Photos by Justin Fox Burks
A picnic basket for two is one delicious option at Greencork, a self-serve wine bar operated by Robin Brown and her daughter, Katy Sloan, pictured above.
A party in a basket is how owner Robin Brown describes Greencork’s indoor picnic, a fetching presentation of pate, pancetta, asparagus spears, marinated mushrooms, French bread, crackers and plump red grapes tucked together on a bed of curly mustard greens. Nearby, three kinds of cheese truffle balls – including one made with blue cheese and rolled in crushed walnuts - nestle with a sherbet glass of salmon mousse.
House-made and original, this pretty basket of finger foods headlines a seasonal menu of hot and cold tasting plates, including Reuben spring rolls, chicken and dumplings, beef tenderloin on mushroom scones, and ice cream sliders with a blueberry Zinfandel tart. A newcomer to the Cooper-Young neighborhood, Greencork is located next to Goner Records and brings a trendy format to Memphis popular in other cities: self-serve wine.
Here’s how the concept works. Customers purchase wine cards from the hostess, pick up glasses, and browse four different wine dispensers with eight bottles each. (Two machines offer whites, light-bodied or complex; two offer reds, medium bodied or bold.) Once customers pick a wine, they insert their card into the dispenser and push the corresponding button for a 2-ounce, 4-ounce or 6-ounce pour. Most 6-ounce glasses range from $6 to $12.
Interactive and user-friendly, the wine dispensers turn Greencork into a kind of DIY cocktail party. So do the restaurant’s affable and informed wait staff, comfy love seats, stacked stone fireplace, and 10-seat bar, where manager David Bennett is happy to describe the restaurant’s craft beers, artisan cocktails, or wines by the glass.
“We want our customers to learn about wine, but we don’t want them to be intimidated,” said Brown, who operates the restaurant with her daughter Katy Sloan. “For us, wine is about having fun, so we are trying to keep our choices accessible and in the right price range.”
Greencork, 2156 Young Ave. (901-207-5281)