The Cornstore Wine Bar and Grill in Cork


Walked into the Cornstore last evening for another €25.00 Dine-in-Cork meal and was surprised to see the Cornmarket Street venue two thirds full at 6.45pm. Surprising because it was in the middle of a recession, early in the week, early in the evening, and also considering that the famous old street is under re-construction at present and you have to find your way through the various safety barriers.

One of the staff said the Dine in Cork Week was proving successful but there must be more than that to it. We had passed another participating restaurant and it looked close to empty. The Cornstore has been gradually making its reputation and has come up regularly on the grapevine in recent times. In addition, it has won a couple of regional awards and is going for national honours in the current Restaurant Association of Ireland contest.

We were about to find out what the fuss was all about. We got a warm welcome and were soon seated. My Gravlax starter (home cured organic Donegal salmon with capers and a red onion salad) was excellent. The Duck Liver Pate (with an apple and grape chutney and toasted sourdough bread) was of a high standard.
For the mains, I chose the Pork belly (with creamy mash, roast root vegetables with an apple purée and cider jus) and this was another five star plateful. There was a change to one or two items on the menu, including the cod. This was now served in a white bean (with tasty bacon bits and spring onion) cassoulet, quite a creamy one. Not quite on the same standard as the Pork belly but good nonetheless.

Sticky Toffee pudding wasn't on the advertised menu but it was one of the best I’ve come across and the other dessert, much lighter, was a delightful lemon posset with a rhubarb compote, served in its own hinged jar. Nice touch, nice dessert.

Two happy customers finished off with the coffee and a little bar of Milka chocolate, adding the Cornstore to an ever expanding list of quality Cork restaurants. No shortage of staff and the service was excellent all through and we had a laugh or two with our friendly waitress.

The Cornstore probably has the longest list of wine available by the glass in Cork. I counted eleven in the red section. Tasted a few. The house white was the Chilean Los Tilos Sauvignon Blanc (€4.95). The first citrusy mouthful really got your attention: sharp tangy and dry. The house red was Los Tilos Cabernet Sauvignon, a lively easy drinking wine also at €4.95.

If you are going to pay a bit more attention to the wine, maybe less to the conversation, then it would be worthwhile to pay a little extra. I enjoyed a glass of Spanish Bodega Muriel Tempranillo Rioja (€5.95) which was a better drink on all counts: deep red, fruity, great body and lingered well.

Check out my review of The Cornstore Wine Bar and Grill - I am cork - on Qype