It’s hard to branch out and try different wine bars other than our favorite local spot, Screwtop, but we decided to be adventurous on Valentine’s Day this year. Cork Wine Bar, near Logan Circle, serves a variety of different small dishes, cheese and charcuteries arrangements, and of course, features an extensive wine list. It is also on the Top 100 list by Washingtonian magazine, so we’d had our eye on it for awhile.
After a stressful post-work drive (next time, we will definitely metro!), we settled in at a tiny table. The wait staff was so friendly. Even though it was Valentine’s Day and we had arrived pretty late, they didn’t seem fazed or frustrated with us at all.
I’ve been feeling insecure in my wine decisions lately, so I like seeing some good flights laid out for me and ready to go. I chose a flight of Italian reds, and Chris decided on a glass of Cab Franc from the Loire Valley. We went a similar, indecisive route with the cheese selections. I told the waiter to surprise us with three of his favorites, and he brought out a nice spread! Our favorite was a beer-flavored cheese.
The pan-crisped brioche sandwich was hard to share; it was so good and disappeared quickly! The sandwich consisted of prosciutto, fontina, and a sunny-side up egg.
The mini mushroom lasagna was on the specials menu that night. Chris very kindly was on board with this choice, but I wish we had been more thrilled with how it turned out. The dish wasn’t especially flavorful.
By far, the highlight of the experience was the avocado toasts: sliced avocado, crushed pistachios, toasted pistachio oil, sea salt, and grilled bread. Such a simple concept, but the pistachio and avocado combination is a thrilling idea! I know this will be a must-order dish if we go back again. In fact, I am already planning to serve this as an appetizer next time we entertain.
It reminds me of a short blurb in Bon Appetit magazine from a while back. A chef was having people over to his home and realized at the last minute that he didn’t have an appetizer to serve them. He grabbed a loaf of country bread, grilled it, then slathered on some avocado. At the end of the night, this was the dish his guests were still talking about.
We really enjoyed Cork, and are always excited for an opportunity to check out more of this area’s Top 100 list. It was a great Valentine’s Day experience, and I think it would be a fun place to try out with a group of friends too. The avocado toasts with pistachios/pistachio oil definitely will stay in our minds for a long time!