Cork & Catch

Kenneth Sitjar

6/17/20232 min read

This review was originally published on Yelp.

Rating: 5/5

During our two-week stay in Cottonwood, I was determined to find a local restaurant that stood out among the rest. After extensive research on Yelp, I stumbled upon Cork & Catch—an establishment that garnered glowing reviews and showcased impressive photos. The added bonus was its affordable pricing, as indicated by the two-dollar sign rating ($$). However, upon visiting, I discovered that the pricing didn't quite match the reality.

Navigating through Cottonwood's streets, we eventually found Cork & Catch tucked away on a quiet side street off Main Street. It truly was a hidden gem. As we stepped inside, I couldn't help but notice the intimate and cozy atmosphere, despite the slightly louder music playing. The restaurant exuded charm, and the friendly host doubled as our server. The kids' menu offered reasonably priced meals at $8.00, so we ordered chicken strips with fries and pasta Alfredo for them.

The menu boasted recommended pairings for each dish, and their wine selection was impressive. My wife opted for a pomegranate margarita and thoroughly enjoyed it. She cautioned that the cocktail was dangerously delicious, as it was easy to overindulge without even realizing it. We decided to start with appetizers for the table—fried artichoke hearts for us and garlic cheese bread for the children. The cheese bread had a delightful sauce beneath the cheese, which I found particularly appetizing. The kids wasted no time in finishing it. The fried artichoke hearts were delicious, with a well-seasoned breading that allowed the artichoke flavor to shine through. Additionally, we were pleasantly surprised with complimentary yeast rolls and butter that were light and fluffy.

My wife and I also ordered clam chowder as our starter. Being natives of Baltimore and having lived in Florida for our entire adult lives, we were accustomed to New England-style clam chowder. The version we received at Cork & Catch had a slightly sweet twist. Whether it was a regional spin or a personal take on the dish remained uncertain. However, despite the differences, we still enjoyed it and finished every last spoonful.

Moving on to the main course, the children's meals arrived, and they had no complaints. Curious, I couldn't resist tasting their dishes, and I must admit, I would have been perfectly content ordering their meals for myself. As for our orders, we chose the Captain's Catch—a delightful combination of grilled prawns, calamari strips, and breaded tilapia served with cilantro lime cocktail sauce and house tartar sauce. We also indulged in the Bayou Sea Scallops and Prawns—seared scallops and prawns in a sweet bourbon ginger glaze. Both dishes were accompanied by a side of vegetables and roasted herb potatoes.

I cannot emphasize enough how impressed we were with the generous portion sizes and mouthwatering flavors. The only regret I had was filling up on the appetizers, although the leftovers made for a delicious lunch the following day after reheating them in the air fryer. Our server kindly inquired about our interest in dessert, and before I could decline, my wife eagerly accepted the offer of crème brulee. In addition to the crème brulee, we ordered a banana split ice cream cake for the kids to share. The server assured us that it was more than enough for the three of them, and he was absolutely right. I attempted to assist the kids in finishing it, but we simply couldn't conquer the sizable treat.

When the bill arrived, we experienced a bit of sticker shock despite knowing the prices beforehand. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that the meals were worth every penny. Our dining experience at Cork & Catch was a delightful surprise tucked away in Cottonwood, AZ. I wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant to any passersby, but I do suggest updating the pricing information on Yelp to ensure that future patrons can fully appreciate all the wonders this establishment has to offer without any unexpected surprises.