When we talked about a quick get away for our anniversary and decided to go up to Franklin TN. We go up to the Nashville area on a regular basis and Lori’s office is in Franklin, so we have a lot of favorites up there. We can be in Franklin in about an hour from our house (if traffic isn’t bad).
Lori had not been out to Leipers Fork before, so we started our day there. It’s a nice little area in the countryside outside of Franklin. We went several other places before heading into downtown Franklin for our dinner.
We first stopped at the Savory Spice Shop. This is an independent shop similar to Penzey’s or the Spice House. The selection was excellent and I was impressed with the store. I highly recommend a stop if you are in the area or check out their website at www.savoryspiceshop.com.
We headed to our reservation (Highly recommend Open Table Reservation) at Cork & Cow. Cork & Cow is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner and focuses on …. can you guess???? ….. steak!
The menu has a wide variety of steak, and includes a rack of lamb, pork chop and seafood entree. In talking with our waiter, they source the beef from all over the country bringing the best to the restaurant. Lori ordered the Filey Mignon which came from a ranch in Texas. I ended up ordering the chef’s special which was a Waygu New York Strip steak from Snake River Farms in Idaho. The entrees came with some pan fried potatoes. In addition, they have a number of sides including macaroni and cheese with bacon and chiles, butter beans, asparagus, sautéed greens, fries and caulk-potato cakes.
Lori ordered her filet (8 ounces) medium and replaced the lemon butter with truffle butter. I ordered mine medium rare with béarnaise sauce. As I said earlier, we ordered the macaroni and cheese and the butter beans. (Our waiter told us that the sides easily fed two – as you can see from the pictures, there was plenty!)
Besides the steaks, they have a fantastic wine list. One nice thing they do is let you taste wines you might be interested in. The list had a good section of wines by the glass. Lori ordered a glass of the A to Z Pinot Noir – a wine that we like. They had two different Coppola wines by the glass and I’ve been trying to taste the different wines they produce since they are a stop on the 2016 California Wine Country Extravaganza. The two they had were the Zinfandel Coppola’s Director Cut from Dry Creek and the Cabernet, Coppola Diamond Series Claret from Alexander Valley. I settled on the Cabernet with my steak.
The food arrived and we were hungry and ready to eat! We had to stop and wait while we got our waiter to take pictures of us.
The steaks were absolutely excellent. The kitchen staff had cooked them perfectly as we requested. The béarnaise sauce was very well prepared and complemented the steak. The macaroni and cheese was well flavored with the bacon and the chiles added a little spice, but not too much. I added just a bit of salt to go with it. The waiter told us that the butter beans cook about 12 hours and they were nice and tender without falling apart. They were well flavored with the bacon and the salt was spot on.
The celebration included the strawberry shortcake. This was a creative way to put the dessert together. They put a layer of cake in the bottom covered by some strawberry puree and strawberry ice cream. This was covered by another layer of cake and topped with vanilla bourbon whipped cream and strawberries. Everything for the dessert was made in-house including the ice cream. This was actually a fairly light dessert (at least as compared with the hunks of cow we had already eaten) and was a great way to finish. Lori also had a cup of their french press coffee and she thoroughly enjoyed the coffee.
We had not been out for a big steak dinner in quite a while (we had been to a number of nice restaurants for seafood during our vacation in Hilton Head earlier in July). This was an excellent steak dinner and well worth the hour drive up there (and I don’t like to drive far for restaurants). This is not an inexpensive restaurant, but I felt the prices were very reasonable given the quality of the meat and everything else that we had. We will definitely return. The only downside of the restaurant is that it is very loud and a bit difficult to carry on a conversation.
Cork & Cow is one of three restaurants owned by the same person – we look forward to trying the other two on another trip. (The other two are 55 South which shares a kitchen, but not kitchen staff with Cork & Cow and Red Pony Restaurant.) If you are looking for a nice getaway that isn’t far – then you need to put Nashville (and Franklin) in your plans.