Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen
 Cleveland, Ohio         Date of Visit: 08/27/15

For months, we’ve had theater tickets and stopped in to the Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen on the way to the show. The menu sounded fantastic, the results were less fantastic. Set in a little strip plaza in Broadview Heights, it’s much nicer inside than it would appear outside.


Much Slicker Inside Than Out

The service was relaxed but well versed and efficient, probably a little too rehearsed and slick but not annoying.

While we perused the menu we were delivered a beverage and a basket of bread and butter. The beverage was a fruit shrub(?) made with pear juice and ginger. Pretty tasty. The bread was my favorite thing of the night, warm slices of a light pumpernickel were served with a compound butter whipped with spinach and Parmesan. The sweet greens, the salty cheese and the fattiness of the butter metered the heartiness of the dark brown loaf. It was a delicious combination.

The rest of our order were items that sounded interesting and unique but they all failed to deliver to some degree. Two appetizers, reuben ribs and their chicken wings.


A Fruit & A Shrub Make For A Tasty Beverage

Bread & Butter Combo Best Part Of Outing

The ribs had been deeply marinated and were incredibly soft but the addition of the Thousand island slaw (cabbage & pickles), a hint of gruyere cheese, and rye salt made me think of a Reuben the same way Kardashians make me think of brains.

The wings were better, cooked in their own fat, breaded, and deep fried they are tender, juicy and have a crispy crust barely clinging to wing segments. They reminded me a little of Michel Richard’s chicken at Central. They were served with a pineapple barbecue sauce and a splash of salsa verde and this was where they lost me. The green salsa tried to offer opposition to the serious sweetness of the sauce but all I got was sweet on sweet, just too much for me.


Passable Ribs & Throw Away Accoutrement

Great Start To Wings But Sweetened To Distraction


I ordered the bangers, an assortment of sausages. A pork Merguez  with a sweet jam (fig or date maybe?), currywurst with a smooth mustard, and a foie gras sausage with a lightly spicy pickle. Add a scoop of potato salad and some micro greens and you have the basis for something awesome. The sausages were paired well with their condiments but they didn’t vary enough in flavor, varied not at all in texture, and the ubiquitous luke-warmness in temperature and spice made going back for another bite more difficult each time. A miss for me.

The Board Of Sausages Appeared Varied

But One

After Another

Didn't Make Things Interesting Enough To Stay Interested


Stephs gnocchi with braised lamb, a tzatziki sauce, and a cucumber and radish slaw was better. Incredibly rich with some balance from the sauce and slaw, it struggled due to thumpily dense gnocchi and strangely stringy lamb. Much better than the bangers but not enough for me to recommend the place. Steve's at the West Side Market churns out a much better gyro. None of the four desserts sounded like a ‘must do’ and they really sealed the deal with a small plate of popcorn, dressed in house with caramel, white chocolate, and I think oats which tasted better than I imagined the desserts would have. I was hoping for a bunch more from the social kitchen.


Rich But Lacking

Free Dessert Trumps Four Menu Options



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