Friday, December 29, 2006

The Cork House

The Cork House

Where to begin? The ambiance of the Cork House could be so right, but something was just wrong…the dining area features the warm glow of an open brick fireplace, hand trawled walls in a warm clay shade. The walls are flanked with French prints and the overhangs feature antique wine bottles and corks. However, the tables were covered with a hideous overbearing busy floral print, so awful that not even a muumuu wearing grandmother would choose this print! And the number one no-no in creating the perfect ambiance – TVs!!! Yes, you read that correctly, this beautiful little wine bar and restaurant has been violated by the placing of several TV’s mounted throughout the dining room!

Luckily for the Cork House, first and foremost, I am here for the food.

It is time to admit that Tartare is not my only food crush, in fact I have another food crush, which may even be greater than my love of Tartare…I will share my main obsession with you on one condition…you don’t tell the Tartare. Ok, now that my secret is safe from the Tartare…my number one food love is cheese. I love cheese! Soft cheese, hard cheese, fresh cheese, vintage cheese, American, Italian, French, Spanish, Swiss, cow, goat, buffalo, I love it all!!! I love cheese so much that on a recent trip to Oregon I rented a car and drove over 100 miles out of my way to visit the Tillamook farm and factory! Ok enough of my obsessing, let’s eat!

We began our meal with the 3 cheese flight. The flights come in various sizes and are served with pears, apples, candied walnuts, olive oil dried bread, and a raspberry reduction. My choices included Colorado Rouge (Fort Collins, CO), Manchego (Spain) sheep; Tarino (Italy). The presentation and the cheeses were wonderful. Each unique cheese was so tantalizing that my mouth is watering just reminiscing about it.
Diva’s Dish: 9/10 Diva Stars

On to the next course: apple walnut chicken salad. This salad features sautéed chicken breast, green apples, candied walnuts, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, and fresh tortilla strips in a spring mix, drowning in a roasted pepper vinaigrette. I am an optimist and I believe that this salad could be very good, in fact the few bites I found that were not drowning in vinaigrette were good. This is the type of salad that greens hope to become, the type of salad that even a child would eat without dressing, the flavorful, creative, health conscious salad…but in this case the dream was cut short when it was assaulted with two pints of vinaigrette.
Diva’s Dish: 5/10 Diva Stars

For the main course I enjoyed a small plate delight, the Sesame crusted scallops. This dish features scallops crusted w/white & black sesame seeds served with flavorless watery vegetables & a sweet & spicy mae ploy sauce. The scallops were seared to perfection, warm and buttery. The sauce was a little watery and had an odd kick to it, the kind of kick that isn’t what you would call good. The vegetables were overcooked and tasted like the elementary school lunch lady prepared them, watery with all the nutrients steamed out.
Diva’s Dish: 7/10 Diva Stars

On to dessert!
Chocolate mousse tower. This decedent dessert features dark chocolate mouse, milk chocolate mouse and white chocolate mouse, artfully layered into a tower of chocolate paradise. Each mouse had a slightly unique flavor and texture which was a perfect compliment to the other flavors.
Diva’s Dish: 8/10 Diva Stars