Spend a few moments at The County Cork Wine Pub, and you may forget that you are on Liberty Road in Eldersburg.

The County Cork’s owners, Arlene Stecher and Chris McManus, have both lived in Eldersburg for years and have craved the class and novelty of a wine pub near home.  They met more than 5 years ago when their children were playing baseball together, and found that they had a shared passion for wine and fine dining. “We’ve always been having parties at our homes with friends, and wishing that there was somewhere local we could go that would provide this kind of atmosphere,” said Stecher.

The decor and soft lighting do encourage patrons to relax, enjoy friends, and partake of good food and drink.  There is seating at the bar, at high tables, and at booths.  The menu proclaims the motivation: “Drink what you like, with what you like, but most importantly, with the people you love!”

The Cork opened just a few weeks ago.  When Luna Rossa left a vacancy earlier this year, things seemed to come together for this dream to become reality.  The interior has been completely remodeled.  Chef Steve Miller joined the team with a variety of culinary experiences, and has developed a distinctive menu that is gourmet yet “approachable.”

Even everyday ingredients such as shrimp and pasta are turned upscale, as in the Blackened Shrimp and Pasta (Cajun cream sauce, farfalle, pine nuts, and trinity). The mussels (an appetizer) are cooked not a moment too long, and served in a sauce (ale, bleu cheese cream, caramelized onions, and bacon) that has patrons asking for more of the pub’s grilled bread with which to sop it up.

Each starter, soup, salad, and entree description is accompanied by helpful wine recommendations.  Or, diners can simply select three items from the “butcher block” or “cheese board” lists to enjoy with their wine. Homemade desserts complete the picture.

The pub is located at 1716 Liberty Road in Eldersburg, next to Radio Shack and across from Carrolltowne Mall.  Designated drivers prepare: don’t plan to turn left when entering or exiting the plaza.

The Cork is currently selling tickets to its New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, which will be from 6 pm to 1 am, including live music, five courses (think oysters, foie gras, lobster and plenty of good wines), and a midnight champagne toast.  Visit www.TheCorkPub.com or call 410-970-8110.

Co-owner Arlene Stecher (middle), chef Steve Miller (left), and bartender Jim Runkel enjoy a brief moment together on a busy Tuesday night at The County Cork.

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