When it comes to Tallahassee’s culinary landscape, a local gem that’s been cherished for years is now sparkling more than ever at its new home. Clusters & Hops in Tallahassee is a sanctuary where foodies and wine aficionados gather to celebrate the art of dining and sipping.
This weekend, I had the pleasure of rediscovering this beloved establishment, which found a new home at 1866 Thomasville Road. While more spacious, what makes their new space truly special is their commitment to preserving the same familiar ambiance from its previous location. The moment I stepped inside, the warm, inviting atmosphere that Clusters & Hops is known for was immediately apparent – the cozy decor and intimate vibes persist, creating the perfect backdrop for an incredible dining experience.
At the front of the establishment, you are greeted by the wine and cheese shop, a treasure trove where wine connoisseurs and cheese lovers alike can embark on an unforgettable journey. Whether you’re a wine novice or a seasoned expert, this shop beckons guests with its exquisite selection and sets the tone for the culinary adventure that lies ahead.
The menu at Clusters & Hops is a commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients. It’s an expedition into a world of flavors that caters to a wide array of tastes – succulent steaks cooked to perfection, seafood dishes that melt in your mouth, and delicacies like caviar and escargot for those seeking refined, upscale fare. Each dish is a meticulously crafted work of art, blending traditional techniques with modern twists that elevate the dining experience.
The co-star of this experience is the extensive wine selection, featuring bottles from notable vineyards around the world. What makes this journey even more delightful is the knowledgeable staff, ready to be your guides. They’ll help you navigate the world of wines, ensuring you find the perfect bottle to complement your meal, a practice that adds a touch of elegance and thoughtfulness to the dining table.
Our Order at Clusters & Hops In Tallahassee:
For appetizers, we ordered a few things, starting with their Cider Braised Short-Rib on Truffle Mac-n-Cheese. There’s a reason their mac and cheese is known as, “Crack-In-a-Crock”. Their “Meat-Crack” is a cider-braised short-rib, layered over their famous, decadent, and irresistible truffle-infused mac-n-cheese. We also ordered their Herbed Goat Cheese Wrapped in Charred Grape Leaf Salad. Cut into the charred grape leaf to find delicious goat cheese bursting out of the center, complemented by olives, sweet toasted candied pecans, a fig vinaigrette, and finished with slices of warm, grilled baguette for a medley of robust flavors.
As a mid moment between apps and mains, we ordered the Minced Sushi Tuna. High grade tuna is chilled and served atop a house-made pressed rice waffle, layered with avocado crème fraîche, capers, and caviar.
For mains, I ordered the Sesame & Panko Rare Seared Ahi-Tuna. This was by far my favorite dish of the night! The forbidden black-rice was incredibly rich and tasty, and paired so well with the “bursting with flavor” ginger slaw, carrot, and purple cabbage, topped with micro greens. My husband loved his Adobo-Coffee Crusted Lamb! The perfectly seasoned lamb was drizzled with a rich adobo dark chocolate sauce, perfectly paired with a unique panko-spinach-truffled mac potato cake, creating a fusion of indulgent flavors.
For dessert, I ordered their rich Dirty Bottom Brownie Chocolate-Chip Cheesecake, an ooey-gooey chocolate ganache brownie on the bottom, layered with a richly infused chocolate-chip cheesecake. My husband had the Warm Banana Bread Pudding – soft on the inside ‘pillowy clouds’, topped with maple pecans and a caramel bourbon whipped cream finish. After years of searching for a dessert to rival a banana bread pudding my husband fell in love with at a fine dining restaurant years ago, he has finally found one here at Clusters & Hops that equals its greatness!
Whether you’re a local, or a visitor to our capital city, Clusters & Hops in Tallahassee is a must-visit for anyone in search of an evening filled with delicious dining, exceptional wines, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. It stands as a testament to Tallahassee’s vibrant culinary scene, offering a unique blend of gourmet fare and a space that embodies both the new and the familiar. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a wonderful night out, this restaurant promises an unforgettable experience as you embrace the charm, taste the excellence, and let Clusters & Hops become a part of your cherished moments.