Midwest Living Review
Like Fort Wayne itself, Cork n' Cleaver is a bit surprising, but pleasantly so. The unassuming exterior belies the cozy decor inside. Spanish tiles, saddles and blankets flavor an overall hacienda feel that stems from the restaurant's first location, which opened in 1964 in Arizona. First-time visitors can't help but notice the menus, which are printed on extraordinarily heavy meat cleavers. The Beef Wellington appetizer was fine, but the best stuff here is on the salad bar, and the steak, seafood and prime rib.First, the salad bar. The metal plates stacked up at the starting line are ice cold, and patrons have four kinds of lettuce to choose from. You'll find all of the regular salad bar veggie staples, but you'll also find caviar and jelly beans. Then, the steak. The 6-ounce filet ($20.95) was excellently prepared -- as far as we're concerned, a sign of a good steak house is one that can do a filet well-done and still keep it juicy and flavorful, and this one was. For sides, the steamed asparagus was great ($3.95). Unfortunately, the mashed rum sweet potatoes were awful -- watery, flavorless heaps of goo ($2.45). Still, we managed to leave room for dessert, and that's a good move. The signature mud pie has a chocolate-cookie crust that has just enough butter in it to make it irresistible, plus a 6-inch tower of mocha ice cream, a layer of fudge and fresh-made whipped cream topped with toasted almond slivers ($6). Three people could easily share it and have their fill, though you might all fight over that crust.