Cork & Table
Modern American / $$ / 909 Caroline St., Fredericksburg
I hear the word croissant. While I hope he’s going to offer one of my favorite pastries, I know I’m in the middle of dinner, in Fredericksburg, and that won’t happen. “Sorry?” I say instead. “Poisson. Fish. How do you like the fish?” I appreciated the charming attempt at a little basic French from James Fallon, the French-trained chef and owner of Cork & Table, which I should probably know, but it is lost on my monolingual brain. The fish, in fact, is lovely. It’s a simple sea bass, sauteed. Crisp skin, tender within. A mound of black lentils and zucchini and a bit of beurre blanc occupy a corner of the plate. The room is sparse, a rectangle with beige walls, cork flooring, bare wood tables (made across the street at Fraser Wood Elements) and 30 seats. But among the humble food, a crab and corn chowder bathed in cream and sherry and bacon is a summery indulgence. A year-round indulgence: a dark chocolate pot de creme so thick you can almost chew it.