One of the groups I volunteer with gave me a gift card to Cork and Crust for Christmas. Lori has been wanting to try that restaurant so it the gift card did not last too long before we headed to Cork and Crust.
If you aren’t familiar with Cork and Crust, it is a new restaurant in Madison on County Line Road at the Publix Shopping Center. They describe their mission as introducing a world-class eclectic wine list and hand crafted cocktails next to quality house made cuisine. The menu is overwhelmingly Italian with the pizza taking center stage. While we didn’t try the other entrée options (at least on this trip), the pizza was certainly worth the trip.
Eric is an International Sommelier Guild Certified Sommelier and has definitely put together an “eclectic” wine list. While I didn’t recognize the particular wineries, all of the “normal” varietals and blends were represented. It’s nice seeing a wine list that isn’t just the same old thing. The other GREAT thing about this wine list is that EVERY wine is available by the glass or bottle. The downside of this kind of wine list is that you may not know exactly what you would like. Such was the case for me…..
Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable on the wine list and it was obvious the staff has been well-trained. After asking a number of questions, our waiter asked if I would like a taste of the one I was thinking of ordering. Thinking that was a great idea, I said sure! I’m glad I did – I didn’t really like that particular wine. (It wasn’t a bad wine, in fact it was very good – just one I didn’t care for…) After describing what I didn’t like and what I was looking for, he immediately picked two others and brought me a taste of those. These were both ones I liked a lot, so I picked one and ordered a glass. Since everything was by the glass, Lori ordered a different wine since we often have varying tastes and it is always a challenge for us to order a bottle (besides a bottle being a bit much for 2 people….).
With that set, we moved on to the menu. We knew the main event was going to be pizza tonight, it was just what were we going to have on it. We ended up going with the “Build Your Own” and selected the Red Base, Italian Cheese Blend, House Made Sausage, Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms and Spinach. I was very intrigued by one of the Small Plates/Appetizers – Arancinis. This is something that I see rarely on restaurant menus here in the states, so we decided we would start with an order of them. If you don’t know what Arancini is, it is a rice ball (often risotto) generally with a piece of cheese in the middle breaded and fried. This happened to be served with a Romesco Sauce and a Basil Vinaigrette. It had a nice bit of greens on the side.
The Arancini certainly did not disappoint – if you’ve never tried these little gems, you need to be sure and order them.
After we finished the appetizer, the pizza came. The crust was nice and thin (the way I like it) and was very well cooked with just the slightest char around the edges. The pizza held up well and wasn’t one of those you really had to fold over to eat. The sausage was very tasty and went well with the other toppings. I can tell you that it is going to be hard to go back to the Cork and Crust and try the other entrees because the pizza was just so darn good!
Here are Lori’s comments about it:
CC and I went to Cork and Crust for an early dinner on Friday night. We arrived to a packed out restaurant that opened at 4 PM. We gave our name and decided to wait for the 45 minutes to try out this new Wine Bar and Pizza concept. We started out with a delicious risotto ball that was cheesy and very traditional Italian dish. We ordered a build your own 14 in pizza. We had the red sauce, homemade Italian sausage, spinach and roasted garlic pizza on a thin crust. Every bite was scrumptious and full of flavor. They have a very eclectic wine list. I had a Napa Heron Merlot that was a wonderful pairing with the pizza. I will definitely go back and try some of their entrées next time and start with a booked reservation.
One note – we arrived at 5:20 on a Friday afternoon thinking we were early – we were wrong. The place was already packed! We ended up waiting about 45 minutes – the do take reservations, so I would suggest that you make them! Also, when the restaurant was full, it was quite noisy.
Wine: Lori ended up having the Heron Merlot (Napa-$10/Glass) and I ended up with the Flaco Tempranillo (Spain-$9/glass). The Arancinis were $8 and the 14” Build Your Own Pizza was $16. Our total bill before tip for everything was right at $47. The price is very reasonable – especially considering the quality of the food.
Location: 12120 County Line Road, Madison AL
Hours: Monday through Saturday 4:00PM until close (Although I hear from a reliable source that they will be expanding into lunch and brunch sometime in the future…..)
As we like to say, the Cork and Crust gets a “Come Back” and I would highly recommend visiting.