Cork & Fork

Last night I was invited to a media preview of Cork & Fork, opening Saturday at 14th and Church. I have to say, I wasn’t really expecting much (so close to and similar to Cork Market), but I left really impressed. The store will have wines from the old world and new, as well as a pretty impressive selection of craft beers (they will be the only DC store to carry a beer crafted by Ferrian Adria of El Bulli). They will offer some cheeses, breads, snacks (and soon organic, local eggs). Ani told me that the “fork” really comes in the classes and events they do.

What really impressed me is the Landragin’s passion for food and wine. The store is owned by a mother, father, and daughter who all really care about the quality and integrity of food and wine. I listened as the mother, Anna, told me how she learned to cook and how her philosophy on food evolved. We talked about the importance of seasonal, high quality ingredients. We talked about peasant cooking. She was a pleasure. The Landragin’s were open, warm, and highly knowledgeable. I can tell they bring that level of attention to their wine and food selections.

The store will open on Saturday and they already have a pretty full calendar of events for May. Check back in on their website for more details. And thanks so much to the Landragins for having me!

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Cork Market

It’s open!

I stopped by Cork Market after work today, leaving pretty impressed. They have wine of course: organized along the wall from white to red going from Austria to Spain (alphabetically I assume?) with New World in the middle of the store. There are also prepared foods, cheeses, meats, bread, crackers, Cork pastas, other assorted gourmet foods (truffle butter anyone?), gelato, Copper Pot sauces (your friend Stefano from 14th and U’s market), and many more. ReadySetDC has photos of the inside.

There were definitely different price points offered: more moderate-priced wines ($10 to $20) along with more pricey (the most expensive I saw was $95). Now there are definitely more wines at the higher price points, but I was glad to see the more affordable stuff. Same with the food, some of the food was on the pricier side, yet I left with a large container of egg salad with goat cheese, bacon, and chives for $4.50 and a decent amount of chorizo for $7. What I had was good, the egg salad was very good, and after having two pretty large servings of it, I have half left.

Cork Market seems to be starting an interesting practice that some will probably find annoying: they take your name and phone number when they ring you up. The reason, they say, is so they can keep track of what you buy: say you can’t remember that amazing merlot you had – they have a record of it. Seems smart, but I can see how many people would dislike it.

First impressions were good: high quality, nice variety of goods, decent selection of wine.

Readers: if you’ve been in, what did you think?

Finally, Uncle Brutha's!

Finally, Uncle Brutha's!

I had noticed that Ben’s Next Door served my favorite hot sauce, by Uncle Brutha’s, which immediately earned the restaurant credibility in my book. However, when I recently ran out of my supply, I beleaguered the fact that I couldn’t find another hot sauce that stood up to it, and was having trouble locating the stuff since their store closed at Eastern Market. Then I saw PoP’s post on Uncle Brutha’s, saying they’d opened a temporary store in Adams Morgan. Great! However, I walked over there and it turns out the temporary store has closed. Sizing up my options and considering buying on the Internet, I saw that Uncle Brutha’s website had been updated to tell me that Next Door not only serves their hot sauce, they sell it as well.

Score!

I went in after work today, to stock up on my Uncle Brutha’s. I don’t think anyone else had come in to buy it, but they were helpful and courteous as they got the sauce and wrung me up. So hot sauce fiends, here’s a tip: buy your Uncle Brutha’s at Next Door.