11/06/2012 11:56:00 AM

Better Than a Burger: Wagyu Beef Feast at Fork

Wagyu beef is renowned for its intense marbling, supple texture and superior flavor. In the U.S., the most common place to find the sought-after meat is in burger form (think how many times you’ve seen “Kobe Sliders” on hors d’oeuvres menus). However, this treat is even better when not ground into a patty, and thanks to chef Eli Kulp, newly installed at Fork, there’s an easy way to sink your teeth into the real deal. Though not on the official menu, each week Kulp crafts a “feast for two,” featuring a whole animal (think duck or fish) or a special cut of meat. If you head to the Old City restaurant this week, you can order the meal built around a Wagyu short rib.

The huge bone acts as a platter for the tender, sliced-in-place beef, which is supplemented by several strips of housemade Wagyu beef jerky; this is one meat leather that won’t hurt your jaw, melting instead into an umami flavor bomb on your tongue. On the wooden serving board with the beef are appropriate accompaniments - think horseradish cream, au jus dipping sauce, maple-spiced sweet potato wedges and pickled onion rings. There’s also small Caeser salad, plus a duo of miniature poppy-seed-covered rolls, so you can construct your own super-high-end beef on weck sandwich.

Kulp’s regular menu is also well-executed and interesting, so bring a good enough appetite to start with a salad, something from the raw bar or a housemade pasta before you dig into the feast, for which prices vary, depending on the main ingredient. In other words, if you’re planning to head to the newly muraled dining room, better to skip the burger you were going to have for lunch and save your beef indulgence for a decadent supper.


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