Update: Corez will be closing 11/13/10. The restaurant was purchased by the owners of The Green Well & Bistro Bella Vita and will be re-opening in a few months.Tucked into a refurbished law office building across the street from The Green Well, Corez is easy to miss with its low-key facade. Walk in and you will find a modern restaurant with minimalist decor, open ceiling, contemporary art, and overall a very stylish ambiance. The room is divided into two sections, and the bar runs along one wall with a wooden slat ceiling arching over it. Tables and chairs fill both sections and there is a small outdoor patio out front for nice weather days. When it’s crowded, the restaurant is noisy due to lack of carpet and close proximity of tables. However, today for lunch we were alone for most of our meal.
The menu, small and innovative, changes with the seasons. One may pick from nibbles, sandwiches, pizzas, small plates, and not so small plates. We chose moules frites to start. The mound of mussels was steamed in garlic, white wine, and cream. They were excellent and the wine sauce was an exquisite complement. Hand-cut fries accompanied the mussels and did provide a nice balance. But they were too heavily salted.
Since the mussels were good, our first sandwich selection was the crispy whitefish. The server returned immediately to inform us that the whitefish delivery had not yet arrived for the day. Although this was disappointing, we were pleased by the fact that the seafood was delivered daily. The pulled chicken sandwich was ordered instead and it made a fine substitute. The sandwich arrived covered in a mustard barbecue sauce with white cheddar cheese, house made pickles, and fresh greens. The barbecue sauce blended well, enhancing the flavors rather than overwhelming them. The greens were decidedly fresh and served with a subtle dressing.
Our next dish was the honey and chili glazed pork ribs. The small ribs were beautifully presented over a carrot and raisin salad. The ribs were tender and flavorful, but this dish was not well thought out. The overall taste was too sweet, particularly when combined with the salad. We expected more heat to balance out the sweetness and the honey flavor simply overwhelmed everything. The dish is far from a failure but it needs some conceptual work before it can be considered excellent.
The servers are knowledgeable and helpful. The executive chef (Chad Miller) is also the owner of Bloom, another restaurant serving wonderfully innovative food. One of the owners (Mike Dombrowski) is the former sommelier at the Chop House and former wine buyer for Art of the Table. The bartender creates his own drinks and offers house infused spirits. The wine cellar is extensive and servers are happy to recommend pairings. Years of experience and knowledge spill over into creative, fresh, and delicious food and beverages using local and/or house made ingredients.
Our tab was around $35.00 and menus are online. This restaurant ranks among our favorites and you shouldn’t miss it.