For this weekend’s date night we wanted to try something new. We’ve overheard a couple acquaintances mention the Cork’ n Cleaver, a restaurant that’s been open for 40 years. Also, we recently saw its steak featured in Fargo Monthly’s newest issue, 50 Tasty Eats that provides photos of each dish and ideas for future dining experiences.
Then, we ordered a whole artichoke to share as an appetizer. For entrees, Jake ordered a sirloin steak with a baked potato and opted for the salad bar while I ordered the evening’s catfish special with wild rice pilaf and the salad bar. I had read in this same Fargo Monthly issue that the Chef enjoys cooking Cajun food and is willing to accommodate requests for spicy food, so I ordered the fish extra spicy.
The salad bar was a fun touch though it wasn’t particularly memorable. I bypassed iceburg lettuce that looked to be discolored around the edges and chose romaine and spinach instead. The bar offered pasta salad, potato salad, and typical toppings like pickled beet slices, shredded cheese, hard boiled egg, peas and baby carrots. The croutons did not appear to be homemade and I passed on what appeared to be processed tropical fruit cocktail. I did enjoy the salad dressings which the restaurant says it makes from scratch.
Jake’s steak arrived juicy and cooked to a precise medium-rare. It had a nice beefy flavor and wasn’t gristly, though I felt it lacked seasoning. Jake enjoyed the baked red potato that came with sour cream and butter. The insides were especially creamy since it was of a waxy variety, but I missed the crispy, salted skin I love most about traditional, starchy baked potatoes.
My catfish special consisted of two baked or broiled fillets sprinkled with Cajun seasoning. The fish was cooked through but its texture was waterlogged and I longed for some sort of crust or sear. The seasoning level struck me as just right and the tartar sauce tasted homemade, but the lemon wedge was dried out. The accompanying wild rice pilaf was mushy and tasted like something that would come from an Uncle Ben’s box. All things considered, this special seemed overpriced, not only because it was executed poorly, but because I know catfish isn’t very expensive. Then, we packed up my leftovers to go so we could make a movie showing.