First things, this place is easy to drive past if you’re not paying attention. The reason being, it doesn’t look like a restaurant. Since it used to house an architectural firm, it makes sense. So, trust your GPS or Google Maps. It really is there.
Also, I won’t make you read to the last word to find out what I think (though I hope you’ll read to the last word). Go check this place out the next time you’re looking for a great night out. As I said on Monday, it’s very well executed, the ambiance is great and you’re going to have a good time.
You can enter the restaurant from the side parking lot or the door facing Woodward. The “Woodward door” will put you near the bar and host stand, the “Parking Lot door” will put you directly in the bottle room or wine shop. We decided to sit and have a drink and look over the menu while we were waiting for our table. The choice was the zenzero bellini, and it was made quite well and perfectly balanced.
When we moved into the dining room, we were greeted by our server, Brian, and he was ready to guide us through a process of selecting a wine that would fit our needs. We sort of cheated and figured out what we wanted ahead of time, but I have no doubt that we would have ended up in the same place.
The menu is divided into 5 sections, and we were determined to try something from each of them. Our first 2 courses were the Fried Brussel Sprouts and the Brick Roll. Even if you think you hate Brussel Sprouts, I recommend you give these a try. If it makes you feel any better, it’s only the leaves, without the cores, but either way, they are awesome. If I thought I could afford it, I would almost offer to buy these for you if you hate them.
In my haste to enjoy these Brussel Sprouts, I forgot to take a picture. Also, since I was being stubborn about not using my flash, I don’t have a decent picture of the Brick Roll.
For our third course, we split Cork’s version of The Wedge. The blue cheese dressing was on the mild side (which is not a bad thing), and the bacon and pickled onion are just right. The real twist (besides the heart of romaine) is the pomegranate seeds. Brilliant.
The fourth course was the entrée course, and while it may have been prudent to choose one selection and share, we wanted to try as many things as we thought we could handle. The chef surely didn’t disappoint.
I ordered the filet medium rare and it was cooked to perfection, with a good sear on either side. The roasted vegetables (green beans, potatoes, carrots and brussel sprout cores) were just the right amount of tender and the port wine demi was an excellent compliment to the plate. Rachel’s braised rabbit with pappardelle was quite fantastic as well. And while I’m no expert, I wouldn’t be surprised if the pasta was made in-house.
For the fifth course, we tried a couple of desserts. Especially since we were having an early birthday celebration. And what’s a birthday celebration without dessert? The original plan was Banana Cardamom Pudding and something else, but the kitchen was out of the Pudding, so we had to make some other choices. Our final decision was Ice Cream Sandwiches and Bread Pudding.
I’ll leave it to you to check out the description of the Ice Cream Sandwiches, either in person or on the Cork website. Just know that it is unexpected and delightful.
So again, to recap. Please do yourself a favor and check out this restaurant. It is no more than a 30 minute drive from just about anywhere in the metro Detroit area, and probably about 45-50 minutes from Ann Arbor. You’ve driven much further for much less. Overall, an excellent experience with wonderfully prepared food and professional service. Definitely added to our list of places to go in the Metro Detroit restaurant scene.