Spring Fever

One of my favourite restaurants in town is Cleaver, and I’ve certainly blogged about them before. 

Located in the heart of 17th Ave, it’s my favourite place to meet friends, treat out of town guests, or even just head out for a relaxing date night.

I’ve had many of their dishes and nothing ever disappoints. And, at reasonable prices, I always leave utterly stuffed and satisfied.

Now, typically I would order the chicken for two – stuffed with crispy breading, spit roasted and drenched in a curry type spice, and completely surrounded by the most delicious double dipped duck fat fries. It’s a winner every time.

But, with the new season, the chefs decided to mix it up and try something new.

Everything was always about sharing, but the new menu is much more conducive to it. With fresh ingredients and brilliant colours, you’ll be happy that you don’t have to stick to just one dish. Ideally, they recommend two per person – but pick wisely because I can assure you that you’ll want room for dessert.

We found a spot on the patio one sunny evening, and tucked in.

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Starting, with glasses of champagne – compliments of the house.

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And afterwards, I stuck with water while Cole went for a cocktail with a clever name. While I might not be much of a drinker (or at all), time after time I’ve heard friends rant and rave about the cocktails at cleaver. Some might even say they’re the best in town. So, if you’ve got any inkling of thirst, I recommend you test one out.

After much deliberation about the menu, we went for a mixture of old favourites and new soon to be’s.

Starting, with a massive bowl of tempura coated kale chips, with a side of soy for dipping.

Kale is a bit of an acquired taste… But I actually quite like these. The soy adds a bit of a tangy flavour, that curbs the bitterness of the kale.

Heads up, this serving is plenty for 3-4 people.

Second, we ordered a batch of those delicious fries.

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Crispy, fluffy, and perfectly seasoned. Paired with a curry aioli for even more flavour.

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I gave third pick to Cole – who selected the beef tartare. He loved it, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it a try.

For our final dish, we went for a new menu item, which came highly recommended by our server.

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Tender salmon, coated in a citrus broth, placed on a bed of golden fried gnocchi.

Easily my favourite dish of the night, the broth actually blew me away. I found myself slurping up every last drop, and sloshing every last morsel of gnocchi through it. If spring and summer could be described through just one dish, it’s this one.

Of course, along with a new food and drink menu, came new desserts. The baked Alaska is one of my favourite desserts of all time, and I almost jumped out of my seat when I spotted it.

Unfortunately, there was a failure with the freezer, and they had all melted. Heartbroken.

It wasn’t a total loss, however, as the salted caramel fondue and mini cinnamon donuts is an excellent second choice.

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We lathered up every bit of salted caramel there was, polishing off the donuts and almost eating every last bit of the house made marshmallows. A well fought battle, but in the end we were defeated.

I couldn’t speak more highly of the new menu items, and I implore you to go visit! And, if you still want the chicken for two, it’s now available through preorder.

Their menu isn’t posted online, but you can make reservations here.

PS – I’m not sure what happened to all of my photos! I certainly snap chatted it all, but it appears I was so eager to eat that I didn’t take any formal shots. In any event, the meal was so good I couldn’t risk not sharing! I guess you’ll just have to go for yourself this time!

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