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Oct 16, 2008 09:07 AM

Corks in Federal Hill-opinions since the reinvention?

I walked in to see the new digs and picked up a menu but did not stay to eat. I was thinking of going this weekend for dinner. Has anyone tried the "new" Corks?

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    1. I must admit, I was a bit taken aback by the sandwich heavy menu and entrees under 20-ish dollars. Part of me loved it, part of me longed to splurge on the old menu. I was told a few old-Corks style entrees will be added soon.

      While the mushroom flatbread and braised beef rib aren't reinventions of the form or worth going out of your way to experience, what they are great values, and quite tasty. But what got "wow"s from both me and my wife were the salads. For her the arugula with serrano and creme fraiche, and for me the warm frisee au lardon. Perhaps all it takes to wow me with a salad is copious amounts of pork product, but both of these were great and worth returning for.

      1. Considering completely changing the concept of the restaurant, they probably should've changed the name. Definately different from old school Corks. Big emphasis on sandwiches and light fare. More like a coffee bar menu. Apparently they are now open for lunch and dinner though the menu is the same for both. I suppose a desperate economy calls for desperate measures.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kelarry

          Do you think that they didn't want to raise the bar any higher than, say, Junior's? Is this the most 'upscale' Federal Hill can get? Casual wine bars...trendy? i loved the old Corks but hey, I won't turn my nose up at any place that serves meat, cheese and wine so I'll give it a shot and try to suppress my longing for what was.

          1. re: BaltoPhilFood

            Federal Hill can definitely do more than casual wine bars -- look at Bicycle! I'm also bummed to hear about the casual turn of Corks though. I never made it to the old Corks, I was saving it for a special occasion splurge dinner, and now it looks like I missed my chance.

            1. re: BaltoPhilFood

              Do people really go to eat at Juniors Wine bar?

          2. I just had lunch at Corks. I'll sum it up as such: the chips that came with my sandwich came out of the fryer and not a bag.

            Regardless of what it was before, this place is now a top notch bistro type of place, suitable for a nice lunch or a casual dinner. There is still the very nice wine list, and now there are reasonably priced menu items.

            I had the italian cold cut. Nice rustic crunchy baguette, top quality salumi and roasted tomatoes. Care was taken every step of the way. This is definitive still a place that "cooks" rather than simply assembling ingredients.

            They still have some entrees on the menu and they now carry specials each day that reflect the foregone white table cloth restaurant, but I for one am really excited about the new direction.

            Definitely a place to check out.

            2 Replies
            1. re: KAZ

              The newer bistros in Baltimore have definately paved the way for great food and casual atmosphere at modest pricing in the last year or so. Apparently, the folks at Corks are paying attention to these successful trends. They have much competition with the other great places already doing what they do. It should be interesting. They have a good reputation, especially with wine.

              1. re: hawaiigrl2003

                What newer bistros are you referring to?

            2. I ate lunch there yesterday. Some of you might have read my thread about how my Mom and I eat lunch together every Sat and are always looking for new places. Well let me say....this is the best lunch I've had all year, perhaps ever, in Baltimore. We started with the mesclun and grilled vegetable salad, shared 2 sandwiches (italian and gorgonzola with raddichio) and had the bread pudding for dessert. The italian sandwich was FLAWLESS. It came with a wonderful aioli and had roasted tomatoes sandwiched inbetween the meat. It had layer upon layer or flavor. She ordered chips as her side and I ordered fries and both were above average. Obviously house made and well seasoned. The gorgonzola grilled cheese is the foodies equivalant of the standard. The perfect comfort food.
              I hope this place has found a new customer base. I never would have eaten there before because it was a little pricey and the menu seemed to include lots of sweetbreads kind of stuff. I'm an adventurous eater but I do have my limits :)
              Can't wait to return!
              Oh...forgot the best part. Salad, 2 sandwiches, dessert and iced tea...$38 before tip!