It may not feel like lakefront dining weather, but this week the 14850 Dining Report is on the Ithaca Waterfront, on West Buffalo Street at Corks & More. On the Cayuga Lake Inlet in the building you may remember as Buffalo Street BBQ, Bistro Q, or even Oldport Harbor, Corks & More is a wine lounge and tapas bar with a twist — they use self-serve wine dispensers that let you pour yourself a glass, a half glass, or a small taste of any of dozens of red and white wines.
Walk in the door and you can put credit on a wine card that works as a debit card in the “WineStation” dispensers. Insert the card in one of the machines and it will tell you how much money you have left, and the price of each of the wines it offers. Hold a glass under the spout and press the right button, and your wine pours itself.
Some of the wines are quite affordable, starting at two bucks and change for a half glass. Some are pricey but worth it, like the Standing Stone Vidal Ice dessert wine from Seneca Lake at eight bucks a half glass. And some like the Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley are pricey enough, around thirty bucks a glass, that you might merely splurge on a taste. Once.
It’s a good mix of different varieties of wines to suit different tastes, including an excellent representation of Finger Lakes wines, and the Corks & More staff will help guide you to wines you might like. There’s also a full bar, and the kitchen offers a nice variety of affordable dishes to share as tapas or as a light meal.
There’s a different flatbread each day, such as the garlic and three-cheese one we had recently. Butternut squash risotto is just five bucks, and for three dollars more, they’ll top it with tangy pulled pork. Cheese plates feature cheeses from Central New York and around the world. There’s pork tenderloin, salmon, and sirloin steak. The desserts, like the tapas portions, are on the small side, best for sampling. And Corks & More says they use local ingredients as much as possible.
We’re looking forward to getting back out on their waterfront deck, but right now the comfy chair by the fireplace is feeling pretty good. Corks & More is set back at 708 West Buffalo Street. Find them at corksandmore.com or call 607-319-4172 and tell them you heard about them here.