we wrapped up father's day with dinner at the meat cellar in claremont. the hub and i had been there for lunch before, but they've relocated into a bigger facility since our last visit. their new spot used to be a hometown indie grocery store that i used to visit when i worked in the area, so i was kind of curious to see what they'd done to the place.
the old lady had called ahead to make sure we could get a table, being a holiday and all, and was told that the wait was about 30-40 minutes. not too bad. except that by the time we got there, the girl seemed super confused and a little frazzled and quoted us an hour and a half before we could be seated. ugh. and so we did what anyone else would do: head to the bar.
while the hub and the old lady's special friend went with the old fashioned, i opted for "the boss lady," which sounded cool until i remembered that i hate the taste of fresh mint.
the old lady ordered the "coachellarita," which also sounded cool until she realized that there were bitters in it, which she also hates. heh.
oh well. we drank them anyway, while chatting with the bean and waiting to be seated. i kept looking around at the place, remembering how it looked when it was still a grocery store. they did keep their meat counter in this corner where the actual meat counter used to be:
and then when we were finally seated (at a table that was open and available the entire time we'd sat there waiting), the butcher came over to show us the wagyu tomahawk steaks he had on hand.
we ended up ordering it along with a flatiron steak to share between the five of us, and while it was being prepared for us we ordered a charcuterie board (because we love our meat and cheese plates).
fresh cornbread and butter was a welcome sight.
and the old lady was happy to keep the wine flowing.
the chef sliced up our steaks for us for easy serving, and while both were delicious, we all agreed that the less expensive flatiron steak was actually tastier than the super pricey wagyu beef.
brussels sprouts caramelized with balsamic vinegar, bacon and hazelnuts.
garlic mashed potatoes.
we had mac & cheese too, but it was far away and i never got a shot of it.
when we were all done, the hub dared the bean to pick up the giant bone and try to chomp off a piece of meat from it. she was all for it.
and in an attempt to atone for the long wait we'd endured for our table, our server brought us a cup of their spicy chocolate pudding. and while it looked innocent enough, this stuff served up a major kick that came through as you swallowed a spoonful. the bean was...not a fan.
we shut the place down, basically. they were scheduled to close at 9, which was what time we were finally being served our meal. by the time we were done, the place was pretty much empty.
while i thought they'd done a nice job of remodeling the old space and the food was good, i don't know that i'd be in much of a hurry to go back. between the clueless hostesses and rather surly bartender, they need to work on their customer service. hopefully they'll last long enough to work out their kinks and develop a good solid customer base. considering the lack of decent restaurants in the area, i hope they make it work.