Dinosaurs used to eat rocks when there wasn't fine fare available, and as a result they suffered tummy aches and extinction. Today's Groupon might have saved a stegosaurus with $40 worth of contemporary American cuisine and drink for $20 at Cork Restaurant in Westmont. Recruit a crew of your strongest Philly friends and ford the Delaware to hasten the digestion of succulent pizzas, flatbreads, entrees, and potent shareables so tasty they would make General Washington shed tears of cherry blossoms.
Cork's menu, which the chef spent five years perfecting, draws inspiration from a range of cultures and blends cooking traditions from around the globe. Starters include a seaworthy plate of mussels ($11) or landlubbing chicken wings. These famous finger foods come in orders of 10 or 20 ($7.50 or $14 respectively) and coated in sauces such as hellfire, hoisin barbecue, hot and honey, or eternity. Pizzas and flatbreads range from basic tomato pizza ($10) to a succulent Sae's Poke flatbread (yellowfin tuna, onion, cucumber, nori, cilantro, and wasabi cream, $14). Entrees are arranged aerodynamically by plate size and lift-to-drag ratio. The peking duck spring rolls ($9) fall under the small category, while the shrimp mac 'n' cheese ($12) is a medium dish. A 12 oz. grilled NY strip ($28) or half a roasted chicken ($16) is large enough to satisfy any appetite.
With the lights permanently dimmed to just-before-sunset mode, the restaurant is a chic urban escape with down-to-earth sensibilities. It's a classy place to gather while lightly tippling Belgian beers (click here to see the extensive list of brews). Peruse multiple micro-brews and imports on draft as well as an impressive gaggle of bottled beers. If you'd like to converse civilly with a potential arch-nemesis, select a fine red or white to sip while you suss.
- We ordered several small plate items. It’s a great way to share tastes tapas style, but the portions are substantial. Take, for instance, the BBQ short ribs, off the bone, lean, tender and flavored with an Asian-style BBQ sauce. This appetizer is served with an apple gorgonzola slaw that perfectly complements the savory-sweet flavors. The seared day boat scallops also had a unique presentation over a small mound of wasabi ginger pasta, topped with a soy beurre blanc, fusing the French and Asian traditions with a memorable flavor sensation. – Leonard McKenzie, South Jersey
- There is, however, no faulting the shredded-duck-breast pizza with caramelized onions and goat cheese, which we gobble up so fast there is hardly time to cogitate on its merits. But for the record, the lushness of the duck and sweetness of the onions are wonderfully offset by the tang of the goat cheese and the clutch of faintly bitter frisée salad with citrus vinaigrette. – Eric Levin, New Jersey Monthly
- The hellfire wings lived up to their reputation and were great if you like them extra hot. The server warned us, which was great, but we like hot food. – OpenTable user who dined on 1/24/2010