With a busy weekend ahead and a rather empty fridge, the hubby and I decided to take ourselves out for a nice dinner. Which is how we found ourselves at Cork and Crust on a Thursday, well after the dinner crowd had thinned out.
We were seated promptly and our drink orders taken immediately. Despite the relatively few patrons, there was enough ambient noise and music that it was hard to hear across the broad booth. In addition to booths, the restaurant offered both bar and tabletop seating. The beige and tan walls were relatively bare, the only artwork was a large Cork and Crust banner. I scooted back into my seat as I surveyed the menu and received a bit of a jolt as the whole bench moved. Word to the wise, the booth seats are not attached to the floor!
Our server was patient as we dithered about our order, offering helpful recommendations in response to our questions. In the end, we let her recommendations settle our debate and opted to split the Sausage Rigatoni and a 14″ Nonnas pizza.
Our food came up surprisingly quickly–less than 15 minutes for a pizza! Which was wonderful because we were both starving. Smaller plates, placed on the table when we arrived, made it easy to share the dishes.
The pizza was piping hot, with just enough grease to have a slight sheen. The thin, crispy crust held up well (no ungraceful flopping about here). The tomatoes were bright and the onion added a lovely sweetness. The cheese was lightly applied but noticeable. And the adorably named peppedew peppers (go ahead, try and say that without smiling and/or making pew-pew noises) added the barest hint of spice. Chunks of house-made sausage rounded out the toppings and I was delighted with how harmoniously they blended. In one bite I was marveling at the tomatoes, in the next, the onion was the star.
The rigatoni arrived in a gigantic bowl, one easily larger than my head. The creamy sauce coated the noodles evenly and the thick slices of the house-made sausage built in spiciness as you chewed. Thick cut bacon added a chewy, delicious counterpoint and the peppers and onions were fresh and sweet.
We were impressed by the quality of the food and the friendliness of the service. The laid back vibe hits the sweet spot of fancy enough for a night out to feel like an escape but not so fancy that you have to worry about a dress code. Whether you are looking for a relaxing meal out or just some great pizza, I suggest you check it out. We’ve already been back and have plans to go again soon.
Total for the meal: $31.73 (includes one 14″ pizza, one pasta dish, and one soft drink)