Found on Woodward Avenue in the tiny hamlet of Pleasant Ridge, Cork Wine Pub is as darling as its hometown. Inside the little red brick building, customers will find modern decor, a delicious menu, and lots (and lots) of wine. Using locally sourced fruits and vegetables, cage-free eggs, hormone-free meats, and even wild foraged mushrooms and herbs, Cork's fare is inventive, unique, and ever-changing. Chef Jay Gundy often creates specials using such fine ingredients as 30-day dry aged ribeye steak as well as entire menus to complement wine tastings inside the pub.
As a wine pub, tastings are an integral part of Cork's offerings. On occasion, evenings are dedicated to a certain brand of wine and a special menu is created to go along with them, but every Tuesday evening a carefully curated selection of wines are available to taste for $10 and the wines sampled are available for purchase by the bottle.
Cork's focus on Sundays is brunch and all the accoutrements that come with it. A Bloody Mary bar is set up near the front of the restaurant, fully stocked with cheese cubes, pickled asparagus, giant olives, celery, pickles, a variety of mixers, and an assortment of hot sauces. Order the build-your-own-drink buffet and a server brings you a glass of vodka — the rest is up to you.
For brunch fare, things are decidedly light at Cork, so if you're looking to tank up after a rough night out, this is not the place. But, if you're looking for something a little more (OK, a lot more) sophisticated than your neighborhood Coney Island, Cork is the way to go. The menu includes both savory and sweet items as well as vegan options, so there's a little something for everyone.
Cork easily accommodates large parties — we've been there with around 20 people and found the service to be quite good and while we did wait a while for our food to arrive, it didn't seem anything less than appropriate, given the size of our table during peak brunch hours — but its forte is most definitely smaller gatherings. Bring along a couple friends or perhaps just one date and you'll get a stellar experience. Because their menu is devised of small plates as well as full-sized entrees, it's a great place to bring people you don't mind sharing with.
The only disappointment we can find with Cork is that it doesn't open for lunch. Monday through Saturday, the pub open at 4 p.m. for happy hour and dinner.