Twisted Cork: Stunning Flavors, Cozy Ambiance

Let me make your first visit to the Twisted Cork a little easier with this tip: the Tavern is to the left, and the Bistro is to the right. They’re both a part of the Twisted Cork, but they aren’t the same thing.

I hope I didn’t just confuse you.

I went to the right when I visited the Twisted Cork because I was looking for the full Bistro experience. A friend of mine had told me that this was the place to go for some really great seafood, and I managed to get my husband to accompany me by letting him know that the Twisted Cork Burger was voted the best burger in Nebraska by Food Network Magazine. Great seafood for me and a juicy burger for him; it’s the perfect date night.

Let’s start with the drink menu. Twisted Cork offers an impressive list of local brews for beer connoisseurs. My husband and our friend Todd went right to work trying a few different varieties, all of which they liked quite a bit. Owner Darrell Auld explained where each beer came from and they all had rousing discussions about the local breweries. I was too busy drinking my Breckenridge Manhattan to pay much attention to the beer situation, but I can tell you that my drink was incredibly smooth and quite potent.

After some deliberation, we all decided upon the Lahvosh cracker pizza as an appetizer. Reading the description on the menu told me that this was an appetizer that could either be amazingly wonderful or horribly wrong. When you’re messing with goat cheese, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, basil pesto and some other ingredients, you have to know what you’re doing.

Trust me when I say that the folks at Twisted Cork know what they’re doing when it comes to Lahvosh. Each bite of this appetizer was different from the one before it, and every bite was delicious. All four of us sitting at the table eagerly gobbled up our portions, and then eyed the remaining piece that was left while trying to figure out the polite way to snatch it up before anyone else got it. My husband, being the bold man he is, declared it his and savored the last portion while the rest of us mourned our loss.

Don’t expect a quick meal when you visit the Bistro side. It may be different on the Tavern side, but eating at the Bistro is an event. You don’t mind waiting for your food because you know that they’re doing spectacular things back in the kitchen. The ambiance of the Bistro is very accommodating to having a leisurely meal with friends.

Something interesting happened when our food arrived at the table and we took our first bites. Our lively discussion came to a screeching halt as we all savored our meals. This may be the first time in history when the four of us were together, yet not speaking. Our stunned silence was a testament to the food. It was so delicious that we simply didn’t want to stop eating long enough to say anything.

I had the Sockeye Salmon, which is a ginger-crusted fillet served over rice and corn. Basil oil and miso-sesame vinaigrette compliment the fish, but it’s really its best when you take a bite of all the ingredients

combined. Everything just made sense, as though these ingredients were all destined to be together from the beginning of time. Todd had the same dish I did, and at one point I looked at him and managed to grunt something about this being a fantastic meal, to which he grunted in agreement.

My husband and our friend Stacy ordered the same thing: the Twisted Cork burger. This features grass-fed beef, pork, white cheddar, and pickled red onion on a brioche roll. I witnessed a similar occurrence between Scott and Stacy after their first bites into the burgers with the grunting in agreement about how great the burger was. I took a small bite of my husband’s burger and immediately noticed how the meat wasn’t greasy, yet it wasn’t dry. This is a burger I can get behind.

For dessert we tried a cheesecake that featured a citrus-berry topping. This was a moist dessert that owner Laura Auld had crafted herself. It was a nice ending to a shockingly good meal.

Twisted Cork is a little pricy, but it’s well worth the cost. If you’re planning on visiting for dinner, I suggest you call for reservations beforehand because this restaurant does not have a great deal of seating. Oh, and be prepared for your lively conversations to come to a screeching halt once your food arrives at the table.

Twisted Cork

10730 Pacific Street, Omaha

(402) 932-1300

http://www.TwistedCorkBistro.com

Monday-Saturday

Lunch: 11:00-2:00

Dinner: 5:00-9:00

posted at 02:44 pm
on Thursday, January 31st, 2013

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