Cork Wine Café
"Well, it started as solely a wine bar," Chris explains, the sound of plates chattering together in the background. "Customers were just begging for food. I guess we were forced into the restaurant business in the best kind of way." The menu, which owners Zach and Chris Collins have taken to calling Americana-fusion, is the brainchild of chef Nate Creekmore, who gallantly fuses the dishes of his rural upbringing with hints of French, Italian, and German cuisine. As pork chops and fish sputter warmly against a grill, he stirs delicate sauces crafted from lemons, capers, and butter or vanilla beans and saffron. "We have customers come in from across the pond, say this is the best fish and chips they've had anywhere, ever," says Chris of the Guinness-battered Alaskan cod that emerge from the fryer.
The eatery’s roots as a wine bar shine through in a selection of more than 120 bottled elixirs. To house 50 wines available by the glass and keep the spry sommelier from ever aging, Cork employs a behemoth Enomatic wine–storage system imported from Florence, Italy. "It's the big guy,” says Chris. “It presses the wine with food-grade nitrogen, giving it enough pressure to pour it into your glass, keeping the wine prime for up to three weeks." Murals painted by a local artist match the rustic décor––stacked-stone walls, granite counter tops, and bartenders carved from driftwood by friendly sheriffs. It's bucolic touches such as these that helped earn Cork a glowing review in the Tulsa World newspaper.