Christian and Ashley Bernard, the power couple behind the local favorite brunch and dessert spot Sugarbakers, have done it again. The Bernards recently transformed the space adjacent to Sugarbakers into their newest concept, Fork & Vines. The restaurant celebrates the couples’ appreciation for fine wine and elegant bites.
“Over the past 10 years, Ashley and I have developed a love and appreciation of wine,” Christian said. The duo expanded their knowledge by visiting vineyards and wine bars around the world. Returning home from an impressionable trip to Croatia, it was with this fervor that the Bernards jumped at the opportunity to create their own take.
The restaurant has a European aesthetic, with sapphire-hued velvet loungers contrasting striking white quartz tables. The L-shaped bar spans the length of the main dining room, leading guests to a second eating area. Warm tones and vining greens help ground the brick accent wall and lend the room a homey, intimate feel.
The bar and dinner menu mimics the global vibe. Christian and Ashley hand-pick wines and craft beer from regional, national and global vineyards and breweries. Patrons can expect a wide variety of high-quality reds and white wines, such as Rioja from Spain, Merlot from Napa Valley or Sangiovese from Driftwood, Texas. The menu is an all-star cast meant to marry the floral, spicy and woody notes of the wine offerings.
It’s hard to choose just one appetizer from the extensive list, but the smoked fish and charcuterie boards stand out. Both are notable for their assortment of textures and breadth of flavors. The charcuterie is ample for two to four guests, offering four ounces of assorted meats, three curated cheeses and all the trimmings. A 2023 Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley makes for an excellent pairing choice. The smoked fish board is a welcome change of pace with smoked trout and capers atop a savory scone.
For the main course, savor every bite of the Tournedos à la bordelaise. Melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin is prepared in the traditional French method with a red wine demi-glace studded with wild mushrooms. The Gnocchi Gajeta is another hit – tender potato dumplings swimming in an herbaceous cream sauce.
Fork & Vines also serves weekly specials of fresh fish and scallops. Wine enthusiasts can join their wine club, a curated quartet of assorted wines delivered every quarter. If you like good wine and good food in a relaxing venue, Fork & Vines is your new favorite spot.