Traffic on the main commercial strip of Red Hook – Van Brunt Street – will most definitely change when the blue walls of IKEA open their doors in August. One wonders where all these hungry consumers will flock to eat, but an obvious choice, if they can get a table, is The Good Fork. The Andrew Bird-endorsed restaurant is run by Korean chef-owner Sohui Kim and her husband Ben Schneider, who designed and built most off the interior, which is split into two dining rooms: a bigger one with exposed brick and curved wooden ceilings, and a smaller one with five or so tables. (And if you get the seat next to the customer-driven record player in the small room, it feels a bit like being a DJ on a boat parked in Red Hook.)
The menu has less Korean influence than expected from Ms. Kim, but there are nods across the board (like homemade pork and chive dumplings) worth trying. Appetizers and entrees change with the seasons, taking advantage of fresh produce from Red Hook's own Added Value Farm. A grilled asparagus appetizer rendered smoky but firm; a poached egg added unexpected creaminess. Buttery-rich diver scallops were seared and paired with quinoa, the dexterous wonder-grain high in protein that's almost always under-utilized.
The must-have entree is "Steak and Eggs" Korean style: hot and pungent kimchee rice topped with a generous portion of marinated skirt steak and a fried egg, whose yolk leaks and makes the combination ever-more deadly. Heavier than comparable Korean dishes like bibimbap, the meat could stand alone and hold up as an entree.
Steve's Key Lime pie, made in Red Hook (though not in-house), is the ideal way to end this meal, equal parts creamy and tart.
The Good Fork, 391 Van Brunt Street,
Brooklyn. (718) 643-6636.