Fork & Barrel

Bar, Eatery

4213 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19129
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 6
Photo of Spicoli9
4.35/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Finally got around to visiting this spot after hearing all the hype. I went on a rainy thursday night and the restaurant was about half full. I didn't venture upstairs to the "American Craft" floor so my review pertains only to the euro downstairs bar.

To eat we had the mussels and a Bavarian pub pretzel. Both were fantastic. The broth for the mussels was tremendous and made me regret not asking for extra bread for dipping.... The draught selection was very tight and focused. They have 8 or so taps which feature only European brews. There were a few german, italian, and of course belgian beers. All of the draguhts were 8 or 9 dollars. They also offered a tap sampler of 5 5 and 1/2 ounce pours for 18. The bottle list was top notch and was comprised of a bunch of bottles i have never tried before. There was a nice selection of Mikkeller / Cantillion / Hansenns / De Cam.

The only thing holding back this establishment is the pricing. They did not have a single bottled beer for under 9. Most of the bottles were in the high 20's for a 750ml. If you are willing to spend some coin this establishment is a must visit when in the Philly Area...

 1,155 characters

Photo of tubbnik
4.65/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I went to the Fork & Barrel with my wife and my parents last night to celebrate my 30th birthday. What a superb evening. When we arrived, our table was already arranged and we felt very welcome. My wife and mother were both struck by how gorgeous the interior was, being lit 100% by candle light. Very cool atmosphere. We had a quick peek at the draft list and were blown away by the selection. I was the only person at the table who didn't leave the selection up to the waiter, Ben. His selections were spot on. We left several of the next rounds in his hands. Aside from the beers, we also appreciated being able to dine slowly over about 2.5 hours. You may not be able to do that on a busy Friday, but this was later on a Wednesday evening and the pacing was appreciated. All of the food we ordered was fabulous and I would recommend every single bite and drink we chose. For the record we had a 5 piece meat and cheese plate, mussels, oysters, petite poussin on waffles, duck confit, Irish bacon and egg, smoked salmon egg in the hole, chocolate chip bread pudding, BFM Cuvee 7'eme on tap! (several), HaandBryggeriet Norweigen Wood, Cantillon Iris, Urige Dopplestikie, Rochefort 8, Orval, Cuvee Rene, Porterhouse Oyster Stout, 't Gaverhopke Blond and half pours of Ola Dubh 18, Liefmans Fruitesse. Best part of the night was realizing that we all OVER estimated the final bill. Certinaly a welcome surprise. I would go back tonight.

 1,436 characters

Photo of JoePetto
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Can't say enough good stuff about this place. It is truly beer geek nirvana. Not a single beer from the U.S. and some much hard to find stuff it was like I went to heaven. Without the Plinys and the other craft wants out there, it what great to say to the barkeeps - hey dazzle me with something different. And boy did they not disappoint.

Had the Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 (on tap!!) and a L'Enfant Terrible to close out the evening. No TVs, just candelight, chill music and a staff that loves to talk (and provide free tastes)of the goods. Please support this place - it deserves BA's patronage.

 612 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Well there's no need for me to give a long review now... I think that's covered.

At first I was concerned that a place like this might not make it, seeing as how the area is basically frequented by college kids, but after dining and seeing the crowd that came in I think they'll do just fine. I know I'll certainly stop in pretty frequently.

Parking can be tough in the area, and that's certainly an issue, but it's not as bad as most parts of center city, and weekdays should be fine.

Beyond that, it's pricey, but you get what you pay for: the atmosphere is nice, the food is good, the service is good, and the beer selection is excellent.

You won't be disappointed.

 674 characters

Photo of sublimesipping
4.86/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

In my post kid life, my wife and I have had our date nights drastically curtailed. We heard about the opening of Fork & Barrel and had to check this place out. Alas, did not come for dinner but as an end of the evening night cap.
The stage was set for a magical night. Beautiful Indian summer night in Philly. We pull up and park right outside the front door- at 10:30 we seemed to have missed the dinner crowd. We had heard that the establishment was lit entirely by candlelight- as we walked in noted with definite irony that the fire station was across the street. Place has only been open less than two weeks, not name outside just an old wine barrel sign with a fork.
Upon entering we were floored. Beautiful, cosy, sexy, romantic. Have been in a number or Philly places, bars, restaurants, taverns, most pre-babe, and this place stands out! So amazingly beautful. Anyone who has been to Amsterdam and has fallen in love with the brown cafes there, then this is what this place feels and aspires to, and I must say succeeds amirably well. Tasteful, not kitche or cliche, candles everywhere, cast iron candelabra, dark wood communal tables though no rugs on them, wood barrels, and a wall of wonderful, rare bottles of some of the world's most famous beer. Place chill and a good crowd, all apparently enhjoying the vibe and engaged in enjoying their tables conversation.
This review is going to be long. Must say this place is going for a particular niche that I do not think currently exist in Philly. What to say, first off, after the stop dead in tracks amazing decor, the beer list is stellar stellar interesting, solely European and put together with amazing insight and knowledge, Baladin, Del borgo, De Struisse, Milleker, Brew Dog, Cantiollion, Tre Fontain, Jw Lees, amazing amazing bottles, many that I have never seen anywhere else in Philly. Eight drafts and they were stellar, Del Borgo, JW Lees Moonraker, Rodenbach Grand Cru 08, Scheller Raushbeer(Bamberg, sorry again for all the spelling errors) and several other Belgain breweries that I have never heard of. Our server was great, Knowledgeable, attentive but not pushy, never trying to upsell or undersell which is also important with a place with a list as erudite and challenging as this...
So the place, expensive but as I awaken this AM I realize that the place is really a restaurant first who is purveying great beer as a one would purvey and offer wine. Need to mention that this place solely serves beer no wine no liquor and also no TVs. A place for having a memeroable night out with loved ones enjoying company enhanced by memorable, say it again memorable beer and what appears to be amazing food.
My wife and I loved this place and the magic that it created for our nightcap night. It inspired love which any great establishment should aspire to we left in love with Fork and Barrel, in love with each other and looking forward to returning to our sleeping son. I should mention we left with the empty bottle of Baladin Issac that we finish the night off as a memento, which our server dutifully rinsed out for me.
We will return for the food. Again looks amazing and the menu is distinctly European gourmet, offering such things as wild boar Bratwurst, Oysters, Belgian Wastaou soup(sorry for spelling), Pousin, and the like along with Mussels/Frites. Food looks to match the ambition of the beer.
As a final note, I hope that the place will make a go. This is an ambitious place but Philly has both the palate and income to support this. As we are no longer Dinks, we will not be able to be regulars, but we will add this to our repertoire of special date places. Might go to the top. As I look at the Issac bottle and remember, I look forward to going back- with the CC card.
For all Philly BAs, check this place out and be prepared for the finest high end beer experience that I can imagine in out fair city.

 3,907 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.5/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Went here after having a great time at both Tap & Table and The Bookstore. About ten minutes from my sister's place, I'll be coming back for sure.

If you have ever been to Tap & Table, Fork & Barrel is a smaller version of that, in decor, candles, and a bunch of beer bottles on the wall. After the bar area, A few long tables and some smaller seating arraingments. Bathrooms back farther and they check out. A very homey feel and dark. I saw the Philly Beer Scene people here so expect a article in an upcoming issue.

Quality is up there. The bar opened a few days ago so the tap lines are clean as a whistle. Water was served in one of those 'Ball' jars with ice and it was not bad water, lol. I got a few beers and they were served in tulips and the like.

Service was great, not to pushy, but there when you needed it. Informative, yet not snobby.

Selection is focused on European beer and food. Not sure if there is a wine list or even hard alcohol, I never really check for those offerings though. IIRC I saw JW lee's Moonraker on draft (never seen that in philly before) and De Glazen Saison. I got a Saison and a Aventinus Eisbock served in a wooden cask, Wow! The bottle list is not as huge as some bars in the area, but it is packed with goodies and alot of rarities. Be sure to bring your wallet as these are some pricy beers. Don't go in here for your regular beer bar staples (bell's 2 hearted, Troeg's products for example) go in here if your looking for something new and exciting.

I had a great time here. I was wondering what all the baskets were doing on the wall. I then saw the tender pouring a large bottle from the basket into a glass for some patrons, IIRC. I also was graced with a nice taste of some Alvinne brew aged in Calvados barrels, thanks guys, I'll return the favor and come back here. In a myriad of beer bars in this city that serve the same beer, Tap & Table sticks out like a sore thumb.

 1,929 characters

Fork & Barrel in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.64 out of 5 with 6 ratings