Blank

Cork Restaurant

 90 Haddon Ave
Westmont, NJ
 

At these prices, better service is expected

I went to Cork for the first time with a date, choosing this venue because it offered live jazz, and based on the recommendation of an acquaintance who raved about the food. The jazz trio—Brian something or other—was about what you’d expect for a Saturday night dinner offering: enjoyable, but nothing spectacular (ditching the rhythm guitar for a keyboard would improve the sound), but with few other options for jazz in SJ this venue is a welcome addition. My date and I SPLIT an appetizer, salad, entree, and the cheapest bottle of wine offered between us, and had one other cocktail each. With tax and an approximate 15% tip I dropped over $90. All things are relative, but for that kind of money I would have expected another salad and entree, or maybe another round of drinks, or maybe coffee and dessert for each—but no, that was pretty much the bear bones cost to spend a few hours at dinner there. Now, I have no complaints with anything I tasted (cold asparagus, crab, and miso soup-$6; BLT salad -$6.50; soft-shelled crab entree special-$27; and a bottle of Argentinian Chardonnay-$23) other than the price… which I considered about 35% over what would have been reasonable for the portion size. The food was fairly tasty, depending on your tastes (I liked everything, my date didn’t care for the soup and thought everything else was “OK”.) But, you ask, maybe the ambiance and service were worth the price? Sadly, no. It’s a nice comfortable place; again, nothing to complain about but nothing to rave about either. I was disappointed with the service, however. The waitress wasn’t overly taxed with customers and was eventually responsive to our requests, but she just didn’t seem timely about anything. After we had settled the main tab, she was never seen again when we decided to have an additional cocktail while we listened to the combo’s last set. I signaled another waitress looking for help, who looked me straight in the eye from a table away and then blew me off—until I finally had to call the hostess over 8-10 minutes later. Maybe I’m too impatient? Maybe. However, I tend to think when you’re paying these kind of prices you almost ought to have a personal slave hovering nearby waiting for your every beck and call. :) That’s definitely not the case at Cork. Service is mediocre, at best. Just like the decor. Just like the food/drink value (price vs portion size). Just like the calibre of entertainment. The only thing extraordinary is the pricing—I would have been a reasonable satisfied customer if our evening had run $65-$70 for everything (tax and 15% tip included), but $90 was just over the top. If I go back to Cork, which I might since there are such limited jazz choices available, it’ll probably be to sit at the small bar and try one of the beers on tap they are reknown for. And then, I’ll nurse it for as long as I can because it’s unlikely I’ll ever subject myself to their food prices and service again.

Soft-shelled crab (Special of the Day)

Two, flavorful, but very small crabs presented on a plate of garnish. This would have been a wonderful dish if it had included a starch and vegetable—or even one of the offered salads—for about $18-$20. But for the bare bones offered, $27 was just ridiculous. I expected much more for the price.

See all reviews

Log in to your Menuism account to leave a comment.

See all latest comments

I Dine In: