Located in Regency Landing, Twisted Cork Bistro stands as a testament to the vision and dedication of its owners, Darrell and Laura Auld.
This family-run establishment beautifully marries the culinary influences of Seattle with the warmth and charm of the Midwest.
From their commitment to locally sourced ingredients to their devotion to providing a memorable dining experience, the Auld’s have created a haven for food enthusiasts seeking exceptional flavors and a welcoming atmosphere.
Darrell and Laura Auld’s journey with Twisted Cork Bistro began when they decided to move from Seattle to Nebraska, following Laura’s parents who wanted to retire near their oldest daughter who works at Offutt Air Force Base.
Once settled in Omaha, Darrell and Laura hoped to establish a restaurant that combined the best of both Seattle and Omaha. Their desire was to infuse the Pacific Northwest’s culinary spirit into Omaha’s ever-growing food scene.
Twisted Cork Bistro achieves this by carefully sourcing local ingredients from farms such as Jon’s Naturals and Plum Creek Farms, while also incorporating fresh fish sourced from suppliers like Honolulu Fish Company for Ahi Tuna and sockeye salmon from Alaska. The Auld’s pride themselves on only using wild-caught seafood and natural ingredients, hence their motto, “Always wild, always natural.”
By prioritizing sustainable sourcing practices, the Auld’s ensure that each dish served is not only delicious but also ethically and environmentally conscious. Along with sustainability, their ultimate priority is customer satisfaction.
“Our team has the authority to make any situation correct,” Darrell says. “If something is done incorrectly, we will fix it.”
By providing their staff with full autonomy when it comes to customer service, the Auld’s have no need to budget for advertising. Their top-notch service, quality of ingredients, and utmost integrity speaks for them. Or rather, their loyal customer base does.
There’s bound to be a few skeptics when you’re opening a seafood restaurant in the middle of land-locked Nebraska. But, thanks to the affluence of the Regency neighborhood, they’ve put concerns regarding the freshness of their seafood to rest, all by word of mouth.
“I’ll have ladies come in and have wine and lunch with their friends, and then bring their husbands in for dinner the same day,” Brittany Love, Twisted Cork Bistro’s general manager says.
After such a positive experience, the husbands then reserve the bistro for various business events, Darrell explains.
Thanks to word of mouth, praise for Twisted Cork Bistro has spread far and wide and the community is confident that seafood can be purchased, flown in from the Pacific, and properly prepared.
Aside from the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii serves as a wellspring of inspiration for Darrell and Laura, who regularly visit the islands to discover new culinary delights. It is during these trips that they stumble upon innovative creations, like the mochi and macadamia crusted fish, which finds its way onto Twisted Cork’s menu.
The Auld’s passion for exploring and introducing unique flavors adds a touch of excitement to the dining experience, making Twisted Cork Bistro a destination for those seeking innovative and delightful dishes.
It’s no secret that chefs are remarkably creative individuals, but owning a restaurant requires a lot of left-brain power as well, which often gets overlooked. When the Auld’s aren’t traveling to find inspiration for their next entrees, they’re evaluating their current menus.
“We run reports, and if a menu item does not sell well, it’s removed. We’ll replace it with a new item, and go from there,” Darrell says. This cyclical process of trial and error leaves no stone unturned and their menu constantly evolving.
The Auld’s have been fortunate to have loyal employees who have been with them for several years, fostering a sense of family within the establishment.
The warm and welcoming atmosphere extends to the customers, many of whom have become regulars over the years. The relationships forged with patrons, who are greeted with hugs and smiles, exemplify the genuine Midwestern hospitality that defines Twisted Cork Bistro.
Pacific Northwest wines, which Darrell and Laura grew up with, take center stage on the wine list, with selections exclusively from Oregon and Washington. The bistro also showcases a curated collection of quality wines, including offerings from boutique vineyards with limited production.
“We like to represent boutique vineyards that might only have a thousand case production, or even a hundred case production of their wines,” Brittany says.
Twisted Cork’s commitment to excellence is exemplified by their reputation as the exclusive restaurant to carry the coveted L’Ecole vineyards’ 40th anniversary wine.
When asked about her personal favorite on the wine list, the general manager, who epitomizes the Auld’s dedication, recommends the Beaux Freres, a Burgundian-style Pinot. This full-bodied, fruit-forward wine represents the caliber and diversity that Twisted Cork Bistro offers.
The restaurant’s customer base reflects this diversity, attracting professionals from various fields who appreciate the bistro’s inviting ambiance and quality cuisine. From lawyers and dentists to mechanics and construction workers, Twisted Cork Bistro serves as a meeting place where people from all walks of life converge, forming connections and creating a sense of community.
“It’s not uncommon for a table to be having dinner and then somebody else walks in and grabs a glass of wine and goes and stands at their table and talks for a half an hour,” Brittany says.
In Brittany’s eyes, Twisted Cork Bistro’s draw lies in its unwavering commitment to providing quality over quantity. The bistro’s portions, influenced by European sensibilities, aim to satisfy without pushing overconsumption.
“If we aren’t able to get quality product or ingredient, we would rather take that dish off the menu until we are able to provide a consistent product, rather than give our guests something subpar,” Brittany says.
The emphasis on serving locally sourced ingredients, such as the flavorful chicken from Plum Creek Farms, sets the restaurant apart from its peers.
“I would argue if you sat down and had a piece of chicken from the grocery store and a piece of chicken from Plum Creek Farms, you 100 percent can taste the difference,” Brittany says.
Twisted Cork Bistro’s dedication to offering an exceptional dining experience, where the natural flavors of the ingredients shine through, ensures that each visit is memorable.
As you step through the doors of Twisted Cork Bistro, you’re transported to a different region entirely. With plans to incorporate a new speakeasy beneath the restaurant, you’ll have a chance to time-travel to a different era as well.
Only the fusion of culinary artistry, attentive service, and the genuine friendliness of the Nebraska spirit will remind you that you’re still in the heart of the Midwest, where community, connection, and of course, restaurants like Twisted Cork Bistro, continue to thrive.