Off the Cleaver, the newest and arguably best meat purveyor in the Durham region, opened in September near the heart of Whitby. It will soon become the butcher shop of choice to the “rich and famous” of the area: their meat products are unquestionably among the best in the entire region but at no small price. You pay but for what you get and you will receive outstanding quality, organically and Mennonite produced meats beyond the quality sold almost anywhere in the region.
Craig and Todd Leslie dreamed up Off the Cleaver during their 20 years of working in the family meat businesses. Then the brothers dove into the deep end of the pool; they opened Off the Cleaver, a shop dedicated to the sale of superior quality meats.
Frowning on frozen products, the brother’s store sells locally or domestically produced meats, carved, cut, marinated and prepared in house by their very own professional chefs.
Monarchs of meat
The store offers sausages made in house (brats, blancs, honey garlic, spicey Italian…all 100% meat); Mennonite produced chicken (organic in the real sense: no antibiotics, no hormones), some marinated and kebab prepared (variously spiced: Cajun, chipotle, curried, rosemary and orange-ginger)…it looks so good you could almost eat it from the display.
Where’s the beef
Bison, deer, duck, elk, Cornish hens, in varied cuts, tenderloin, breast and strip, all displayed in a refrigerated wall display almost as long as the the entire store. The display counters at the front offer more: marinated meats, double smoked thick-cut bacon that will activate your taste buds just by seeing their display. The Angus strip loins, tenderloins, burgers promise dining like royalty with certainty. The King Kut though is the ‘Off the Cleaver’ marbled Frenched bone-in prime rib steak. A greater than 2 pound slab of prime rib that cries for high heat barbecuing, salt, pepper and a gargantuan appetite ( realistically, it will feed 4 or more. ) The prime USDA dry aged certified Angus beef, the pride of the proprietors, is sourced locally from renowned producers, South 50 Farms.
Natural change, not chemical
The Leslies boast about their 28 day dry aging process, justifiably. Very few other meat purveyors use this time and cost consuming process but the brother’s dedication goes so far as to have a dry ager unit in the front where clientele can see how the dry aging meats change in appearance. The dark colours of the meat in the display confirm the transformation process where removing the water converts the meat into ‘melt in your mouth’ incredibility.
Of course, the shop offers surprisingly more, much more: lamb in various ways, stuffed, shoulder and leg as well other prepared meats such as Cordon Bleu chicken and Beef Teriyaki. Then, it kicks it up a notch with imported Italian salamis, cured, black peppered, your charcuterie presentations will escalate to royal levels.
Meat ain’t everything
In other refrigerated displays, Off the Cleaver presents cheeses: domestic and local, from producers across Canada, Prince Edward County, Prince Edward Island and back home in Ontario and imported from Holland, England and France; a cheese lover’s paradise, unreservedly. If they set up a taster table with crusty bread and wine, customers would never leave.
Monarchs dine on more than just meat and cheese and you can too: aged balsamic vinegars, olive oils and artisanal dried pastas. Off the Cleaver is far more than a grocery store; it is a specialty meat shop selling products which in earlier times would have been destined for serving on the dining tables of kings and queens. Today, your dining table can serve as royalty did.
Master Chef Josh Heuvelmans is the master behind the specialty foods prepared in the Off the Cleaver kitchens: Beef Bourguignon, Duck Confit, savoury pies and lip-licking sauces.
Ably assisted by Chef Eric, the two professionals create curry dishes, season soups, and superb sauces for ‘take away’ so your dinner preparations develop an even greater level of goodness. Dine like royalty and bask in inevitable compliments!
Chef Heuvelmans trained across Europe and in North America. He is no stranger to Michelin starred eateries and his prepared dishes prove it but let’s save his story for another time.
Off the Cleaver as it is today, is just the beginning. The store already hosts in-store cooking sessions and personalizes ordering of seasonal favourites such as turkeys and hams. More is to come, a website, a Client Loyalty Club, and other in-store events and experiences which at the moment are in the creating stages.
More than just superb products
The Leslie brothers’ philosophy as displayed on the wall is to ‘appreciate the customer.’ The customer is as important to Off the Cleaver as what they sell. Their experienced staff, the clerks, the brothers, the chefs, each is ready to assist you with cooking advice, preparation methods, presentation variations, and dinner content ideas. Just ask and receive timely, knowledgeable tips guaranteed to enhance your dining occasions.
Your home, your castle!
Off the Cleaver is a meatery beyond the average. Hence, prices are above average but you are buying products that are far above average in quality, the best that is available, superb quality. Your dinners will reach up to the stars, the Michelin stars and your guests will recognize your pride and dedication to fine dining served in your own royal castle.
OFF THE CLEAVER
817 Dundas St. W.,
416 994 0996