306 Market St between 2nd and 3rd Sts, Old City, Philadelphia PA
By Mariah Ghant, Guest Writer
The Place: A New American restaurant right in the heart of Old City, boasting a sleek interior design with a unique food and bar menu to match. Fork is also featuring a Zero Proof drink menu for “Dry January,” which piqued my interest when I saw a post for it on their Instagram.
The Time: Wednesday January 9th, around 6:30pm. I just finished my day at work which involved some heavy lifting and then a few hours spent staring at a computer screen. So, I’m definitely ready to relax, catch some happy hour deals, and try out that Dry January menu!
The Vibe: The theatre I work at is a dining partner with Fork, so I’ve heard innumerable good things about their menu from several of my coworkers. As I walk inside, I am immediately drawn to their design. There’s high ceilings, framed mirrors, and large decorative plants all around. There’s plenty of candles creating some dim, mood lighting, and the sound level in the bar never reaches higher than a chatter. It’s definitely more of a swanky spot than some of the hole-in-the-wall bars I’ve been frequenting with my friends in recent months. I feel a little underdressed in my athleisure wear and beanie, but I don’t let that stop me from coming on in. The ten seats at the bar are almost full, so I slide into one of two empty seats near the center of the bar. In the dining area, only a few tables are taken, all couples or friends catching up after work, and the same is true of the people sitting at the bar.
The Bartender: Ross navigates the bar, a rectangular-shaped island, with ease. He does a good job of checking in, asking what the customers think of their drinks and apps. Also, since Ross is mixing drinks right in the middle of his island-bar, I get to see all the intricacies that go into making every single beverage, which make me incredibly excited to try one.
The Drank: While I made my way out to Fork tonight specifically to try their Zero Proof drink menu, I have to be honest: I’m not really participating in Dry January. New Year’s resolutions are hard! And I promised myself a while ago I wouldn’t make them anymore to keep me from total despair if/when I fall off. But, I am trying to hit the gym more often, cut back on how much I drink, and find some alternatives (that taste good!). I get the Blood Orange Sangria, which has blood orange, pear, hibiscus, verjus orange, and non-alcoholic cider. It’s sweet and a bit tangy; exactly what I was hoping for. I wouldn’t recommend it if you prefer things that aren’t super sugary, but the Zero Proof menu offers plenty of other drinks like a Citrus Mule or a Cucumber Tonic if you’re looking for something more tart. For a snack, Ross makes a great recommendation of the smoked mussels, served with paprika aioli on toast, only $4 on the happy hour menu. And let me tell you, they are some of the best mussels I have ever had. Definitely get them when you go!
Was I Hit On?: Not even a little bit. It doesn’t seem like that kind of place. It’s far more of an upscale-casual kind of atmosphere, so people are more intent on unwinding from their workdays, catching up with friends or trying some fine dining.
Should You Drink Here Alone?: I say go for it. While I was the only person at Fork by myself, I didn’t feel too out of place at the bar. I’d definitely recommend going at happy hour for some sweet deals on their wonderful bar bites. It’s a great spot to relax from a long day at work, and a nice place to find some quiet time to treat yourself.
Mariah Ghant is young artist currently living in Philadelphia where she is working as an apprentice at a theatre company in the heart of Old City. A graduate of Vassar College, Mariah enjoys acting, dancing, writing and teaching in all of these areas. Check out her website mariahghant.com, and always feel free to send her suggestions of great bars to check out in and around Philly!