FANCY? Between the food and the ambiance, Cork & Cow ranks highly in the fancy department. The restaurant is situated in Franklin’s quaint downtown area. As you can see in the photo with the wine and cocktail, the booths are adorned in a tufted emerald green material. And the food itself lives up to its surroundings! We started with the zucchini fries, which were very lightly fried and all-around delicious. The peach crostini (smoked burrata, onion jam, peach, country ham) is an appetizer that can double as an entree, and the burger with fries did not disappoint. We would happily be back and order the exact same way.
FUN? Very. The bar area is quaint; the restaurant isn’t too loud (which comes at a premium these days); and the restaurant’s small two-story set-up is reminiscent of a Napa Valley bistro with the wine bottle chandelier and corks covering the wall. This would be a great choice for an intimate date night!
FRUGAL? Somewhat. I recommend going on a Sunday to take advantage of the half-priced wine deal. For most of the wines, this means purchasing bottles at nearly the same price you would in a wine shop. For example, the Petite Petit is about $18 before tax in a liquor store. With Cork & Cow’s half-priced deal, you can get it in the restaurant for $22– and you can cork it to take home.
The Husband Bourbon Rating: A-
Cork and Cow’s bourbon offerings are not mind blowing in terms of number, but the menu grants you a chance to get your hands on pours of several hard-to-find selections at reasonable prices, such as Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22 for $25 and Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2014 for $22. If ultra-allocated offerings get your Glencairn trembling, Cork & Cow currently offers Booker’s Rye– but it will set you back $60 per ounce. In terms of bourbon-based cocktails, I’d put this bar up against any in town. The previously offered Staggerac was a favorite among many enthusiasts, and the newly added Dillinger* is adding stiff competition. It’s boozy and spirit-forward with a smooth finish that primes you for more. Give it a try and call yourself an Uber!
*The Dillinger ($14): Bulleit 10 yr, Amaro Nonino, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Lustau Manzanilla Sherry, Angostura Bitters