Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Oak Barrel

Happy Valentine's Day, readers! I think this is a day to just appreciate anyone, and anything, in your life that you love. Of course, I enjoy "celebrating" the day with "R" now, but when I was single, my girlfriends and I chose to honor the day by naming it "Black-out Valentine's Day" and hitting the bar scene around our college campus. I think it's a day to remind us to take a few minutes to tell the people that matter to us that we love them.

So, in honor of this day...I'm sharing something with you that I "love" right now. I love that the newly opened The Oak Barrel restaurant in Valley View has some of my favorite dishes from the classic Deagan's menu on it. Chef Demetrios parted ways with Deagan's several months back, and he has now opened a new place that feels comfortable and familiar, featuring his style of food and many of the favorite dishes that you can't find on Deagan's menu since the chef change.

Originally, it was the reappearance of the Ahi Tuna Taco on The Oak Barrel's Taco Tuesday menu that drew me in.
You can find five kinds of tacos on the regular menu at any time (which is awesome), but then on Tuesdays the tacos are on special (even better). On this particular visit, I ordered an Ahi Tuna, Spicy Shrimp, and Carne Asada Steak. The tuna was my favorite, and the steak was my least favorite. However, I did enjoy all of them--minus the cilantro stems found throughout all three.

"R" and I also started the meal with an order of the Crisp Calamari with wasabi honey and sweet chile ($10).
Sweet and spicy, but a little too heavily breaded for my taste, the dish was good but not great. With many other tempting small plates on their menu, I probably wouldn't order this again.

The restaurant resides in the old Hoggy's space, near the movie theatre, and easily accessible from the road with plenty of parking. It's just a few minutes from Independence, so it's convenient to get to from the highway, and relatively close to home for us. I like the interior changes that they made, and the drink menu is just as lengthy and full of great options like the food menu. Many great craft beers to choose from!
Since our first visit, there has been one more trip there already. I ordered the Amish Chicken Wings with green onion, soy chile jam, and bleu cheese ($8), and the Croque Monsieur flatbread with house smoked pork belly, gruyere cheese, bechamel, and local egg ($14).

The wings were fine, maybe a little too saucy, but I did like the flatbread a lot. It was thin and crispy, and I'd like to try some of the others. The pork belly pieces were a tad too think-cut for me. It made them a little chewy, which I didn't care for. But the overall flavors were great.

So, I am a little bit "in love" with this place, and thrilled that it finally opened. Deagan's continues to do well, and The Oak Barrel has been very busy both times that we've been in. This is one happy foodie.

Have you been yet? What did you think? Also, don't miss their Crabby Mondays or Wine Wednesdays! Check out the website for more information on these specials.

Enjoy your Valentine's Day, however you celebrate. Me? I'll be enjoying a meal at Flour tonight with "R" and cuddling my dog a little extra today.

The Oak Barrel
5975 Canal Road
Valley View, OH 44125


Stephanie said...

I have been to Oak Barrel and loved the food. I have been pleased with the duck confit mac n cheese as well as Taco Tuesday. So happy that the roasted nuts are on the menu. I am planning to check out Crabby Monday sometime soon and hope they have Sunday brunch!

All Lacquered Up said...

The Ahi Tuna taco and the fact that it's closer to home are what appealed to me. On our second visit we had the Chicken & Waffles and it was just as amazing as when it was on Deagans menu. The onion hater on my house was sad to see it change to a scallion waffle on Deagan's menu. I'm definitely in love with The Oak Barrel as well.

Jen @ Why CLE? said...

I've been to the Oak Barrel twice so far and been very happy with the food, service, and atmosphere. There's a lot more on the menu I want to check out!

Beth @ CraveableCleveland said...

I hadn't realized this was a spin off from Degan's but now I'm interested! I love Degan's taco nights - just the right amount of food and so much interesting flavor!