Food

100 Best Restaurants 2009: Cork

No. 50: Cork

Cuisine: A perfect rendition of a Spanish wine bar/tapas spot but with a French accent on the wine list and a Mediterranean flair on the menu. Like several other wine bars, it can be overly cautious with seasoning.

Mood: An evening at Cork, in a vintage rowhouse with a tin ceiling, sometimes feels like an old-fashioned cocktail party with the hosts pouring wine, servers passing hors d’ouevres, classic hits on the sound system—and an escalating volume. A lovely little back dining room looks into the kitchen; a sunken wine room allows for a mini-mezzanine as well.

Best for: Early nibbling; curious wine buffs; pre- or posttheater fare.

Best dishes: Grilled bread with oil-cured tomatoes and goat cheese or avocados and pistachio oil; Pernod-braised lamb shank with seasonal beans; roast chicken with prunes and preserved lemon and olives; a sort of brioche croque monsieur with fontina and prosciutto.

Insider tips: The bar staff and owners give better wine info than some of the servers. The back room is the quietest.

Service: ••

Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. Moderate.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

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