If you have been following my blog even just a little bit, you should know that my favorite restaurant is Cork in Westmont. It’s also Heather and Aaron’s favorite restaurant. We go there regularly and usually dine there during special occasions like birthdays and holidays. They’ve recently put out an exciting, new menu with cool new things like homemade potato chips, fried pickles, shrimp and grits, and lots more. One particular item that caught our attention was the Sunday Family Style Pig Roast for $15.00 per person. We love us some pig and a pig roast sounded awesome.
The Sunday Pig Roast is a once a month event and Cork had the first one tonight (7/19). Reservations are required. Heather and Aaron were there for cocktails last week and decided to go ahead and make reservations for the three of us. Fortunately we were one of the last ones to get in on the deal as the pig roast had sold out. Boy, were we lucky…
A big pig roaster was placed in the parking lot only steps from the front door. Chef An roasts the pig out front, filling the air with the sweet aroma of spices and pork. When it’s done, it’s transferred to a table in the restaurant where it is carved to order. In addition to the pork, the meal includes a side green vegetable and grilled half ears of corn. Since it’s a family style, each item is served in it’s own deep plate and we serve it to ourselves. It’s all you can eat so there’s no problem with asking for more.
The really cool thing is that Chef An carves your portion of the pig himself. He fills the plate with pieces from various parts of the pig so that you can get a good variety of the types of pork that come from the pig. We all had to control ourselves from “pigging out”. Chef An came over to the table with our second helping of pork and explained that the pig is brined overnight and then the brine is injected into the pig in various areas. It’s then slow roasted in the pig roaster which accounts for both the rich flavor and the juicy-ness of the meat. He even gave us some of the crunchy skin to munch on.
The first set of greens was a beautiful bowl of crispy snow peas in a light buttery sauce. This was served with half-ears of corn that were grilled to perfection. The corn was delicious and the absence of seasonings allowed the sweetness of the corn and the smokiness of the grilling to shine through. In fact, we loved the corn so much that we just had to ask for seconds. The second set of greens was a bowl of grilled watercress. Yes, I said watercress. Lightly seasoned and perfectly wilted, it had a wonderfully earthy taste without the bitterness that other greens sometimes have. We were delighted.
Cork offers a broad selection of modestly priced beers and cocktails. Aaron opted for one of his favorite Belgian beers, Chimay Cinq Cent, while Heather and I went for the Watermelon Mojitos. The Chimay has a dark gold color with some nice yeast haziness producing a good, fluffy white head and complex aromas. The addition of watermelon to the mojito is perfect for the summer creating a cool and refreshing drink that reminded me of warm breezes and picnics.
We love Cork. I know it sounds like we own stock in Cork or something like that, but we rarely have a problem with anything we’ve gotten there. We once had a hoisin duck flatbread that was over sauced and the second time we had the pork belly it was way too fatty but these issues were taken care of as soon as we made our server aware of them. By my calculations, that’s a 98% or better hit rate and who can argue with that?
If you haven’t been to Cork yet, get your butt over there and check out the new menu. Or better yet, come and try out their Farm To Fork Menu which is being offered now through July 25th. Farm To Fork is a SJ’s Hot Chefs event where various SJ restaurants team up with various SJ farms to create fresh menu items using fresh SJ produce. Cork’s Farm To Fork menu includes dishes like a fresh Jersey tomato tart with herbed goat cheese mousse and oven dried tomato crust appetizer and a grilled pound cake soaked in Grand Marnier with fresh strawberries, strawberry sorbet, and vanilla ice cream desert. Four courses for $35. What a deal! And don’t forget about the next Sunday Pig Roast which will be held sometime towards the end of August. This pig roast sold out so get your reservations in early or you might miss out on the best pig roast in South Jersey. You can bet we’ll be there.
Cork Restaurant is located at 90 Haddon Avenue, Westmont, NJ. For reservations, call them at 856-833-9800 or visit opentable.com.