Cork Food & Drink Is a–Movin’ On Up!

Contributor Articles
2017
November/December

Guess what!  Cork Food & Drink has a new home.  It’s the new and improved “Cork Screw” as the employees call it.  We’ve got the same great staff and concept with a new location at 109 East Grande Blvd, Tyler, 75703.  You can’t miss it.  It’s a new building (two yrs old) that towers about Grande with strings of white lights that outline the structure and roof.  There are three easy ways to enter 1) the first driveway East past the corner of Broadway and East Grande Blvd., 2) turn East off Broadway on to Barbee Rd. or 3) the first traffic light East of Broadway on Grande at Sutherland Rd. to Barbee Rd. on the right.  There is plenty of parking behind the restaurant and extra parking across the street at Life Church when services are not in session.  No more fighting the movie theater crowd for parking, as in days past.  The restaurant is open Tuesday—Saturday, 4:00 p.m.—midnight (or later).

The new facility is a little larger than the previous location with an excellent view of Tyler nights through six large windows overlooking Grande Blvd.   The interior of exposed brick walls, open ceilings, and cozy lighting provides a retro look to the casual atmosphere.  The paintings throughout are from local artists, and all of the flowers and food are local farm to table fresh.  Jon and Ace are still at the helm and have plans for adding a large outside front patio for dining, a fresh organic herb garden in back and a family friendly casual patio for yard games and outdoor fun that is also pet-friendly.  While the future expansions are exciting, currently, things are a-hoppin’ at Cork.

Jon Florendo & Ace Estrella are providing enjoyable modern Euro-Asian food from their famous Shrimp Mescal and Lamb Chops to market-fresh Shushi and seafood.  In Cork Food & Drink, these two creative fellas have sustained a unique casual-dining and social media-friendly restaurant with an extensive wine list priced $22.00 to $100.00 per bottle and the average being a very affordable $32.00;  live music Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights; hand crafted cocktails for $9.00 to $12.00 and domestic & craft beers, as well as a fabulous dining experience.  Happy hour is Tuesday thru Saturday, 4:00—6:00 p.m. with $2.00 off all wine, beer, and appetizers.

Coming soon is Brunch Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. ) and Sunday (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ).  Brunch specialties include:  chicken & waffles, French toast, eggs benedict, farmers veggie hash, omelets, and country fried steak.  Happy Day!  The “Man” will be a regular in the house.  Another new addition, started in November, is lunch offered Tuesday—Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., serving fresh, healthy specialties as well as the regular menu.  If that’s not enough, Chef Kyna Clendenin will be preparing “Healthy Meals to Go.”  Order and pay on the website (www.corktyler.com) and pickup Tuesday—Friday after 5:00 p.m.  Is there no end to the innovation at this place!!

So, ya see, these folks love food and drinks and love having fun and enjoyable dining experiences with their playful and inventive craft cocktails, fine wine flight tastings with shareable snacks or “family style” full plates.  What sets Cork Food & Drink apart is their specializing in small plates, tapas and appetizers featuring local organic ingredients from such local vendors as J. Scott Herod’s “Cut Beef” naturally grass-fed and grain finished beef from his Ranch in Chapel Hill; Jonathan and Michelle Ramm’s “Porch Culture Coffee” from farms in the Dominican Republic and fresh roasted in Tyler, and several other local providers of herbs and spices, flowers and chicken.

Our group included several local vendors and friends of the restaurant.  Jon and Ace provided a special “Man About Town” four-course menu, which included a number of house appetizers, plus grass-fed meat balls, beef sliders, and ribeye from “Cut Beef”, and “Porch Culture Coffee” dessert-bites.  Too, too good!  Emmie Emerson, our server, kept the food and drinks a-comin’ and never missed a step all evening.  Jon was the glue that held the group together.

The highlight for the “Man” was being served at the bar two of the best craft cocktails created by Meredith Krause and Tyler Innerarity.  First, was the classic hand crafted “Old Fashion.”  It was to die for.  Then came the House specialty “Fire & Ice” served with great flare and drama and flamed Rosemary Finale.

Throughout the evening the live music was provided by “The Good Vibes” band with vocalist Natalie Rose, with their signature light jazz for what Cork calls “Wine Down Wednesday” serving ½ price for all bottles of wine.

This was an especially fun and enjoyable event for the “Man.”  The food, drinks, and people were delightful.  It seemed that the entire restaurant was part of our party.  The big surprise was when our dear friend, Bernard Gautier, owner of Bernard Mediterranean Bar and Grill, made a cameo appearance and shared a drink.

We partied down so much that it was time to ease on out and “taker on home,” which is what we did very carefully.

So, if you’re out and about, look for us, we’ll be about town.

 

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