku  - great sticks, good suhi options from next door, nice sake options.

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

I know! Open up a taco place! It's totally original and NOT overdone right now at ALL.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Japanese Izakaya already exists - it's called Tei Tei

Bev-UrbanEpicurious
Bev-UrbanEpicurious

What a great article. How, on earth, do you think of such clever things to write about?  You must never get any sleep! A Ramen Noodle Shop would be great there, and even though it would be new, it would get instant street cred for being authentic since it's technically located "in the hood."

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I'd rather see more true Izakayas or Noodle Shops around town, not just uptown, as theres a serious lack of choice when it comes to true japanese in Dallas outside of benihana or going to the suburbs.  Keep the burgers, mexican and BBQ out of the mix, as this market is WAY oversaturated in those similar cuisines.

Red Dirt Kings
Red Dirt Kings

Actually, I don't think there are that many places to "watch the game and get a plate of food" in the Knox-Henderson area. Jake's is new, but we've been told personally by the manager that we couldn't have sound at 11 a.m. for college football because they don't want to be confused with a bar. Well, ok. Knox St. Pub? Maybe I'm missing something, but there aren't a lot of options for that. You have good, fun bars though (e.g., Monk, Capitol, VTs, etc.) ... just not sports-watching places.

That said, I'm not advocating the place should be a sports bar or anything. We've been to Red Fork once and it lacked direction, character and appeal. Oh, and people. 

Homer
Homer

How about bring back the chef they allowed to walk when they first opened?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Doesnt everyone want TV's?  I mean, if your smartphone cant keep you entertained we always need the fallback of the TV.  (that is to say that 99% of dates suck these days anyhow)

Ralphy
Ralphy

All terrible ideas;  how about a good sports bar with excellent menu?????????

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

Scott actually wrote this, even though my name is on it right now. You can tell by the fact that it doesn't just say "mmmm burgers."

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

And on Henderson, nonetheless.  Scott, give it a try; it's been here a good long while.  Personally I think the RF space is jinxed.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

That's what this blog post really is -- A wish list for Dallas. I'd be happy if the places I listed opened anywhere

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Yeah people are good. But I have a feeling if they don't do something interesting people are going to walk in and see the same old RedSpork

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I think he's saying that this is already an option. 

Ralphy
Ralphy

and lots of tv's !

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Great foodie minds thing alike Reitz, Its a shame thing part of the country, which has become quite a melting pot of asian cultures, is missing the quintessential hole in the wall places that you see in other cities asiatowns that serve house made ramen or real korean-style fried chicken(which is awesome btw). Its another reason I'm looking forward to heading to LA for the holidays...

Ralphy
Ralphy

I think he is saying it WAS a bad idea;  which I disagree with.

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