Since we reviewed the Village Cork last March, the kitchen there has been playing musical chefs. With only two burners and a convection oven, it's a challenging kitchen to manage, and not every chef is up to the task--especially in such tiny, public-view confines. Samir Mohammad, now executive chef at Lala's Wine Bar & Pizzeria, left the Cork in June. Pete Ryan (former executive chef of Cook Street School of Culinary Arts) took over for a few months, and then, at the end of December, Royce Oliviera accepted the top chef job. Having sampled Oliviera's menu a couple weeks ago, I hope he sticks around.
Oliviera spent five years cooking at Mizuna, plus a stint at Axios Estiatorio, and his Village Cork dishes showcase that finesse. The savory crepes, in particular, were impressive. The light, delicate pancakes were stuffed with chewy hunks of wild mushroom, tiny roasted Brussels sprouts, and crunchy walnuts, and topped with a heap of nicely nutty wild rice. This is a warm, filling dish that satisfies from both a taste and texture standpoint—even for someone like me, who almost always opts for meat when the temperature dips below freezing.
Tip: Pair the earthy crepes with a full-bodied glass of Tempranillo, a hearty red from Spain.
1300 S. Pearl St., 303-282-8399
—Image courtesy of the Village Cork