Caldwell’s Cloverleaf Tavern, “the oldest business in town” has been pulling drafts and serving some of the area’s best burgers since 1933.
However, on the occasion of a recent lunch and dinner, we found so much more to love and discover beyond the always imaginative burger selections.
Beer aficionados know this is the place to explore a wide array of on tap options. The beer list, changing daily, features half a dozen or more featured drafts and featured bottles/cans, in addition to a mind-boggling selection of of every style brew imaginable. Whether you favor pilsners or IPAs, stout, sours, whites, ales, or seasonal brews, Cloverleaf Tavern has it all. We enjoyed the Allgash White, Brix City Mango Jams; for the undecided, simply start with a sampler – four 4 ounce pours of choice. We tried Source Saison Framboise, Equilibrium Fluff Frequency, Palm Belgium Pale, Ale Kane Head IPA.
The dizzying beer menu is worth studying, and to that end, their MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation) program offers a tasty syllabus with homework you won’t begrudge.
Moving on to food, the menu covers all bases including vegetarian and vegan options. We indulged with three types of local oysters on the half shell (Barnegat and Long Island provenance); crispy fish and chips (three types of fries to choose from!) with tartare sauce and malt vinegar; flavor-packed, Asian-inspired crispy shrimp lettuce bundles; and a huge bowl of udon noodles garnished with veggies, peanuts, teriyaki shrimp in a sweet chili sauce. Portions were plentiful and satisfying.
Cloverleaf has a choice of in-tavern, garden patio, or tented dining options – all socially distanced. The brick patio, with umbrella-shaded tables was a perfect lunch setting, warm and breezy. For dinner on a balmy Saturday night, we signed up for an hour wait at outside picnic tables adjacent to the extended tented dining area. Happily, we were seated within 30 minutes. Family friendly, casual, and lively, Cloverleaf, like a good friend, is great to revisit (and there are “benefits,” too).
Cloverleaf Tavern, 359 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, NJ, 973 226-9812