A Night Out at Clara Bo -
Being parents to a two year old and working full time doesn’t leave my husband and I much time to get out and be adults. When our eight year anniversary rolled around we decided to take a night to ourselves and headed out “on the town” for a nice meal out at Clara Bo.
Clara Bo Steak & Seafood and Gatsby Wine Bar are located in the former Liberty Inn in Beloit, Wisconsin. The beautifully renovated premier restaurant and casual cellar wine bar are the Jazz-era inspiration and passion of Scott Murray, founder and proprietor. A lifelong area resident, it was Scott’s dream to build more than a place to eat and drink – it was his dream to create an experience that his patrons would make their favorite destinations.
-Clara Bo website, About Us
Atmosphere and Decor
Walking into the restaurant you are immediately transport to a time of elegance and class. From the old style jazz restaurant booths, to beautiful chandeliers made by the owner and his family, you can’t help but feel warmth and love that is flowing through the space.
We had a 5:00 PM reservation due to the popularity of the restaurant, so we figured we would be dining with the “retirement” crowd, but that wasn’t the case at all. Guests during our meal ranged from ranged from teenagers out for dinner before the winter formal, twenty something couples out for date night, older couples and families, and regulars (like the owner’s brother and wife, who were seated next to us). It was a mixed crowd in the place and everyone just felt right at home.
I was impressed with the extensive choices they offered. I knew whether we were in the mood for a light flare of appetizers and tapas, to full blown portions of steak and seafood, they had us covered.
Having lived the last 10 years in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago and treated to some of the state’s best steak and seafood joints, I had some high expectations. Some of the items seemed typical for a steak and seafood style restaurant, but for the most part each item had a unique flair that I haven’t come across at other restaurants.
After reviewing the menu and hearing the nightly specials from our waitress (Lauren, you rocked!), we settled on the following items for the night:
Appetizer: Mussels Diablo
We normally just stick to mussels that are in a white wine sauce, but the Pompodoro Diablo sauce was a interesting twist. The garlic, white wine and spiciness in the sauce complimented the mussels perfectly. Plus it made an excellent dipping pair for their fresh baked bread.
Second Course: Lobster Bisque
If you are looking for a bisque that contains sherry and large chunks of lobster, than this isn’t for you. However, if you looking for a one that is subtle and light with just the right amount of lobster flavor, then this dish will ultimately be your new favorite.
Third Course (Entrée): Evening special of 14oz Prime Rib with Goat Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables
Cooked to a perfect medium rare, with barely any fat on it, this cut was perfect. This LARGE meat entrée and its parings will be perfect for any meat lover, who has a hearty appetite (half mine came home with me).
My husband had the Linguine Fruite De Mar (Linguine with Seafood) that he thoroughly enjoyed. This large pasta bowl containing an abundance of seafood didn’t make it home!
Dessert: Oreo Cheesecake
As our waitress named off each dessert my mouth was salivating. I couldn’t decide which one should we try. After finding out we were celebrating our anniversary, owner Scott Murray made our decision easy and brought us their house specialty of Oreo Cheesecake. A few words to describe this dessert would creamy, sweet, and just delightful. The creamy vanilla bean cheesecake mixed with the Oreo chunks just melted in your mouth and instantly made you remember being a kid when you dipped your Oreo’s in a tall glass of milk.
From the moment we walked in and were greeted throughout our entire dining experience the service was impeccable. From the owner walking around checking in on guests and making everyone feel welcome, to the waiters, waitress, and overall hosts everyone just made sure that you were having a fantastic dining experience and that you would return.
We would go back in a heartbeat (and suggest everyone try it soon if you haven’t already). We plan on making it a regular spot on our date nights. This would include not just visiting the restaurant, but hopefully getting to the Gatsby Wine Bar, located downstairs below the main restaurant.
P.S. One quick tip, make sure to make your reservation for a Friday or Saturday at least 1-2 weeks in advance, as the prime 6:30-8:30 time slots fill up quick
Clara Bo | 1901 Liberty Avenue | Beloit, WI 53511 | 608-207-9842