Disappointing service but creative food options.
I had made a reservation over a week ago for my boyfriend's birthday and had specially requested an additional vegetarian option, since we weren't feeling like eating pasta only. After exchanging multiple emails with the Office Manager, I felt reassured that the restaurant will provide us exceptional service for this special occasion.
I was rudely surprised when I went to the restaurant, where it didn't look like there was a special table on hold for me (though there were vacancies so we were seated), the wait staff were very slow and did not inform us that none of the cocktails they advertise were available. It was a struggle to even get a simple cocktail like a mojito, as the waitress was not sure if they had mint at the bar??
We ordered some fondue, the gazpacho and the chips and dips - all of which were excellent and certainly meant for more than two! We were stuffed by the end of the appetizers and went straight to dessert. We got the Chocolate Mousse and the Crème Brûlée, both of which were good but not special. For a nice restaurant, we certainly expected more attention to detail and the presentation was nothing to brag about here. We also had a glass of their Chardonnay, and the one on the menu we asked for was not available, so we had an alternative. This was mediocre and quite woody.
Overall, with mediocre wait staff and my special requests not being met, the dining experience was not as special as I was hoping it to be.
Changes for the best!!.
I was a diner at Corks many times in the last few years and was happy to hear that they would be revamping the place back in Autumn 2008. I wasn't sure what to expect but they did it right! The new interior is more casual (no more white linen with a ton of place settings and glassware) and up-to-date (doesn't feel like a 70s rec room in the wine cellar anymore!). The staff, as always, has been pleasant and quite helpful when it came to choosing from the numerous small vineyard wine selections (they only carry wines "from the Americas"--as our server explained). The menu selections have expanded to include more deals driven by the economy. They recently implemented Steak Nights on Tuesdays where the 5 different steaks offered are 1/2 price as well as a selection of cabernet sauvignons to accompany.
The food is still the same caliber as before only now your choices are more broad...ranging from sandwiches to Lamb Chops, or a delightful cheese plate to Corn dogs made with Spanish lamb sausage. Our server was quite helpful when it came to suggestions for both food and wines and really made an impact on my decision to write a review here.
There is no parking lot and parking can be tricky in Federal Hill, but take some patience and an extra $5 for the parking garage on West Street (or behind Shofers Furniture) and you won't be disappointed. I highly recommend checking it out or stop in for their new brunch service on Sundays!!!
A Thanksgiving to forget....
A few friends and myself decided to make reservations at Corks for Thanksgiving since we couldn't get away for the holiday. Truly, it was a great idea to spend time with cheerful friends, good food and wine and no worries in cleaning up a rather large thanksgiving dinner mess! However, the food was far from good and the wine (Red Zinf) smelled and tasted like vinegar.
The four-course dinner was served by a rather untrained, motley crue consisting of a dry spinach salad, a turkey & mushroom crepe, a fatty leg of turkey with under-cooked string beans, bitter cranberry sauce and the worst stuffing I have ever had (I would have settled for Stouffer's Stovetop). The final course was a pumpkin mousse parfait with cranberries, which lacked any substantial tase.
Each of us had a bill for $82 (dinner plus one drink). Don't make the same expensive mistake we did.
Not too sweet on Valentine's Day. We went to Corks for Valentine's Day dinner and really weren't impressed. We arrived to find an empty host stand, and when she finally arrived, she was rude, briskly seating us in the bar until our table was ready (a half hour after the reservation time). She arrived again and mumbled "your table is ready" and then bolted through the restaurant, leaving us to chase after her with our drinks spilling over the restaurant guests (who were packed in like sardines). The balcony was noisy. Our waiter was snobby and lacked a warm personality. The food was excellent. However, the wine was over-rated and over-priced. Also, there is no coat room, so be prepared to sit with your coat slung over your chair. In addition, the valet is not complimentary. We had a lovely evening, but it was no thanks to the "ambiance" and "service" of this restaurant.
new chef de cuisine!. After years of having a good experience at Corks, but only at a pre-set menu group event, I am pleased that the new chef seems to have breathed new life into the restaurant. The menu is really terrific now. The all american wine list can be overwhelming, but the staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. The wine tasting events are the best way to go . There seem to be several regulars who attend these events which can make them even more relaxed, like dinner at a friend's home.
over priced. I was in town visiting friends that live in Baltimore. They suggested that we try Corks. The food was delicious but very sparse. The portions were very small and had very little side dishes with them. When we asked the waiter for bread...he informed us that they had not made enough and had none to offer us. With the prices of this establishment one would think that a run to the bakery or store would have been appropriate for the evening. One person at our table ordered beer and the waiter practically turned his nose up at him. Our service was less than average the whole evening. Our local friends as well as us all agreed that we would not return to Corks on our next visit. It is a shame to be treated that way with so many fine restaurants in Baltimore that would love to have our business.
Maybe Not. The "extensive wine list" at Corks really sucked me in. The problem is that, once I opened the list, I learned to my dismay that all, or virtually all, of the wines come from California, Oregon, or Washington. French, Italian, and Spanish wines are very rare, if you can find them at all. Add to that the food waspresented in an "artistic" way, perhaps to divert me from the fact that there's no much there to eat. The meals are not cheap. The ambience was outstanding, and the service was more than OK, but, gee, the food and wine list...
A changing American menu offers up fresh, distinctive food complimented by superb service, elegant atmosphere and a large wine selection..
This unique restaurant is housed in a Baltimore row home. The kitchen greeting patrons as they walk in; past the chefs whipping up culinary delights is a dining room that commands attention with high ceilings, a balcony overlooking the tables, and exposed brick walls. Candle-lit tables and an extensive wine display add a touch of elegance. Service is helpful, and happy to make recommendations for both food and wine.
The small American menu changes monthly and embraces a celebration of the seasons. Appetizers are creative: jumbo Gulf shrimp over polenta in a rich tomato sauce and smoked duck breast with arugula and sherry vinaigrette are worth a try. Both the filet mignon with blue cheese-mashed potatoes and the mustard-pork loin are distinctive. Whether you order pasta, duck breast and lamb shank, a suggested wine accompaniment is offered for each entree.
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