A year ago The Cleat & Anchor opened at the former Rum Runners restaurant location. It offers a casual atmosphere. "The Cleat" promotes itself as an "American style family friendly restaurant and tavern that fuses casual Cape Cod charm with a little contemporary flare".
The hip industrial décor with painted concrete floors and lots of skylights makes for a fun setting. Seating is a combination of tables on one side of the restaurant with high top tables on the other. Lunch and dinner are also served at the bar. There are over a dozen large screen TV's throughout.
The unique cocktail menu features creative names like The Woodstove Warmer ($11). and Blood Moon ($9). I tried Hook Lime & Sinker ($12) served in a martini glass made with Citadelle Gin, tarragon, cucumber, ginger and lime. A-not-too sweet but refreshing cooler topped with a slice of cucumber. The mixes, syrups and purees are all made in-house in addition to fresh herbs and spices.
For the beer drinkers there is a wide variety of eclectic craft beer featuring over 20 draft lines.
Over cocktails we checked out the menu which isn’t large but offers choices that are creative and very affordable.
Offerings include the not-so-chicken wings (mini pork shanks), clam chowder poutine, chicken-fried fish & chips, lobster mac & cheese, pizza, burgers, steak, chicken and fresh local fish.
To start we shared a couple appetizers including the the Not- So-Chicken Wings ($12) The chef uses pork shanks instead of chicken which were steamed to perfection and flash fried. The sauces of choice were: Spicy siracha, Asian black pepper, buffalo spiced, or plain. We chose the siracha which was spicy, not too hot, just full of flavor.
Our other appetizer was the Chilled Veggie Spring Rolls ($8.95) Filled with fresh vegetables and crunchy rice noodles and rolled in rice paper, made in-house, and served with a homemade ponzu/soy dipping sauce. They were tasty but the consistency was a little too dry.
For entrees my husband chose the Veggie Enchilada ($14.95). This healthy and colorful classic Cuban dish featuring a mildly spicy, tomato-based stew was packed with a with a variety of vegetables including grilled corn-on-the-cob, peppers and onions piled on a bed of black rice and topped with fried plantain chips - (GF & VF) Extra add-ons available were Steak ($6), Shrimp ($8), Chicken ($5), Sesame Tuna ($8) or Scallops ($ MKT) He chose the chicken and enjoyed the wonderful combination of flavors.
I ordered the Sesame Seared Tuna ($23.95). The fresh rare tuna was well-crusted with sesame and served over a crisp vegetable medley on a bed of black rice with chopped scallions, sprinkled with almonds and the well-balanced house made ponzu-soy sauce. The ponzu sauce is a citrus-based sauce used in Japanese cuisine as a marinade. Black rice is not common on most menus. We had it in China where it is touted as an extremely healthy food. The tuna was meaty, sushi-red at its center, and perfectly seared.
We had barely enough room for dessert, but some offerings looked interesting enough that we just had to try them. We chose the Red Velvet Cake and the Chocolate Cake (GF) both were ($5.95) Not house made but satisfied our sweet tooth.
Every Thursday is Prime Rib Dinner Night starting at 5pm, ($17.95), King Cut, ($22.95) - It's served medium rare with Au Jus including homemade mashed potatoes and vegetable of the day.
Our server,Beth, was very attentive, fast and friendly.
The Cleat features a patio where guests can enjoy a drink and play corn-hole - or just sit at a table under an umbrella. It's a fun atmosphere that makes it a great place to meet friends for a meal.
A schedule of live bands and entertainment weekly can be found on their website.
The Cleat & Anchor has have proven to be a fine addition to the Cape dining scene with Chef Kyleah Hague at the helm. The Cleat continues to earn rave reviews - and they deserve every one!
If You Go
Cleat & Anchor
243 Lower County Road, Dennis Port
Dinner: Monday-Thursday 4 pm-1 am, Friday-Sunday Noon-1 am.
Lunch: Noon-4 pm Friday thru Sunday.
Open year round