Fill your craving for delectable Spanish tapas without having to drive ITP at Under the Cork Tree
If you’ve visited Hammock’s Trading Company in Sandy Springs, then you already know what an incredible chef William Sigley is. Owning and operating one restaurant is tough enough as I can only imagine. So, when co-owner, Jason Sheetz, told me he and William were taking on another venture, this time, tapas with Under the Cork Tree, I had to admire their spirit of hard work.
Sandy Springs’ Under the Cork Tree is located in The Prado Shopping Center, taking over the Jolie Kobie space. The new tapas restaurant is quite spacious, with three distinct areas. The patio has comfortable seating, complete with heaters for cool evenings, and perfect for sipping on wine and noshing on small plates on date or girls night. Inside the restaurant, head to the right for the high top tables if you’re just grabbing a drink or waiting for a table. It’s bright and full of pretty tile flooring.
The main dining area at this Sandy Springs tapas spot, features dark woods, a beautiful view of the collection of wines and a partial view of Under the Cork Tree’s kitchen. While I loved the leather couches for seating, we wanted more room and chose a table. And the chairs were quite comfortable as well.
As with any Spanish tapas restaurant, charcuterie selection is plentiful. Put your selection together with cheeses at $6 and cured meats at $8. There’s also the famous Jamon Iberico ($18) , which comes from pigs found only on the Iberian Peninsula and is cured for up to four years. But I wanted to concentrate on the nearly two dozen tapas at Under the Cork Tree. Though I’m not a gluten-free eater, I was impressed that the majority of the tapas are gluten free.
Picking about half a dozen tapas from Under the Cork Tree’s menu, we began with the Medjool Dates and Albondigas (veal and pork meatballs). We couldn’t decide which was better of the two, both with their own distinct qualities. The meatballs were bursting with flavor and I could have had them in a big bowl of pasta and been quite satisfied. And the dates with their sweet and salty flavors were very indulgent too.
I’ve never heard of Bagna Cauda sauce before, but it was what was drizzled over the Crispy Artichokes that we had and I loved it. The only artichokes I’ve had that I’ve liked as much are the ones from Made Kitchen and Cocktails in Alpharetta. Another tapa, the Octopus ala Plancha, was a large portion and we loved the salad of white beans and greens that it was served with. It was tad salty, but still cooked to perfection.
I mentioned Under the Cork Tree’s menu is quite large, didn’t I? The charcuterie and tapas are just one side of the menu. The second includes, salads, pastas, pizzas, entrees and paella. We could’d visit the new Sandy Springs tapas without trying the signature Paella (pictured at the top). A traditional seafood paella comes with mussels, shrimp and lobster. It’s sure to cure any paella craving you have.
Another entree I couldn’t resist trying at Under the Cork Tree in Sandy Springs was the Crispy Roast Duck. It comes with a black pepper sauce and grapefruit. Juicy and tender, the sauce was just right, adding flavor but letting the delicious duck flavor come through.
Though Under the Cork Tree is very appropriate for a special occasion, it doesn’t have to be a pricey evening. Pastas and pizzas are available priced between $11 and $14. The Sandy Springs restaurants is open for lunch as well as dinner. And tapas are BOGOF between 4 and 6 pm daily. Plus, there’s a $5 house sangria available all day everyday.
Under the Cork Tree website
5600 Roswell Road
Sandy Springs, GA 30342
Disclosure: Under the Cork Tree provided our meal complimentary, but the opinions expressed are my own.