Tasting Austin: III Forks Happy Hour

We were lucky enough to be invited to another lovely blogger happy hour last week, this time at III Forks. We had never been there before; I think I’ve always been put off by the menu, which seems so serious and steak-placey. I was expecting a few steakhouse appetizers, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The restaurant is beautiful, once your eyes adjust enough to the darkness that you can actually see it. This is my big complaint… it is so dim in there. When you first walk in, everything seems pitch black. After your eyes adjust, it seems moderately black. I like to see my food, to compare colors and textures, to enjoy the view. It was just too dark in there for me… or for my camera. I was unable to take any good photos of the lovely food.

The food was delicious, though. Executive Chef Jamie Gutierrez was around to present the dishes and chat. Our tastings included:

  • Blue cheese beef croustades with a red wine demi glaze. These were quiet salty, but seriously good.
  • Ahi tuna skewers topped with sesame and tamarind sauce. There were some complex flavors here, a bit Indian, actually. Very yummy.
  • III Forks chips topped with blue cheese and sauteed onions. Super thin and crunchy.
  • Coffee-cured blackberry duck on a crisp cracker. This one was also intricately flavored; very bright.
  • Golden sea scallops seared with fresh herbs, served on a spoon with toasted peanuts, coconut, and shallots in a spicy sweet and sour sauce. It was like a bite of super-fresh, super-tasty Vietnamese food.

The tastings were small and not too plentiful; I couldn’t decide whether this was good or bad. It was nice to get to sample all the offerings without being overwhelmed with food, but the food disappeared quickly. Either we were a really hungry group or maybe we just needed a few more samples.

I do think it was a great way to be introduced to the restaurant, and we had a great time. I’m still a bit iffy on the regular menu, but if the dishes are anything like the appetizers, I’m sure they’re amazing.

2 responses to “Tasting Austin: III Forks Happy Hour”

  1. I agree it does take some adjusting to get used to the lighting, but once my steak arrived my eyes were in full focus! It was cooked to perfection. My favorite appetizer is the scallop selection. mmmm, so glad they now have a Happy Hour!

  2. I was a big fan of the scallops (total Vietnamese!), but my eyes also took almost a half-hour to adjust! Definitely surprising. I don’t know that we’ll be rushing back there, but I could see people really liking it. Guess we just aren’t big old-school steakhouse people. Love your review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *