Dining at Cork Wine Bar is like meeting a pretty boy at a party and then being pleasantly surprised that he actually has some depth to him. It’s trendy and inviting from the outside, but quite cavernous and romantic on the inside. And I’m not even talking about the phenomenal food and wine yet. We’ll get to that.
Any restaurant that deals in small plates is fine by me. I indulge, order tons off the menu, and end up with an amazing spread of tasty morsels to try (and share, of course). And if you’re a server that can pair my diverse selections with a bottle of wine or two that actually complements everything from calamari to cheese cake, I give you credit.
Indeed, the wine list is fab—more than 160 bottles to choose from on a menu loaded with pairing selections and great descriptions (we saw “hints of spicy banana” and jumped at it—who wouldn’t?). We went for a few bottles of white, one from Saint-Péray and the other from Burgundy. And, if you like them, our waitress chimed, you can just nip across the street and buy bottles at the Cork Market and Tasting Room. Lovely.
First up was a global selection of cheeses. Then an assortment of things to try, such as grilled asparagus and salads. I do have to say the calamari and shrimp stood out. Let me restate that. The lemon-and-black-pepper-dusted calamari and rock shrimp with caper remoulade (yum!) was to. die. for. I am so tired of greasy calamari. This plate was so not.
I ordered the dinner special (and after all that wine, I honestly can’t remember what it was. Something fabulously wrapped with chicken; it’s the first photo), and my cohorts ordered more small plates. The winner? The Duck Confit—divine!
The best part about small plates is there’s always room for dessert. And the Cork dessert menu is not to be missed. Lizzy’s Goat Cheese Cake (above) melts in your mouth. And this amazing s’more concoction was just too pretty to eat!
1720 14th Street NW