There’s nothing better than a restaurant with a story. Most restaurants do– whether it’s the chain, manufactured story (“Aruba Red” at Bahama Breeze is a favorite; The Boyfriend does an exceptional staged reading of it.) or the story of a couple of people who open up a local restaurant out of love and passion.
Without question– as great as The Boyfriend’s rendition of the Tale of Aruba Red is, I prefer the authentic by far.
The story behind forkheartknife, freshly opened on Main Street in the old Take the Cake location, is about love and family. Sierra Laumer, who attended culinary school at the Midwest Culinary Institute, cooked at Daveed’s and What’s for Dinner?, and spent the last year caring for her sister, Jenna, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and died early this year. So, her picture hangs in the restaurant and the place is dedicated to her, because life is too short to let your dreams go by.
(I’ll give you a moment to grab a tissue before I go into the food).
So for the past year or so, I’ve been following Sierra’s blog, forkheartknife, and anxiously awaiting an opportunity to try their food. Their hours are limited (Thursday nights and Sunday brunch) and I hadn’t been to a catering event, but I had an opportunity to finally try it out for Sunday brunch a few weeks ago.
Their teeny-tiny restaurant cozily holds about 12 people, with outdoor seating that accommodates another 12. We got a table right near the A/C vent– a must for a hot day. Coffee is self-serve, as is water, which we sipped as we perused the menu, written on a huge piece of paper on the wall. It changes daily, as Sierra and her friend Leah, are inspired by local produce from Findlay Market.
On our Sunday, we picked a couple of things: first, a potato and beet hash with a dollop of fresh goat cheese on top. This was my favorite– I’m addicted to fresh beets, I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like, and if you top it with goat cheese? Heaven.
Terry got a BLT sandwich on foccacia, with lots of bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, tender, fresh mixed greens. Delicious– I wish we could have finished it all, the portion was large.
I went for the roasted vegetable strata, which had sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, onions and a bunch of other vegetables. This was good– again, a big portion– and neither dry nor soggy. I preferred the sandwich by a slim margin. I think I’d like to try one of their sweet bread puddings as well.
The prices were good– around $7 for an entree, $4 for the side of beet hash– and portions generous. I still need to try it for dinner, and I look forward to making forkheartknife a frequent stop in Over-the-Rhine.
Leah and Sierra also cater outside events and within their forkheartknife kitchen. Youreally need to try their great, fresh food– it supports their dream (and tastes good to boot).