Taste: Coming Uncorked
South Jersey’s restaurant revival is speeding down the PATCO tracks. At the Collingswood stop, you’ll find Nunzio Ristorante Rustico, from longtime Monte Carlo Living Room chef Nunzio Paturno, and an in-the-works Cuban spot from Larry Grillo, formerly of Philly’s Tierra Colombiana and Mixto. Now the Westmont station has Cork, from restaurateur Kevin Meeker, who opened the doors of his first kitchen, Philadelphia Fish & Company, in Old City 22 years ago this month.
Meeker has something in common with his fellow Jersey restaurateurs: He made his name in the city restaurant scene while living out there in the suburbs. After years of driving across the Ben Franklin, he has discovered the logic in bringing the food to the people, instead of asking the people to find parking and come to the food. He’s going for urban chic in Westmont — acid-stained concrete floors, invitingly rich burgundy and pumpkin banquettes, a table for 10 that seems to levitate on an I-beam (he borrowed that idea, Stephen Starr-style, from the New York restaurant Public) — along with an Asian-influenced American menu from former Le Me Toujours chef Jennifer Huynh. That means there’ll be vanilla-scented foie gras glazed with rice-wine vinegar and pineapple chutney, and there’ll be merlot-barbecued short ribs with cheddar grits.
>> Cork, 90 Haddon Avenue, Westmont; 856-833-9800. Lunch and dinner daily.