Thursday, April 25, 2013

Corks, Cleavers, and Drinks

Tuesday was a fun night, full of trying new things. This month's @CLEDinnerClub event brought the group to the newly opened Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen in Broadview Heights. This week, the restaurant turns two weeks-old, so we were among the first to sample what's going on in this new spot.

I may be a little biased, because I adore the two chefs behind this new restaurant--- Chef Brian Okin (Dinner in the Dark co-creator, formally of Verve, Fountain, and Luxe) and Chef Adam Bostwick (formally of Melange). They are two of my favorite chefs in the area, and I'd follow them anywhere. The good news? Cork & Cleaver somehow managed to even exceed my expectations, and it left me wanting, immediately.

The group was served family-style, which allowed us to have small sample tastings of many dishes found on their menu, and a few special items just for us.
The general discussion at the table was that as each course came out, it was claimed to be a new "favorite" course of the meal. That's a good problem to have.

I wanted to share a couple of items with you that are current menu options--- Chicken and Waffles with fried chicken, thyme waffles, spicy butter, and savory maple ($8). Sample portion pictured.
I am not a chicken lover, and this course was one of my top three. This wasn't your typical fried chicken, and this heavenly little patty of shredded chicken made me want more.

Also, we had Pork Paprikash with braised pork shoulder, smoked paprika spaetzle, and crème fraiche ($16). Sample portion pictured.
This dish is already becoming a fan favorite, and our group agreed.

The meal was simply outstanding, and I could see both Brian and Adam's styles shining through on the menu. It's wonderful to see them being able to do the food that they want to do. You'll find many twists on classic dishes, and some familiar items from their former restaurants.

Also, the small restaurant and bar area are full of playful accents. You'll find corks in every nook, and Brian's beloved Heineken prominently displayed as bar lights.

More on this restaurant to come...soon. Because I already can't wait for a return visit.

After dinner club, we headed towards home and decided to stop in to the newly opened Drink Bar & Grill in Old Brooklyn on the corner of Memphis and Pearl. Just about a mile from home, we were curious after reading about it in Scene. The grand opening was just about a month ago, and they are certainly trying to bring something new to the area.

Think more cocktail lounge than bar, and add in a few inventive menu items. We'll see if it will survive, but I'm crossing my fingers. It would be nice to have this place so close by, without having to go into Tremont or Ohio City for this type of atmosphere. But will it draw in that type of clientele? Only time will tell, but I'll get back to you with more on this new spot too after we try some of the menu.

Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen
8130 Broadview Road
Broadview Heights, OH

Drink Bar & Grill
4250 Pearl Road
Cleveland, OH 44109


Stephanie said...

Both look like must try places!!

Jen @ Why CLE? said...

It's always fun trying new places. My parents beat me to Cork & Cleaver and raved about it, too. Can't wait to check it out!