Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cork - Westmont, NJ VALENTINE'S DAY 14 FEB 2009

First and foremost, Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! As I said below, I was lucky enough to snag us some reservations via OpenTable, and we have really been looking to dining at Cork. Upon driving up, the parking lot was full, with the exception of one parking spot that we grabbed. Upon walking up to the restaurant, you could see some nice, dim lighting, a 3 piece band, and a very nice ambiance. As we walked up to the host stand, we were quickly greeted, and seated at a two top to the right. The first thing I notice after sitting down is their cellar wall, comprised of a built in cabinet with shelving, wire caged wooden doors, and a whole array of wine bottles. Although if it were my restaurant, I would have built one that is climate controlled, this is still a nice focus on the eyes. Our server, Marissa came over to introduce herself, and to give us a few minutes to get settled in. First things first, I look at the wine list. Unfortunately, being a 45 minute drive, we opted not to indulge in a bottle, but if we would have, I probably would have ordered the Two Hands "Angel's Share" as that looked the list best bargain on the wine list, and one of the wines that we enjoy most. We instead opted for a glass each of the 2005 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 35 Yountville, which turned out to be a decent 86 point wine. Cork did have a "His" or "Hers" tasting menu tonight, which encompassed 5 courses for a mere $55. Either person could order either menu, and the gender specific thing really did not apply. This was a great deal in my opinion, but unfortunately for Zelda, there were courses with meat, and she is not a beef or pork eater, and unfortunately for me, I was really craving a steak, and both main courses were comprised of a fish dish. I would however like to try their tasting menu in the future, and we are going to try to make it there for South Jersey Restaurant Week March 22nd - 27th! So on to appetizers, I opted to try the crab cake as many of you know I have a crab cake obsession. This was served with Wilted Swiss Chard, Haystack Potatoes, and Old Bay aioli. I really liked the simplicity of the crab cake, as it was made with a lot of extra filler, and you could tell this by how crumbly and delicate it was. It was however a bit on the under seasoned side, and this could be taken care of with the smallest dash of salt and pepper. The hastck potato was almost like a bed of warm potato salad, and although it made for a nice presentation, the flavors were nothing to write home about. Finally, the dish was topped off with a swiss chard. Zelda opted for the Vegetable spring rolls with a chili citrus shop. I have yet to eat a spring roll that I didn't like, and this was no different. Fried to a nice golden brown, filled with fresh vegetables, this was a true pleasure. For Zelda, she said that there was a little more onion than she likes, but for me, these were ideal! Great job! We decided to skip the soup or salad so we could save room for dessert, and Zelda opted for the pasta cavatelli with chicken. This dish contained zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, tomato coulis, and chicken. This was a good looking dish with great flavors, and I will let her comment more on that when she gets some time. From the taste that I had, it was very good, well seasoned, and cooked absolutely perfectly. I opted for the 12 ounce grilled ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes, haricovert(green beans), with a green peppercorn demi glaze. this steak was absolutely perfect, and as much as I tried, I could not find anything negative about this dish, with the exception that the haricovert could have been a little warmer. I ordered the ribeye medium, and it was cooked perfectly throughout the whole steak, and did not continue to cook on my plate. The steak was very juicy, and perfectly seasoned with a nice char on the outside. There was next to no fat on this steak, and I think that you really got your bang for your buck here. The demi glaze was not ever powering, and did not take away from the meat. What a pleasure this was, and at $22, an absolute bargain. By this point, I was very full, but being Valentine's Day, we couldn't go home without having dessert. I opted for the apple tart, which had nice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. The apples were very nice, and the only complain I have was that the tart crust was a little on the soggy side, but being Valentine's Day, I am sure they had to make several dozens of them in advance, so I will not hold that against them. Z opted for the pot de creme, which is traditionally served cold, as was this one. It was however very cold, to the point where the spoon could not even go into it, and almost frozen. Again, making these in advance and putting them in the cooler in advance was a must on Valentine's Day, and maybe it just sat in there in an environment that was too cold. Regardless, it had very nice, very rich flavors, and once it warmed up a bit, it was tasty. When all was said and done, we had a great meal in a beautiful environment, and the service from Marissa was impeccable. The 3 piece jazz trio was a pleasure to listen to, and it made for a great evening. We definitely look forward to re-visiting Cork in the future! Cheers! 90 Haddon Avenue Westmont, NJ 08108 Phone: (856)833-9800

1 comment:

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

Sounds like you guys had a very nice out. Cork's been on our list, and it's always good to get a review from folks who enjoy their food. - John