Located in Old North Charleston on East Montague is Cork Neighborhood Bistro. I had some Restaurant.com credits and decided to get a gift certificate and make a Friday evening trip. Cork identifies itself as one of the first sustainable restaurants in the area. The owner attempts to stay green and reuse old materials instead of going new. The website notes that they change the menu based on what is in season.
My husband suggested we make a reservation since it is a Friday night. However, when I called they explained that they only make reservations for parties of six or more. They also verified that the Spring menu available online is still being served. The staff explained that they do not come out with a new menu until Fall. When we arrived and asked for a table for two they wanted to know if we had a reservation!?! My answer: “No, your staff advised that I could not make one because I am only a party of two.” Whatever…they sat us immediately anyway at the smallest vinyl-topped table ever made.
Looking over the drink menu I really liked that they had a very well rounded drink list. My favorite idea was the “Beers of our Forefather’s” idea. You can get a bucket of 5 for $14. Beers on this list include Iron City, Schlitz 1960 formula, Little Kings Cream Ale, and some Pabst Blue Ribbon. Aawww….nostalgic. We can all go back to memory lane and remember our first time drinking cheap beer. The wine list was decent too, ranging in price from $5 house to $9 select.
I decided to start out with a petite Caesar salad ($5). My entrée was the Cognac Flambéed NY Strip Steak ($22) and for dessert The Coconut Cream Cake ($6).
My Caesar came out quick. I have to say that our waitress was on it the whole evening. If you do decide to go here, ask for Cari. However, I would stay away from the Caesar if you have even a minor dislike of anchovies. The anchovy in the dressing was so strong all I could taste was smelly fish. I was fairly turned off by the salad and it was too petite for $5. My entrée was a decent size NY strip served over arugula and pomme frites drenched in a port wine reduction sauce with roasted garlic, pecorino cheese and topped with Baby Bella mushrooms. The steak alone had a lot of fat on it. However, this was a decent size steak so cutting it away wasn’t going to leave me hungry. The taste was somewhat bland, but it was cooked to my liking at medium rare. The sauce was good so I dredged my steak through it and added forkfuls of arugula and pomme frites with every bite. I don’t know if they should list Baby Bella mushrooms as the first ingredient since there was maybe the equivalent of one sliced mushroom on my plate. Altogether, it wasn’t too bad, but I think the price was a little much for the quality of my steak. The coconut cream cake was good, but $6 was a hefty price to pay for a small slice of cake. Do you see a reoccurring theme here?
My grand total with two beers, 2 petite salads, 2 entrée, and 1 dessert: $82.12. After taking off $25 for the gift certificate and adding 18% tip: $65.74. I have to mention also that the tax on my bill was 10.5%. This included sales tax, local option (?), education tax, and a North Charleston hospitality tax. I felt like I was checking out of a hotel, not a restaurant.
I have to comment on the bathroom. It made me laugh when I remembered reading that they like to revamp the old instead of going new. I think they went wrong with the bathroom. The toilet in the women’s restroom literally moved around when you sat down. My husband said the men’s toilet was set up on some sort of box and it wouldn’t flush. They definitely aren’t putting any money back into fixing up these bathrooms in anyway. I don’t think going green means ignoring the fact that your toilet is a safety hazard.
Will I go here again? Maybe I’ll try their lunch menu for a lot less and use the bathroom somewhere else. I don’t think this place will be known for their steak dinners or be famous for their Ceasar salad.