Last Updated: 7/11/2020
Current Status: Cork took over a good chunk of sidewalk and is now doing sit-down service. Their new chef took over just before all hell broke loose, he is probably relieved to be plating on real plates. Fortunately they were already set up with a market format downstairs. They are doing take-out and limited delivery. You can get food, family meals in sharing sizes, and of course wine. They are also doing virtual tastings. They opened a back patio last year, so stay tuned for possible sit-down service.
Gift Cards – Proceeds to go employee relief.
Before Times Review:
Last Visited: November 2020
Cork started as a phenomenon and settled into a very good neighborhood place. It was a pioneer on 14thStreet and all the cool kids flocked. The bartending team and kitchen had some rising stars (one of the Brown Brothers and Ron Tanaka). Now it has settled into new digs across the street with a bar upstairs and down, and a restaurant upstairs plus a shop on the first floor. It may be a busy layout, but it is the same old Cork. Thank goodness.
Despite being an incubator and a refuge for talent in the kitchen, the principles of the menu have remained. Small plates, divided by cold and hot. Staples have purchase in the hearts of locals (mushrooms, flatbreads, kale with garlic), and one of the best dishes in D.C. resides here: Avocado slices on bread with pistachios, walnut oil, and sea salt.
It is the same old Cork. Thank goodness.
It is food meant to be social, but can be enjoyed solo. Sometimes there are specials, but the best way to order is to ask what is new. It might be lavender-crusted lamb chops, which were both novel and delightful.
The wine list is old-world. A long by-the-glass list gives choices for almost everyone — unless you are looking for a new world fruit-bomb. There are several gems dotting the bottle list. Prices are reasonable trying to match the market it hosts.
The staff has seen some recent turnover, but remains friendly and efficient. As it marks a decade in business, Cork has turned from a bright shiny object (that could have been passed by) into a newly polished one with a deep patina that you appreciate more and more.