Located in a strip mall on Rockford’s east side, Five Forks wine bar and restaurant serves tapas-style food and drink. Artsy vineyard and wine barrel photography decorates the earth-tone walls, and a large bar and dining tables face an open kitchen. The front deli counter sells cheese and wines by the bottle.
Although Five Forks bills itself as a casual gourmet tapas eatery, the food takes a back seat to the wine. The well-rounded wine list details 30 bottles of American and European varietals, 10 sold by the glass ($5 to $9). We enjoyed the French blended red and learned that Five Forks hosts free wine tastings on the third Thursday of each month.
The haphazard, limited food menu has a Mediterranean bent—paninis, homemade soups, flatbreads, salads, seafood and small-bites appetizers like mixed olives and bacon-wrapped dates (most items fall in the $6 to $15 range). The Five Forks salad with walnut raspberry vinaigrette ($9) offered plenty of celery atop mixed greens but precious little blue cheese, sliced apples or candied almonds. The Asian Duck flatbread ($13) arrived drowning in a spicy plum sauce. We were the only lunch patrons, but service was slow and delivered around serious floor cleaning that was taking place during our visit.