The next time you visit The Cork and Craft, a hidden gem in Rancho Bernardo, be sure your phone is fully charged and ready to capture the many gorgeous plates of food being executed by the restaurant’s new executive chef, Scott Cannon (formerly with Jake’s Del Mar). Playful dishes like the hamachi crudo and pork belly will surely ignite your social space with a flurry of likes. While admiring these beauties, you’ll want to try one of the many craft beers and wines being produced within the space by the Abnormal Beer and Wine companies.
Abnormal Wine Co. launched in 2012 as a small, urban winery producing a short list of red, white and dessert wines. In 2014, their location grew from 1,500 to 5,000 square feet to accommodate its on-site restaurant, The Cork and Craft. A year later, the group started Abnormal Beer Co., making the space San Diego’s first and only joint restaurant, winery and brewery. Today, the Abnormal Company is known for its unique wine offerings, imaginative cuisine and impressive tap list with over 40 beers curated by head brewer and beer curator Derek Gallanosa. Chef Scott Cannon took over the outpost’s kitchen in October after the previous chef, Phillip Esteban, signed on with CH Projects. The kitchen, brewery and winery work harmoniously together to create inspired food and beverage pairings.
The menu is made up of starters, salads, sides and mains with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Begin your meal with the hamachi crudo coiled up beside a tangy shishito relish. Additions of spiced walnut crackers and blushing dots of gelled pomegranate put a wintery spin on the raw yellowtail. Brined, braised, then pan-seared, the pork belly arrives at the table concealed in a gnarled blanket of Bloomsdale spinach decorated with persimmon puree, shaved persimmon, pickled shallots and clusters of crunchy pumpkin seed brittle. Pair Abnormal’s citrusy Opening Statement with the fresh hamachi, and a bitter Boss Pour IPA with the sweet, melting pork belly.