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Cedar Grove Brings The Outdoors In With Fresh Cuisine Inside A Modern Forest

The first thing you'll notice upon entering Cedar Grove is the sweet, unmistakable scent of cedar trees and the seemingly never-ending modern forest interior. The small forest of minimalist trees stretches up 20 feet, but it's not overwhelming or cluttered. Atmosphere is chic and cozy, matching their menu of refined American cuisine. No dish is priced higher than $25, no cocktail is over $9, but you'd never guess. Their New American cuisine specializing in farm-to-table dishes was crafted by award-winning executive chef Taylor Kearney, their drink menu by noted mixologist Trevor Landry. I went all-out here, the low price points let you experience a variety of dishes without breaking the bank.

To start, we ordered the Charred Okra, the Smoked Tuna Tartare, and the Tempura Soft Shell Crab. First off, the okra are nothing less than addicting. They are served with yuzu salt and lemon, very simple, but the flavor is anything but. I definitely recommend starting with them, or getting them on the side when just getting drinks. The smoked tuna tartare comes with a beautiful presentation, and tastes even better. Miso mustard, peanuts, and scallions complement the tuna and I was eating it straight with a fork, like an animal. The tempura soft shell crab truly shines with a generous topping of peach, black bean, and chile. If I could put that sauce on everything, I would. Tangy yet sweet, it is the perfect addition to their crispy tempura crab.

As a huge fan of Deviled Eggs, I couldn't resist. They were possibly the best deviled eggs I've ever had. Topped with crispy ham, herbs, and hot sauce, it was the ideal hint of meat and tanginess to make them really stand out. I highly recommend getting them, and ordering extra for me.

Next up was their Foraged Mushroom Flatbread! I've been eating heaps of mushroom lately, but the biggest issue I've seen is that many restaurants tend to oversalt them, which kills the entire experience. Not here, thankfully! They were well-seasoned and accompanied by fennel cream, mozzarella, and pickled peppers. If you love mushrooms, this is definitely worth trying!

Now we were on to the entrees, the Grilled Pork Tenderloin and the Roasted Chicken. The pork came with delicious sides; charred peaches, elote, and cornbread. The pork itself was great, but average. The flavour of the sides with the pork is what truly made the dish; the sweetness of the peach and the smoky kick from the chipotle sauce in the elote were delicious. The roasted chicken was tender and juicy, and the accompanying potatoes were light yet flavorful. Overall, both entrees were fantastic and something I would order again.

Now comes the Holy Grail of sundaes: the gigantic S'more Sundae. I haven't had a sundae in a minute, and this brought back all those sweet memories of childhood full of melted marshmellows and rich chocolate. Let's call this the adult s'more, all of the flavor and texture without the mess. Plus, it's extremely Instagrammable (is that a word now?)

Cedar Grove is the kind of restaurant every neighborhood staple should aspire to be; welcoming yet chic, refined yet affordable. Their diverse menu invites guests to make this a weekly or bi-weekly visit when craving great New American cuisine.

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