By Daniel Paris
Andie Hubka’s Cork and Fork restaurant in La Quinta opened its doors in 2013 due to the popularity of Chef Andie’s cooking school “Cooking with Class” upon the urging of participants who enjoyed the small plates using locally available ingredients accompanied by appropriate wine pairings. The spirit of these gatherings is evident in her restaurant and a shining example of listening to and serving the local community. The menu is mostly small plates, salads, small pizzas, somewhat larger plates and a small selection of desserts.
The small plates include many interesting choices such as the butter-poached Lobster Shooters, a local Date Plate stuffed with Pt. Reyes blue cheese, garlic olive oil, and roasted almonds. I ordered the Thai Shrimp Cakes and Crispy Cauliflower. The shrimp cakes were light, packed with sweet-tasting shrimp and served on a togarashi (a spicy blend of chili powder, ginger, seaweed, orange zest, and sesame aioli). The crispy cauliflower was prepared in a light beer batter served with a sriracha aioli, and topped with a pomegranate glaze and dusted with pine nut gremolata. All of the elements in these dishes provided well-balanced, sweet and spicy layers of flavor. There are two selections of street tacos, a filet mignon and tequila lime shrimp.
Pizzas include a Margherita, the Mike with applewood smoked-bacon, wild mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs, the Nonno with smoked mozzarella, Fulvio’s Italian sausage, shallots, fresh rosemary and balsamic, and the Harvest with alfredo, smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, micro-arugula, and truffle scented honey.
Bigger plates include Grown-Up Grilled Cheese with braised short rib, aged sharp cheddar, smoky tomato jam, and truffled arugula. Zucchini Bolognese with sausage, parmesan, herbs, and burrata topped with pine nut gremolata. Also offered are Beef Sliders, Lobster BLT Sliders, Pan-Seared Salmon, and Salt Spring Island Mussels with Spanish chorizo. There is also a special vegan menu.
Andie Hubka mentors students from the La Quinta High School Culinary Program and many of them work at Cork and Fork and Hubka’s other restaurants in the valley, Heirloom Craft Kitchen and Tu Madres Cantina and Grill. Cleanliness, proper masking and distancing are a well rehearsed routine here if safety is your concern. Let us hope these family owned restaurants will maintain their momentum to future profitability and thrive once again.
47875 Caleo Bay Drive
La Quinta, CA 92253
Open every day from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Happy hour daily from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.