One of the best food trends to come out of the pandemic—at least from this avid home cook’s perspective—is the rise of restaurant-markets, whether it’s chefs opening their larders to the public, or dynamic collaborations between chefs and retailers. Cork Spring Valley, which opens Wednesday, October 13, falls in the latter category. The new outpost of 14th Street’s Cork Wine Bar & Market began as a pop-up inside Pizzeria Paradiso last fall and has now carved out its own space as a permanent fixture.
The new storefront, built within a former section of Pizzeria Paradiso’s dining room, cements the collaboration between Paradiso chef/owner Ruth Gresser and Diane Gross, who operates Cork with husband Khalid Pitts. Similar to the flagship shop, a carefully curated wine selection focuses on Old World bottles, sustainable and organic producers, and estate vintages—plus some fun new sips for outdoor picnics and neighborhood patio gatherings like canned wines and plenty of rosés.
“I like to say that rosé is the red wine of summer and white wine of winter, you can drink it year-round,” says Gross.
Shoppers can grab bottles of wine to-go with their carryout Paradiso pizzas, or pick from a new Paradiso wine list revamped by Gross when dining in. Opening weekend will bring free samples of food and wine, plus deals on cases.
Of course, being a woman-run shop, you’ll also find plenty of wines and market items from female producers, global and local. Gresser says the idea of collaborating grew out of a “support group” for female hospitality entrepreneurs, dating back to the ’70s, that activated during the pandemic to help one another.
The market will also offer foods from a variety of female producers and chefs—either ready-heat or eat—such as pot pies from Ris, pastas and sauces from Centrolina’s Amy Brandwein, Sticky Fingers frozen cookie dough, Ice Cream Jubilee pints, Prescription Chicken soups, frozen seafood entrees from District Fishwife, and Ann Cashion’s oven-ready enchiladas. Once the shop is up and running, the team plans to launch regular pre-order dinner specials on weekends from women chefs around the city.
“It’s a positive outgrowth of Covid,” Gresser says of the supportive collaborations. “Thank goodness there are those.”