I love discovering new places on our mokupuni to indulge my foodie tendencies. I had been hearing about a place in Waimea that was set to open offering farm to table fare with flair for over a year before I finally managed to get there for my birthday dinner this year. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. Chef Allen Hess has created the perfect combination of fancy but not fussy in his new restaurant, FORC. We have now dined there twice, and here is a recap of the fantastic food made by Chef Hess and his crew.
For their Spring menu (my birthday dinner!) they had a cocktail special that was special indeed- an ube lemon drop martini. Great way to use ube in a drink, and I may have had more than one.
To begin, we enjoyed the freshly-made bread with roasted garlic. Next up, I enjoyed the seasonal greens with local vegetables, goat cheese and macadamia nuts. For my entree, I just could not resist their roasted oysters and bone marrow. For those who don’t know, I do not eat beef. Except when it comes to bone marrow. Any time I see bone marrow on a menu, I am going to order it. I also adore oysters- particularly raw, but also roasted, broiled, or lightly poached (not a fan of fried). This plate hit all of the high notes- briny oysters with the tarte mignonette, the unctuous bone marrow with a rich glaze, and more bread to clean the plate.
I also ordered a side of the roasted Ali’I and shiitake mushrooms with a light cream sauce and spring garlic. Another perfectly executed dish.
My companion had the rib eye with a seasonal relish/chimichurri and a puree/yogurt that also had bone marrow. It was reportedly cooked to perfection, and I made sure that the bone marrow puree/yogurt was ok. It was.
For our next visit- Summer menu! I started with another signature cocktail- this time the crangerine collins (minus the cranberry juice). Again, it was refreshing and delicious. Then we tried their special kalo cake (forgot to take a photo) which was fantastically crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside. For my next course I chose the goat tacos (see featured image, above)- dios mio they were amazing, especially the homemade tortillas. Then, thinking I was still hungry, I had ordered the rack of lamb with the bone marrow yogurt (again- bone marrow!). I could only eat one chop, so the rest went home for late night snack. My dining companion again chose the rib eye, and again sang its praises, along with the grilled broccolini.
Two visits, two fantastic dining experiences. It is wonderful to have such a gem just a short drive away. Much mahalo to Chef Hess and his wonderful crew for the memorable meals. I can’t wait for another occasion to see what he cooks up next!