Somewhere between working, sleeping, and all those other commitments and hobbies, it’s easy to lose touch with friends – especially with the hours and brain power required in law. Usually by the time I get home, all I can think of doing is putting on my coziest set of pjs, curling up in bed with Sophie, and turning on the tv.
However, determined to meet up with our good friends Dom & Jen, we set a date and made a plan for dinner at Cleaver.
It hadn’t been since their wedding last fall, so naturally we had a lot of catching up to do. Our poor waitress kept coming by the table and asking if we had made decisions on drinks, and each time we admitted we were too busy chit chatting to even take a peak.
After the first few times she realized we were in no rush and remarked how thankful she was to have a laid back, easy maintenance group of guests.
We caught up on life, work, pets, and what (if any) difference there was in married life (for them).
A little while longer and our throats did need a little refreshing, so we ordered a few drinks. The cocktail menu had a variety of splendours from sweet, sour, cool, or warm. Each hand crafted by the bar tender and subject to change at any moment. The boys settled for the Hog Town Manhattan – which looked as classy as it sounded.
Deep red liquor splashed over a shiny big hunk of ice, topped with what looked like a bacon garnish.
Us girls stuck to water & diet coke.
Realizing that it had been almost an hour, we decided to take a peek at the menu. Set up perfectly for sharing with side plates, small plates, and large hunks of meat, we figured we would order a few of each category.
Cole & I ranted and raved about the chicken, having had it a few weeks ago. We went on and on about how tender, flavourful, moist, and absolutely delicious it was. And the fries, cooked in duck fat and light and crispy…Safe to say we had convinced them.
However, when it came time to shout out that we had made a decision, we were dutifully informed that the kitchen was having a few issues and the chicken was no longer an option for the evening. Blast!
Our server gave us a few more minutes – which was much longer than a few since we were quickly back to laughing about whatever story sparked into our minds. At this point, there was a bit of a joke about SNL and Stefan – imagining how he would describe this place. “There are very tiny doors…dimly lit…and no words on the outside.” It was pretty funny at the time.
After a little while longer (and some much needed help from the waitress) we settled on quite the feast.
Lightly battered kale tempura. Crispy with each bite, and tangy when dipped into the soya sauce.
Colourful beet and onion bread, dense and perfect for ripping and dipping into the warmest, melted, gooey, and smoky flavoured camembert cheese. It warmed us right up as we spooned heaps and heaps onto each colourful piece and grabbed handfuls of the sweet crunchy almonds.
Sautéed and garlic coated stems of green broccoli.
Crispy house made fries, cooked in duck fat and sprinkled with just enough salt and pepper.
And finally, the largest piece of meat I have ever seen. If you’ve ever wondered what a 42oz bone-in rib eye looks like – well feast your eyes on this.
The meat was tender and succulent as we sliced piece after piece from the bone and coated it in béarnaise sauce. Juice dripping into the crevices of the cutting board.
It was easily the biggest steak I have ever seen but perfect for 4-5 people (especially once you’ve ordered a feast of sides).
We devoured the entire meal, leaving only a few slivers hanging from the bone – which were promptly packaged up and saved for Sophie.
When our server proposed dessert, we really did think about saying no. But, when salted caramel fondue is on the menu, you kind of have to have it.
Cole and I decided to try something new and went for the chocolate ganache topped with a toasted maple meringue.
The desserts were ever so decadent. A pot of warm sticky caramel to coat the squishiest house-made marshmallows and mini donuts.
And the richest chocolate ganache cake, with a gooey maple coating, melting its way into the chocolate and melding together with each forkfull.
We all made attempts to finish them, but sadly I will admit the desserts defeated us.
Finishing up our double-date we talked about our little fur babies and agreed they needed a date of their own soon.
Sleepy from all the food we headed out into the night and back home to our beds.
PS – If you’re dying to know more about that chicken, then check out my older post – Cleaver review