Cleaver – Butchered Meats, Seafood & Cocktails
House Bread, Butter, Black Salt
Squid Ink Pasta, Bacon, Masago, Parmesan, Egg Yolk
Potato Gnocchi, Short Rib, Tomato Pomodoro, Gremolata, Pecorino
Charred Bone Marrow, Blueberry Demi-Glace, Toast Points, Herb Salad
Cleaver Double Wedge Salad, Thick-Cut Bacon, Egg, Onion, Cherry Tomatoes, Blue Cheese Dressing
Foie Gras, Sweet Potato Pancake, Blackberry Reduction, Crème Fraiche
60oz XXL Ribeye
Pork Belly Mac n’ Cheese
Béarnaise Sauce (bottom)
Foie Gras Butter
Bourbon Shallot Potatoes
Steak House Fries, Ketchup
Doughnuts, Caramel, Chocolate
Cheesecake, Graham Cracker Crust, Strawberries, Whipped Cream
Opened in September 2018 by Nectaly Mendoza, the owner of Herbs & Rye expanding east of Las Vegas Boulevard to an area frequented by tourists but at the same time appealing to locals, it was for a party of six that reservations were booked at Cleaver – Butchered Meats, Seafood & Cocktails, inquires via website regarding a private room completely ignored which thereby decreased the group’s size and budget.
Tucked into Suite D1 of 3900 Paradise Road, a shopping plaza also housing Tacos & Beer plus Jersey Mike’s, it is after eyes adjust to low-lighting that guests will find themselves in front of an attended hostess stand, the bar stretching left fully stocked by patrons and Booze while dining rooms expand right and back, eventually forming a loop around the PDR and Restrooms.
Decorated in regal images of pop-culture icons, everyone from Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy to Queen Latifah and Chris Farley spread across a space featuring severe wallpaper and wood, it is across four pages that Food and Beverage are presented, the “Porn Star” pushed heavily by staff while Cleaver’s Beer List offers foreign and domestic favorites at prices far less egregious than The Strip.
Offering no televisions but instead music at moderate volume, enough to drown the sounds of others but not inhibit conversation, it is porting over Herbs & Rye’s popular Happy Hour that many deals can be found, the lack of an online menu somewhat frustrating but *starred* Appetizers and Steaks with an italicized “C” half-off from 5:00pm-8:00pm and midnight to 3:00am daily.
Dining with a group less-experienced than usual, four having never seen Bone Marrow on a menu nor tasted Liver, it was with house-baked Bread that dinner got started, the hearty crust and soft crumb good with or without Butter and particularly well adapted for sopping up Sauces including Egg Yolk studded with Roe from half-priced Squid Ink Pasta or Pomodoro that picks up flavor from Short Rib served atop Gnocchi that was unfortunately a bit gummy.
Impressed by the $15 Double Wedge, both portion-size and Produce exceeding expectations while thick pieces of Bacon and finely-chopped Egg each accentuate Blue Cheese Dressing, it was next that the aforementioned Marrow and Foie Gras that made their way around, a lack of appropriately sized spoon making the former difficult to liberate from its vessel and natural flavor mostly muted by Fruit while $28 Duck Liver fortunately performed better and made new fans thanks to a good sear that placed caramelized exterior in contrast with fluffy Pancakes plus Blackberries and Crème Fraiche on the plate.
Refusing a tablemate’s request for Steak to be cooked “Medium-well or Well,” even the menu joking that the latter temperature is “Burnt and Pointless,” it was instead erring closer to Medium-Rare that the server volunteered to further cook parts for those in need, the Beef itself well-seasoned and a steal at $105 for 60oz during Happy Hour while sides ranged from Creamed Corn spun Mexican to fairly standard Brussels Sprouts and big slices of Pork Belly atop gooey Macaroni and Cheese.
Falling short with Mushroom Risotto and Bourbon Shallot Potatoes, the Rice undercooked and in need of Salt while Potatoes were clumpy and coagulated as if made hours earlier and re-warmed for service, it was instead Steak Fries that stole the spotlight, each one light and crisp whether plain or dipped in housemade Béarnaise that was ordered for the Steak but found less compelling for that purpose than unctuous Foie Gras Butter.
Offering just three Desserts, Crème Brulee omitted in favor of Doughnuts and Cheesecake recited tableside, those who fancy fried Dough will be happy to know Cleaver serves both rounds and holes piping hot beneath a duo of Sauces while the New York-style wedge features plenty of creaminess without being too heavy atop a Graham Cracker Crust.
THREE STARS: One part built on Nectaly Mendoza’s rightfully renowned Cocktails but also upping the ante in terms of decor, Cleaver – Butchered Meats, Seafood & Cocktails brings Herbs & Rye’s popular Happy Hour East of Las Vegas Boulevard and although ingredient quality and cookery are sometimes not ideal the overall experience is better than the average off-Strip Steakhouse.
RECOMMENDED: House Bread, Squid Ink Pasta, Cleaver Double Wedge Salad, Foie Gras, Steak House Fries.
AVOID: Charred Bone Marrow, Potato Gnocchi, Mushroom Risotto, Bourbon Shallot Potatoes.
TIP: Open 5:00pm until 3:00am daily save for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.