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Dinner at Corked Bar, Grill, Nightclub a Mixed Experience (LV Dining Scene With Kristina)

Corked in downtown Bethlehem has evolved into a combination restaurant, sports bar and nightclub, but the evolution has resulted in a menu that feels scattered and somewhat confused.

Est. Read Time: 4 mins

Since opening a few years ago in downtown Bethlehem, Corked Bar, Grill & Nightclub has gone through some changes. As you can see just from the name, it is no longer just offering up modern American fare. You can have Sunday brunch, an intimate dinner, bar food while watching the game or stop in to enjoy a fun night out on the town. Not having been there since Corked evolved into a one-stop shop for food, drinks and a good time, I went to see if the kitchen still served up the delicious food I remembered.

The Thursday evening we went was fairly busy. It was a beautiful night, so of course there were many people enjoying the outdoor dining. My guest and I sat in the front dining room where the floor to ceiling windows had been opened up so we could enjoy the summer breeze. If you’ve been to Corked before, the interior is more or less the same with modern decor and soft lighting. Many large flatscreen televisions have popped up throughout the restaurant–perfect for game nights.

I started off my meal with an extra dirty martini and my guest ordered a Lemon Drop Mule ($9), which was delicious and refreshing. Unfortunately, we weren’t made aware that happy hour prices were only applied if you were sitting outside or at the bar or lounge.

Lemon Drop Mule ($9)


Deciding on what to have for dinner was a bit of a challenge. Corked has focused more on its bar and nightclub now, and the menu reflects this. It’s overwhelming, and somewhat confusing. It’s almost like the menu is having an identity crisis. Listed under the Tuna Tartare are Loaded Fries with cheese sauce and bacon. Throughout the entire menu you sense this constant battle between bar food and fine dining. We decided to try a bit of both to see if the kitchen could truly do it all.

We started the meal off with the Bacon Scallops with dijon horseradish and bacon jam ($16). The scallops were seared and cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, I was having a hard time understanding the “jam” element of the dish. It seems as though the plate may have sat underneath a heat lamp too long, causing the jam to separate and leaving us with bacon bits on scattered on top of scallops with a sweet sauce underneath. Nevertheless, it was still fairly tasty.

Bacon Scallops with dijon horseradish and bacon jam ($16)

Dinner was a true combination of casual and fine dining cuisine. I had the Corked Caesar Salad with romaine lettuce, grilled crouton, shaved Pecorino and white anchovy Caesar dressing ($9) and my guest ordered the Wedge salad with iceberg lettuce, bacon, blue cheese, red onion, tomatoes and blue cheese dressing ($9) as his first course. The bacon was cooked perfectly, and the dressing tasted homemade. For his main course he had the Bourbon Short Rib Brick Oven Pizza ($14) with onion frites, mozzarella and bourbon glaze. Any good flavor the pizza had was unfortunately masked by a lack of sauce, too much crust and congealed cheese.

Corked Caesar salad ($9)

Wedge Salad ($9)


Now for the modern American fare. I was already craving red meat before I arrived at Corked, so for my main meal the obvious choice was the 6 oz Filet Mignon with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables ($27). Sadly, the filet did not satisfy my craving. Though it was cooked to the perfect medium-rare temperature, it was dry and flavorless. My potatoes were cold and I found a piece of ziti mixed in with my vegetables. I asked for new potatoes, but it was very obvious the hot potatoes I got back were just the old ones that were dropped in the fryer.

6 oz Filet Mignon with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables ($27)

The meal was flawed, with only a few high notes that were drowned out by many errors. This is a shame, since meals I had at Corked before the changes were excellent. It’s still worth checking out, though. Service was good and there are many dishes on the menu that sound delicious and would be worth a try. And if you’re ever in the mood for a night out downtown, the atmosphere at Corked is perfect.


Address: 515 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018

Phone: 610-625-9463

Restaurant Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Corked Lounge Hours: Friday-Saturday, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.


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Kristina Gonzalez is a lifelong Lehigh Valley resident who works in the publishing industry. She enjoys dining out regularly and trying new restaurants in the area. Do you have a local restaurant review suggestion for Kristina? Please email it to jo**@sa**********.com.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

1 Comment

  • Very happy to see a column such as this. So often one wonders about all the restaurants in the area that have popped up, but lets face it, we cannot get to all of them. Based on this review, which I truly enjoyed, we won’t waste our time going back to Corked. We were there in the beginning, and it was ok. Figured they were trying to get the kinks out. Now we won’t go back, given the change. If we want to watch TV, we will stay home and do it. I am tired of being blasted from all directions with sports etc, while trying to enjoy an evening out. Why do younger people feel they have to be connected to everything all the time. They are truly missing the world.

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