Forte Alaska - Girdwood AK
Located in the famous Alyeska resort and newly opened as of summer 2022, Forte features house-made pastas crafted with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant aims to create a modern take on Italian classics within an elevated, yet casual Alaskan setting.
For many years the space that Forte currently occupies was a casual breakfast restaurant and evening steak house. They closed to do a full remodel and bring a new cuisine to the scene at Alyeska resort that brings their total dining establishments to six. Some of those options include their four diamond restaurant on top of the mountain (Seven Glaciers), a top tier sushi spot (Sakura Asian Bistro), and excellent casual dining at their Aurora Bar.
For my visit to Forte I was most excited for their dinnertime offerings. While they do offer breakfast and lunch, I made reservations for 6:30pm that night.
Their bread & butter offering included irresistible parker house rolls made in-house, smoked Alaska spruce tip butter, and a decadent duck fat candle. Could I have enjoyed an entire order myself? Of course. However, it is best for sharing. Our group of 6 each got their own roll and it was truly savored.
A scrumptious Antipasto Board offered a selection of 3 artisan cheeses, fresh berries and grapes, cured Alaskan meats, and more served with a parmesan focaccia crostini. Great for snacking on before the main course.
They have a great selection of curated alcoholic beverages including wine, beer and fun classy cocktails. I never find myself disappointed with the drink options at the Alyeska resort thanks to their talented beverage manager, and the options at Forte continued that trend! I ordered the Limoncello Spritzer, and my oh my what a refreshing delight it was.
For our main course, it was such a tough choice! However, I had been hearing good things about the house-made pasta and knew my sights were set upon that. After much deliberation, I decided to take advantage of dining with friends and we worked together to share some dishes. I split the Braised Short Rib Pappardelle and Truffle Cacio e Pepe.
The short rib pappardelle took me back to a fabulous restaurant in New York City. They had a braised rabbit pappardelle that was just incredible. Forte did a wonderful job with their braised short rib version! There was a touch of sweetness from the braising process, and the wild mushroom sauce with black truffles complimented each other so well. I was honestly sad to be sharing this dish..as that meant I could not eat the whole thing myself.
Cacio e pepe has had a resurgence in popularity online in recent years, but it actually is one of Italy's oldest pasta dishes! Forte adds some flair to this traditionally 4 ingredient dish (cheese, pepper, pasta & boiling water) with the addition of shaved truffles and a grana padano cream.
As a former pastry chef and current foodie, dessert is always something I look forward to when trying a new place. You can say a lot about a restaurant by how they finish their service, and dessert is a part of that. I decided to splurge and get two desserts! I went with the Forte Bombolini (you can thank Netflix's Love & Gelato for that craving) and the Limoncello Olive Oil Cake.
While stunning in presentation, In the spirit of honesty I must say the desserts were a bit underwhelming after such a fabulous meal. A tasty fireweed and honey ice cream accompanied the limoncello cake. However, the cake itself was a victim to either freezer burn or not fully sealed wrapping in the refrigerator as it had that bitter cooler taste to it that unsealed cakes can get. The bombolini was light and filled with a delicious pastry cream center. A seasonal accompaniment of blueberry sauce was on the plate and made for great dipping between bites.
Overall, my visit to Forte was a good one! I recommend stopping by, and I look forward to returning for another limoncello spritzer and to try their hand tossed pizzas. For more information about Forte, you can visit the Alyeska Resort website for their current menu's and hours.