By Russell Warnick
I have always had a complicated relationship with Cork Wine Bar. I enjoy the food to the point of trying to recreate some of the simpler dishes at home — avocado-pistachio grilled bread is a favorite in my house — but getting a table at this hot spot can be a feat unto itself.
With its walk-in-only policy, getting a table on a weekend night is a challenge, and usually involves a big wait at the bar. Brunch, however, is a different story. That’s right, Cork now serves brunch on Sundays and what a welcome addition that is. Compared to the hectic dinner rush, the scene on Sundays is actually quite calm, quiet to the point of being able to hear your own voice (as I, for one, so love to do).
Along with the aforementioned avocado dish, brunch features a few other favorites from the dinner menu such as a salad of romaine hearts, a pan-crisped brioche sandwich and the always-reliable cheese plate. Rock shrimp also makes an appearance in the coddled egg dish, accented by leek and arugula and paired with crispy bread. This was my favorite of the brunch items, presented in a neat white-and- steel-rimmed ramekin – the kind of stylishness you’ve come to expect from Cork. One dish you have to try is the baked-to-order house-made cinnamon rolls, if only to for the way they fill the dining room with the smell of a bakery.
Don’t fret, I didn’t forget about the brunch cocktails. There are a couple of mimosa flights to choose from, or you can go the route of a Bloody Mary or a mojito. You wont be disappointed in the selection..
With so many great options to choose from, I’d recommend going with friends and sharing as many dishes as you can handle. The food is as exceptional as ever, but blissfully, the crowds are a non-issue. At least until word gets out.
Should you get to Cork and the place is full, don’t worry as there are plenty of other great restaurants in the neighborhood that are serving brunch, a few of my favorites:
- Bar Pilar, for its “hangover cure” – a delicious bowl of sausage, biscuits and gravy – you wont be disappointed.
- El Centro D.F., a recent addition to the 14th Street brunch scene. Who doesn’t love huevos rancheros? And if you’re feeling brave (or hungry), you can opt for the $35 all you can eat menu, just don’t expect to leave sober.