A "foodie" is a person who enjoys new eating experiences rather than seeking to fill one's stomach simply out of hunger. Taking this generic definition one step further, a foodie takes in a meal with all of the senses, having an expectation for a highly palatable, epicurean adventure.
Prescott Valley's Cork and Cuisine embodies the foodie spirit and, besides its delicious menu, offers the feeling of stepping into a cozy dining room filled with friends. The new restaurant sits within the entertainment district and features a warm ambience and an open kitchen.
"I wanted to create a place to eat where people don't feel like they are going out to dinner," owner Sherri Cook said. "I want it to feel like you are coming to someone's home, to be relaxed and not worried about a quick turnover."
Patrons are encouraged to talk with the staff, eat, ask questions, sample food and enjoy an experience like no other. In addition, the chef will accommodate those with food allergies or special diets.
Cook opened the restaurant this past month without any fanfare because she is waiting for some last minute touches such as menu covers and mural handiwork by a local artist. Cook has lived in Prescott Valley for three years and brings a strong business background to her work.
"I've always dreamed of opening this type of quality restaurant," she said.
She persuaded five-star chef John Frazier to work for her; his extensive culinary background consists of work in Colorado and Arizona resorts to include the Scottsdale Princess and the Phoenician.
"The dishes," Frazier explained, "are about capturing the essence of the seasons."
The freshest, regional ingredients go into every recipe. Each month Frazier changes the menu but because of popular demand, the fluffy, German-style fresh pretzel bread may remain as a keeper as well as the accompanying fondue that features unique cheeses blended with a selected microbrew.
"He takes what we know as regular, home comfort food and completely elevates them," Cook said regarding Frazier's style. "It's food that people are familiar with but on a higher level."
Nothing is pre-made, and due to the extensive prep work involved with the menus, the restaurant closes on Sundays and Mondays.
"Everything is from scratch, the breads, desserts, butters, and even the condiments," she said.
The well-appointed bar and dining-friendly tables encourage conversation and that's just the way Cook wants her restaurant.
"This is a place where people meet and everyone is talking to each other," she said.
Since Cook's focus is to support local vendors, she utilizes native wineries and the nearby Granite Mountain Brewing microbrew facility. Cork and Cuisine features a different winery, as well as three new beers, each month. The dining experience is about featuring a small selection of wine that complements the cuisine.
"Our emphasis is to pair the wine with the food," Cook said.
On Friday and Saturday nights, by reservation only, patrons may sit at the chef's table for a three-course food and wine-paring event. When making the reservation, those with aversions or allergies may request certain items not be part of the course.
The restaurant is open for lunch on Saturdays.
Reservations are encouraged, especially for parties larger than six or more.
Wine tastings take place between 2 and 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Beer tastings are 2-4 p.m. the third Saturday.
Cork and Cuisine is at 2985 N. Center Court, #B.
Hours are: closed Sunday and Monday; Tuesday through Thursday 2-10 p.m.; Friday 2-11 p.m.; and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Phone is 928-237-1510.