Restaurant recommends: Cup 'N' Cork

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cup 'N' Cork was built for conversation. On a good day, the outside tables are perfect for people watching. On a cold day, the warm brick-and-wood interior and a selection from the wall of wine can make you forget the chill outside. It exemplifies that small cafe where you sit with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and contemplate the day -- or the menu, as the case may have it. Here, co-owner Kim Robinson suggests a few of her favorite choices.

The drink

Freshly ground coffee: Behind the counter at Cup 'N' Cork, bins of coffee beans stretch almost to the ceiling. There are 15 different roasts from very dark, such as Earth and Sky, to light roasts and flavored varieties like Highlander Grogg. They don't grind it until you order it, then they brew a cup just for you.

Appetizer

Uno Platter: Because half the cafe's name is devoted to wine, Robinson's favorite appetizer is made to complement any vino chosen from the selection of wines. The platter has two types of imported Italian salamis, smoked guoda and a sharp English cheddar cheeses, seasonal and dried fruit, an olive tapenade and crackers.

Entree

Chicken on the Green: All white-meat chicken salad -- made using Robinson's original recipe -- gets dropped on a bed of romaine lettuce with juicy red grapes and baked pita chips.

Dessert

Hershey Cobbler: Hershey's chocolate blended with what Robinson calls "a rich, decadent brownie batter" then topped with fresh whipped cream and a drizzle of mocha sauce. They heat it up, you eat it.

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