A newcomer to the Stuart dining scene, South Fork Kitchen & Bar serves the kind of food that’s as exciting as it is genuine. Chef-owner Ron Kerr, a graduate of The New England Culinary Institute and a Naples native, takes great trouble to source the best local produce and ingredients. But fresh foods are only half of the formula; it’s Kerr’s skillful cooking and artful flavor combinations that make this restaurant really shine. These features, along with the restaurant’s stylish interior and excellent service, place South Fork among the very best restaurants on the Treasure Coast, and it’s one of my personal favorites.
The menu features an impressive variety of small plates and salads, including one of Kerr’s most popular dishes, a grilled octopus beautifully plated with a warm farro salad and light tomato broth. Another popular starter is the Street Cauliflower, a mix of charred florets, chilis, feta cheese and cilantro. The addictive deep-fried squash blossoms, coated in a light cornmeal tempura batter and stuffed with a delicious pimento cheese, are served with a fiery pepper jelly. There’s also a top-notch raw bar with stone crab claws, jumbo shrimp and cold water oysters.
Kerr’s award-winning SF Burger is one of his most popular entrees, and there’s no mystery as to why: he places two juicy patties decked out with a house-made bacon-onion jam, American cheese and chipotle aioli, atop a brioche bun and serves it with hand-cut, ultra-crispy fries. It’s burger heaven.
The hanger steak is another winner, served with grilled corn and a vibrant chimichurri sauce. The Parmesan Crusted Chicken (a newer item) is accompanied by roasted artichokes and a lemon-basil sauce. Fish lovers will enjoy the miso-glazed salmon, served in a bowl over udon noodles, bok choy and broth.
Don’t miss out on dessert here, either. The Key lime pie topped with brûléed marshmallows, the molten chocolate cake and the vanilla panna cotta are all worthy contenders.
South Fork Kitchen & Bar, 900 SE Indian St., Stuart; 772.247.7382; southforkkitchenandbar.com