We did go back to Corkscrew in Carmel Valley Village the day after our delicious dinner, but this time we went with a vengeance. Not a creepy, nasty vengeance, but a cute, happy one. The type you would have when on a second date following a VERYYYY good first date.
We started the date by visiting Cowgirl Winery, the place serving up the gorgeous red we had the night before. As you walk in through the wooden fence there are grape vines to the left (sad ones this time of year). And as you keep heading toward the barn that makes up Cowgirl Winery you’ll pass an old, disheveled truck. We had way too much fun taking pictures on it while, at the same time, spotting chickens dancing on the roof of the barn and hens maintaining balance on top of fences. The inside of the barn exhibits the term “ranch” to a tee. Rustic, wooden, filled with hay, rope and cactuses. There were aprons, and cookbooks, cowboy hats, and boots for sale. When my brain sees merchandise like that, it tells my heart that we’re meant to buy everything and look the part. Luckily my family was there to stop me. I only walked away with a round neck baseball shirt.
Drunk solely off excitement so far, we then headed over to Corkscrew. It had been dark when we arrived for dinner the night before so we didn’t see much the cafe’s surroundings. This time around, already feeling right at home, we took the back entrance. Making our way through a gorgeously relaxing garden setting, and a charming old house that makes up the Georis Winery Tasting Room, the other – more fancy – winery onsite.
Once you walk past the Georis Wine Tasting Room you hit the Corkscrew courtyard; a dream of an outdoor area for anyone who lives without one year round (me!). It’s filled with fun colorful decorations, a tarp overhead to keep the sun out of your face, bright and cheery tablecloths, string lights and plants galore. The courtyard was at full capacity, and we didn’t want to sit inside as it was such a nice day. We were discussing our seating options when Walter Georis himself came out from the kitchen and commented on my sister’s shirt from the Cowgirl Winery. As soon as he realized we were looking for a table he asked the waitress to help him set up a makeshift table to the side of the restaurant, he even brought an extra umbrella over.
We were ready to order after a quick look at the menu. For our wine tasting, we went after the Georis red wine flight that came with a selection of five different Georis wines. We had another go at the Roasted Garlic plate. Three plates of barbecued pork sliders, a pizza and a corkscrew BLT, and the same bread pudding from the night before. I’m not lying to you when I say that the barbecued pork sliders plate was one of the best lunch dishes I’ve had. It came with two sliders made up of jalapeño cheese buns, barbecued pork inside, crispy sweet potato chips and a jalapeño mayo sauce.
As we were explaining to our waitress how much we loved Corkscrew (AGAIN) she told us it was all the owner’s – Walter, “the nice man who set up your table” and his wife Sylvia – doing. She’s Mexican and he’s Belgium; that’s where the eclectic style of the restaurant comes from.
The moment we recognized Sylvia we congratulated her on running such a fantastic establishment. She thanked us with a kind smile and went back to work. She was running the kitchen. Walter came over later on to check up on our table, wearing his straw hat and a long sleeve, dark blue shirt. We couldn’t help but blurt out how incredible our meals were, as wall as the overall atmosphere. See a theme here? We just can’t keep our feelings to ourselves.
Walter was so lovely, he seemed happy to answer questions coming at him from all sides of the table. How did it all start? Who designed it? What’s your secret? How do you set up the menu? What’s your favorite restaurant in San Francisco? What came first, the food or the wine? We were complete pests. But we had to take advantage – never have I come across a couple I so admired after only 30 minutes of knowing them.
All his answers really came down to one thing – if you work hard, really hard, towards something you are truly passionate about, without a thought in your mind about money, success will make it’s way to you.
In my eyes, and in my belly, Corkscrew is a huge success.
55 West Carmel Valley Road Carmel Valley, CA 93921