LAST NIGHT I HAD A DATE...

                March 14, 2014

THE HUNGER JAMES OFFICIAL RATING:

 

…wrapped in bacon.

 

While everyone was escaping the cold in their apartment, swaddled in blankets and binge-watching House of Cards(something I do every night), I went out to dinner.

 

This week, my friend Rachel has two friends visiting from college, Scott and Lauren (there’s your shout-out that I promised). Instead of taking them to a tourist trap somewhere in Midtown, she wanted them to experience New York as us New Yorkers do. Meaning, go to a small trendy tapas restaurant in the East Village. And that restaurant was “Cork & Fork” located on 12th and A.

 

I am a huge fan of tapas restaurants because, unlike staring at a menu for ten minutes and picking out one thing, you can stare at the menu for one minute and pick out ten things.

And that’s exactly what we did.

 

Once the bottle of wine was served, and ultimately finished within a few seconds, we started ordering a copious amount of food.

 

Rachel, Scott, and Lauren started off classy by sharing a half-dozen order of oysters – a delicacy I am far too afraid to try. After oysters, we got down to business and ordered a cheese plate, because that’s just what you do.

We had a sampling of three different cheeses: Manchego, Fromage de Meux and Pecornio. And they were all amazing. Like, seriously, amazing. The Fromage was so buttery and soft, the Pecornio had a little zing to it, and Manchego is quickly becoming my favorite cheese (sorry Cheddar).

 

After moaning with every bite of cheese we ate, we ordered another bottle of wine and six tapas to share between us. “Let’s just get a few and see how we feel. We can always order more if we are still hungry,” I said while sneaking the last piece of cheese on the plate.

 

Since we had a group of five people, we each picked out one that we wanted (needed) to try, plus a plate of patatas bravas, because, well, they are fried potatoes with mayonnaise.

Our order consisted of the Calamari Putanesca, a generous plate of calamari fried to perfection with a delicious side of putanesca sauce; the Crab Cake Singapore, which I did not have due to my shellfish allergy, but heard it was amazing; the Dates Envueltos en Tocineta, which is a date, filled with ricotta cheese and wrapped in crispy bacon; the Repolittas de Brussels which is a fancy shmancy name for brussel sprouts with pancetta. And lastly, the Croquetta de Jamon – also known as the most amazing thing you will ever eat in your entire life.

 

Everything was amazing, first of all. But the Croquetta de Jamon was the best thing ANY of us had all night. If you are not familiar, Croquetta de Jamon is ham and melted Manchego cheese rolled together and lightly fried. To steal a quote from Lauren, “It’s like a mozzarella stick with ham in it”, which is the perfect way to describe it.

 

Although we only ordered a small portion of what the menu had to offer, everything listed sounded phenomenal. This was one of the best meals I have had in New York City, and maybe, in my life (sorry, Mom).

 

I recommend you all check out Cork & Fork for your next dinner. And if you can, try going before 7 on the weekdays to partake in their excellent Happy Hour specials.

 

To read more reviews on tapas restaurants, check out Tapas Don’t Preach and Sharing is Caring.