EatDrinkJax was recently invited to III Forks to sample their new Fall menu items created by Executive Chef Dylan Hauge. Seasonal additions to the III Forks menu incorporated many local ingredients and lighter fare. In all, we sampled lamb meatballs, hummus, seared scallops, Caprese salad, shrimp and grits, shrimp and scallops on cappellini, bacon wrapped meatloaf, and braised beef short ribs. While everything was fresh and delicious, some menu items especially wowed us.
The Roasted Garlic Hummus was terrific. Fresh tasting, well seasoned, with bits of hot pepper on top, and just enough garlic. It was served with crispy lavash flat bread. This is a great starter to share or as an accompaniment to a nice glass of wine.
The somewhat surprising hit of the night for us was the Caprese Salad. It was perhaps the best we’ve eaten, and that says a lot because we really like Caprese salad. While many restaurants serve either fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella, III Forks used a Burrata cheese. Burrata means ‘butter’ in Italian, and this mozzarella-based cheese is combined with cream to give it a softer texture and great flavor. The Burrata was served atop thick cut tomatoes, then drizzled with aged balsamic, fresh basil and olive oil. Delicious!
The jumbo Seared Scallops were served with house-made bacon jam. That’s right, bacon jam. The scallops were perfectly cooked and we loved the mixture of salty bacon with sweet jam that complemented the scallops.
The Braised Beef Short Ribs were fork tender and topped with basil pesto. Heck, we could have slathered everything in that pesto! The ribs were accompanied with potato purée and baby vegetables. This was one of the richer flavored dishes, in part because of the Bordelaise sauce, which originates in the Bordeaux region of France and is made with a reduction of wine and bone marrow.
Although most of the dishes had a lighter taste, portions were generous and you won’t be leaving hungry. Whether it was the Ancho chili bordelaise, Burrata cheese or house-made bacon jam, we appreciated the focus on bringing unique flavors to life and pairing them with the freshest ingredients of the season. We just hope some of these dishes are more than seasonal visitors.
III Forks is located in Tapestry Park near St. Johns Town Center (map).