Cork, wine pub -- just opened [Pleasant Ridge, MI]
Cork just opened in Pleasant Ridge, MI. What a great addition to the food scene in Motown. Extensive and selective wine list, mixologists make great drinks, small plates and large -- everything, made in house.
Warm, hospitable and just easy to be in -- a drink, or a meal. I think we've been waiting for a place like this.
Here's our initial review
I finally made it to Cork last night and I have to say overall I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was way overpriced, although most of the food was pretty good.
We split a brick roll, which was puff pastry surrounding wild mushroom, goat cheese and carmelized onions. It was the size of an egg roll, delicious for $9.
I got the pineapple and ginger salad. Sliced pineapple, shaved ginger, basil and carmelized pecans. It was an interesting combination that I'll be repeating at home, but the pineapple was way overripe. The basil overpowered the ginger, so it would have been better named pineapple and basil salad. It was around $8 ish.
My friend orderd the "knife and fork" salad which was a deconstructed ceasar, which in itself is annoying. Leafs of romaine stacked in a pile, a dollop of anchovy paste, a mound of parmesean on a plate - you do the work. $6
For an entree we split a chicken in puff pastry entry with goat cheese. Maybe we should have done something else since for around $25 this was almost identical to our brick roll appetizer with chicken added. The quality was there, but the serving size for an a la carte entree was ridiculously small for the price. This one was equal to two egg rolls, with a "salad" underneath which I'd technically call a garnish.
We did get the butterscotch pudding served with a miniscule piece of hazelnut pound cake for dipping for $7. The pudding was served in a coffee cup and the pound cake was the size of my pinky, but twice as wide. It was just okay.
I'd been craving butterscotch since I'd sampled a piece of butterscotch pie at Achatz Handmade Pie Co last weekend. Achatz pie was overly sweet, but amazing just the same. Cork's butterscotch definitely had a more sophisticated flavor profile as it was topped with a layer of bitter toffee sauce, but the butterscotch wasn't sweet enough to set off the toffee and the pound cake was very dry.
I love the idea of a "wine pub" and was really hoping it would be great. Maybe it was just an off night. As I was driving home, I regretted I hadn't spent the evening down the road at La Dolce Vita.
I appreciated reading your write up, Rosedale, and I might know where you are coming from. A few months back I got an unexpected, no advance notice, “hall pass” for dinner, from the wife and kid. So, on Berkleybabe’s recommendation I headed straight to Cork. Somewhat to my surprise, the wait was a full two hours; an hour for a small table is one thing, two hours is another.
Regardless, I politely waited my turn for a bar stool, losing ground to some younger females who weren’t so polite*, and once finally there I enjoyed a nice glass of wine that wasn’t grossly overpriced, and I became comfortable with the idea of being one of the minority of persons choosing to actually dine from the cramped bar’s stools. *I’m sure the girls would smirkingly characterize their actions differently…generational thing. I'll add that the bar workers were too-cool-for-school, but I mean that in a good way, and they quite entertained me.
I ordered a starter, but can’t recall which one. Before ordering, I double checked with the bartender, regarding whether mine was one of the better choices. He assured me it was, and guaranteed me that if I were not fully pleased that I would be welcome to pelt the barback in the side of the head, with the uneaten portion. Surely I ate the entire serving.
My main was roasted pork with spatzle, braised cabbage and a mirepoix sauce. Let me preface things by admitting that even though I’ve never been to Germany :-(, I’m a German food snob…an embarrassing truth. Anyway, the first thing I noticed was that the portions were surprisingly small.
After further looking over each item and tasting it, I also decided that there was nothing there which was decidedly “breaking barriers.” For $22mp, I maybe unfairly was wanting for perhaps a fleeting graze along the edge of some gourmet barrier.
Nevertheless, gosh darn it, each item was perfectly delicious. I savored every little straightforward bite, and when I was done, I congratulated myself for not having overeaten. In retrospect, it was an absolutely satisfying meal for me. In the moment, I wanted to go over-the-top and order Berkleybabe’s butterscotch dessert, but I didn’t want to leave feeling I’d over stretched my budget, so I didn’t do so. In retrospect, that was the right choice for my diet, as well.
In summary, I have not been back (nor been given another hall pass, recently), and I have not subsequently been touting the place. Yet, I have fond memories of my singular experience there. (PS-- Thx for the lead, Berkleybabe.)
ummmm... "the butterscotch pudding was devilish." ??
I say that it always is the Eater, and not the Eaten, with evil intent. Then again, I haven't yet tasted their desserts.
Anyway, thanks for the lead, berkleybabe. I'm over there.
PS--finally made it to Toasted Oak tonight, as you suggested, and loved it. :-)