Friday means another night that neither of us feel like cooking after a long week of work. After looking over a few dinner options, there are so many good ones in Cleveland these days, we decided to try out Grovewood Tavern. Grovewood Tavern is another restaurant that is a member of Cleveland Independents, and after our great experience at Fire Food and Drink we wanted to give another Cleveland Independents restaurant a try. Here is a little blurb that Grovewood has on their website: "The Grovewood Tavern & Wine Bar offers an atmosphere that is clean, friendly and relaxed. Customers can socialize with friends and new acquaintances in an easy-going atmosphere while choosing from our wide selection of fine wines; domestic, imported and micro-brewed beer; and select liquors. The patrons of the Grovewood Tavern & Wine bar are a diverse and friendly bunch, who come to enjoy fine beverages, fine food, and, of course, fine company.
Our menu features "familiar-exotic" foods from around the world at down-to-Earth prices. We present weekly specials along with customer favorites, so you're sure to find something to please!"
Food---The menu at Grovewood Tavern is very extensive. Steak, bison, chicken, seafood, pasta...the list really goes on and on! If you don't believe me check out their menu! In addition to that menu, they had four specials that all sounded outstanding as well. I don't think anyone would have a hard time finding something they would like at Grovewood Tavern. Our meal started out with some warm, fresh bread and some very tasty dipping oil. I love bread and I have to tell you that this bread would have been stellar all by itself. It had a crispy, but not tough crust, and a soft and warm inside from right out the oven. The dipping oil for the bread was also great. In addition to standard olive oil it had balsamic vinegar, five fresh cloves of garlic, and crushed red pepper. Without going too crazy over bread and dipping oil, we both agreed we could have sat around and eaten a loaf of this bread with the oil, it was that good!
For my entree, I went with the Blackened Diver Scallops. They were seared lightly and then finish poached in an ancho-honey cream. They were paired with chorizo cheddar scallion mashed potatoes, and sautéed zucchini. The scallops were cooked perfectly with a light sear on the outside and were soft and opaque on the inside. Their flavor was fresh with hints of paprika and a little spicy kick. The velvety ancho-honey cream helped give these scallops that fresh kick. The mashed potatoes were also great. The combination of the cheddar cheese and the chunks of chorizo made you want to come back for a bite over and over again. The zucchini added a little crunchy texture to an overall "soft" dish. I loved this dish and wouldn't have changed anything about it. If you are a fan of scallops and you don't mind a hint of spice, I highly recommend this dish. Don't be wary of the $29 price tag...this dish was worth every penny.
My fiancee ordered the Zinfandel Short Ribs. These were boneless, genuine Black Angus short ribs that were slow-braised with zinfandel and dried cherries. It came with a creamy red pepper orzo and sautéed zucchini. Talk about flavorful braised short ribs!! These were outstanding. The meat was fall apart tender and went well with the zinfandel and cherry flavors. The meat was perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper and by itself was outstanding. Pairing the short rib with the orzo was brilliant. Orzo is a type of pasta which is made in the shape of a grain of rice. It was soft, creamy, cheesy and totally delicious. The cheesy flavor was thanks to the mascarpone cheese. Using the mascarpone enhanced the creaminess of the orzo and I couldn't keep my fork out of it! We could have eaten a whole plate of just the red pepper orzo. Overall this dish was another home run. I know my fiancee really likes something when on our drive home she utters out of nowhere "Wow that was a great meal!" The price of this dish was $23.50 and we highly recommend it.
Overall our meal was outstanding. The bread and both of our entrees were some of the best tasting food we have had anywhere in Cleveland. What makes it an even better deal is that Grovewood Tavern Gift Certificates can be bought for a discount on Restaurant.com and through Cleveland Independents. The food gets a resounding 5/5.
Drinks---Grovewood Tavern has an amazing wine list. They had at least 100 choices of wine that could all be bought by the glass or by the bottle. If you are a wine lover and have never been here I recommend you make a reservation. The beer selection isn't quite up to par with the wine selection, but is still very respectable. On tap they were featuring Green Flash IPA, Great Divide Hibernation Ale, two offerings from Buckeye Brewing and Guinness. I was close to getting the Hibernation Ale, until I glanced at the bottled menu. They had Bell's Hopslam...which I love! Outside of this exclusive seasonal beer they had fifteen imports, ten different domestic craftbeers, and five big 22oz craftbeer offerings. This isn't the most extensive draft/bottle list around, but it is sure to please the beer drinker looking to pair a good quality craftbeer with their meal. (Click on the links to read individual beer reviews, and check out my Craftbeer Review Page for other beer reviews as well.) In terms of drink quality and selection Grovewood Tavern get a 4/5.
Atmosphere, Service and Overall---The first thing I'd like to mention is, if you are going to Grovewood be prepared to park on a side street and walk there. There is virtually no parking on site and the side roads were not plowed. Once you get inside, the feel is warm and friendly. Reservations are recommended especially on the weekend because they were very busy. When we walked in we were kindly greeted and were seated immediately. There are two main areas to sit, the bar and the dinning room. Our table was located in the dinning room which has little warmer feeling than the bar area. Something about the environment just makes you feel comfortable and at home. Our service from start to finish was excellent. Our server was not only knowledgeable about the menu and the specials, but she was very familiar with the draft offerings. She described the flavor profile of each draft offering to us which is a great added touch. Outside of our table every table around us looked very please and well attended to as well. Overall Grovewood Tavern really has a great thing going. Food and Service were exactly what you hope to get when you go out to dinner and the drink selection was pretty good too. You'll see us back at Grovewood Tavern again and I recommend that you give it a try as well! Overall 4.5/5.