Eats Beat

There’s a new Cork & Pig in Las Colinas, with special happy-hour deals

Tres leches cake at Cork & Pig Tavern in Las Colinas.
Tres leches cake at Cork & Pig Tavern in Las Colinas.

The Cork & Pig Tavern empire has reached Irving, with impressive results.

The new Las Colinas location is the fourth for Cork & Pig, the Felipe Armenta spinoff restaurant known in Fort Worth for high-quality meats and billowy pizzas on Crockett Row.

The new Cork & Pig on Williams Square is more sunny and has a lighter decor than the Fort Worth location. But the menu is similar, including a double-cut pork chop, Carolina pork ribs with mustard sauce and signature side dishes such as spaghetti squash or Brussels pecan slaw.

At midafternoon one day this week, the restaurant was busy with a happy hour crowd sharing $5 wines and cocktails, $7 pizzas and half-price calamari, spinach-artichoke dip, deviled eggs or guacamole.

If you’ve been to an Armenta restaurant — Cork & Pig, the Tavern, Pacific Table or Press Cafe — then you know what to expect: a well-rounded menu with excellent salads, a few reliable sandwiches, high-quality meats and chops, and flashy desserts and brunch items, along with chef Virginia Dalbeck’s menu touch and craft cocktails.

A small side salad and half-price happy-hour calamari at Cork & Pig in Las Colinas. Bud Kennedy

n this day, even the side salad was notable: greens with manchego cheese, apricots, toasted pumpkin seeds and a champagne vinaigrette.

It was a good day to skip directly from salad to dessert: Cork & Pig’s large portion of tres leches cake. Other desserts include a Key lime meringue pie.

Do not miss Cork & Pig’s brunch at either location. It includes a spinach-mushroom-pancetta omelet, biscuits with sausage gravy, huevos rancheros *Christmas” with housemade red and green sauce, or a large portion of French toast rolled in Fruity Pebbles and served with cinnamon ice cream.

The Las Colinas location is open for lunch and dinner daily, at 10 a.m. weekends for brunch; 5224 N. O’Connor Blvd., 972-364-7412,

The Crockett Row location is open for lunch and dinner daily, at 9 a.m. weekends for brunch (the parking meters are free until 10 a.m.); 2869 Crockett St., 817-759-9280.

Other locations are in Odessa and San Angelo.

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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.