October 6, 2014
This past Friday was the first Friday night that I did not spend at home, wearing my pajamas and ordering food on Seamless from a place called “Tacos de Mexico.” My friends and I were planning to go see “Gone Girl” on opening night – something I haven’t done since “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” came out – and I thought, if I am going to iron my pants, why not to go dinner beforehand so my outfit could actually be seen?
There is this little place in the East Village called Cork ‘n Fork and it is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I would call it a tapas restaurant, while some people just refer to it as a wine bar with a really nice bathroom.
The menu is extremely creative with many options for small, sharable plates. It is also a great spot if you are a vegetarian (which I am not anymore). The other great thing about this place is the cheese plate. Give me a glass of wine and a plate of cheese, and I am in heaven.
Since there were three of us, we decided that we each order a tapas for the table. I chose the patatas bravas (because it is essentially fried potatoes in mayonnaise). Rachel ordered the jamon de croquettes (because it is essentially fried ham with cheese) and Lacy ordered the Brussel sprouts (because she likes to ruin EVERYTHING).
We sat at our table by the window and enjoyed picking at our three tapas and drinking our red wine. Looking at my watch and seeing we still had about 45 minutes to kill before we needed to go to the movie, I suggested we order one more plate to share. We all agreed on this grilled vegetable flatbread that had asparagus, onions, olives, and red peppers on top. We placed our order and had one more glass of wine.
After about 20 minutes, my stomach started to growl and I realized we hadn’t received our flatbread. I asked the waitress what the status of it was and she said the typical waitress who forgot to ring in an order response: “It’ll be out in two minutes!”
Two minutes turned into seven minutes and now we only had about 10
minutes to gulp down our wine, inhale our flatbread and pay the check.
(Sorry for saying the word “Minutes” 19 times in that last sentence.)
When the pizza arrived, we all handed the waitress our credit cards and
shoved the pieces of the flatbread in our mouths as we chugged the
remaining cabernet in our glasses. One of my biggest pet peeves about
going out to eat is when your server is constantly checking in with you
before you order (“ready yet?”) and asking how your food is, but the
second you need to leave, they are nowhere to be found. The irony was
not lost on me when we needed to leave, our waitress was in fact a “gone
girl.” They lost a whole cheezit off their score for almost making us late.
But I do recommend you try this place down on 12th and A. Great atmosphere, great wine, and great cheese. Just make sure you are not in a rush.
THE HUNGER JAMES OFFICIAL RATING:
Now, I consider myself a cheese lover, but in reality, I know nothing about cheese. The descriptions on their cheese selection were what kind of animal milk it contains, the location it was made, and an adjective: “Sheeps milk, south of France, nutmeg aftertaste.”
Can’t they just say: “Tastes like cheddar” or “does not taste like cheddar?” That would be so much easier. Anyways, my two friends I was with consider themselves cheese experts, so I let them pick. I couldn’t tell you the names of the cheese we had, but they were all amazing. Served with olives, grapes, and a baguette, this was the perfect appetizer to our meal.