A lovely glass of wine, a delicious dinner shared, an evening of stirring string music from Arianna String Quartet. This is the evening that awaits when you pair Cork Wine Bar and The Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Situated a hop, skip and a jump away from The Touhill, Cork Wine Bar is a cozy, warm destination. The pendant lights shed a golden glow over the room, and the dark wood hugs guests into the booths. It's a place that strikes just the right chord.

Upon finding a seat, a binder is presented at the table that contain's Cork's beautifully organized wine list. The day's specials are the first entries, followed by wines that are grouped not simply by color but also by body. To go with dinner, the Fourteen Hands Cabernet Sauvignon proved a perfect call.

The dinner menu is varied, and the dishes are meant to be shared, which is perfect for pre-theater dining. At first glance, the short ribs simply sang out to be ordered. Beautifully braised and fork tender, the meat's juices mingled and married with the creamy polenta. Sweet and savory, this hearty plate satisfies.

Of course, it's always nice to have a vegetable side dish to round out your entree. Try the bacon hash. It's loaded with red potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. The farm-fresh fried eggs on top serve to bind everything together. It's a decadent and divine indulgence and a perfect prelude to an evening of Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

THE DINNER

Cork Wine Bar, 423 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson, 314.521.WINE, corkwinebarstl.com

THE SHOW

Arianna Quartet: ASQ Plus Two, Oct. 28, 2011, Touhill Performing Arts Center, One University Blvd., University of Missouri-St. Louis, touhill.org


Amy Burdge writes Eat It, St. Louis!, a blog dedicated to the pure love of food, the artistry and passion of those who create it and the sheer experience it provides.

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