Uptown Cut: A Unique Dining Experience in Thunder Bay

Editor's note: Uptown Cut is now closed. Visit Thunder Bay Tourism for more ideas on where to dine in TBay. 

Uptown Cut is a little steak house offering fine dining in a comfortable venue with premium cut steak house fare that is unique to Thunder Bay. The meals, service and quality are outstanding. There are a few vegetarian offerings so the less carnivorous among you can still lunch with your burger and steak loving friends.

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Along with working shifts at the restaurant, the chefs – four in all; chef Corey, Graham, Stacey and pastry chef, Alyssa, also prepare meals for the larger catering service offered to locals. You can see images of the chefs and servers at work on Uptown Cut’s Facebook page, where they are at work at weddings and other special events.

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At the restaurant, both lunch and dinner menus are listed on framed chalkboards, brought to you by the knowledgeable head server, Jessica, who will place it conveniently for you to see. A chalkboard is required as the chefs have all angles covered while creating standard fare along with fusion foods in the gastro-pub vein in order to offer variety and a quality experience. With new options offered every week printing a menu would be unnecessarily laborious.

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Lunch includes a few choices of burgers with extra topping choices and side dishes. Burgers, as of this writing, include the usual ingredients with (special ingredients), Wagyu Grind (jalapeno aioli), the Caprese Burger (hand pulled mozza, roasted tomato, basil), Fun Bobby Burger (peanut butter & jelly, sriracha sauce, bacon, onion), U+C Blue & Bacon Burger (bacon, blue cheese), and of course a Veggie Burger (grilled zucchini, roasted red pepper aioli). As much as possible, aside from the beef and quality wines and liqueurs, locally grown food is used in the preparation of meals.

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Other lunch fare, as of this writing is, Wagyu Bolognese, Mushroom Risotto, Slow Roast Ribeye Salad, Steak and Fries. 1/3lb Soft Shell Crab Burger.

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Dinner however is where Uptown Cut can knock your socks off. You have a choice of a few rib-eye and strip-loin dinners and a five or ten course meal with a good list of small plates to choose from that will compliment your main meal. A quality meal like this will be pricey, but it’s not just the food that is fantastic, but the service, plating, and education you may get in the process.

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Cole Snell, a successful Toronto entrepreneur and owner of several businesses who returned to his roots in Thunder Bay, suggested I allow for more than an hour to experience the ten-course meal. You will see from the photos that the dishes leading up to the main course are quite small, but size is no measure for the delight you will experience. However, be prepared to spend more than two hours. This is not to say that the service is slow, it’s not; the process of the meal and the food itself creates discussion. The meal becomes an adventure where the pleasure or even euphoria you may experience will come the chef’s creative treatment of familiar dishes. For example, the beef is perfectly marbleized meat from a cow fed on a free-range farm in the Kobe tradition, where, as Jessica joked, the cows listen to classical music. This is a myth, but because the cows are treated more humanely and live longer lives in a stress free environment the fat in the beef is more evenly distributed and tastes better as a result.

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Also, as a result, Uptown Cut presents to Thunder Bay a unique dining experience well worth the experience, and will give you story to share with your friends.

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About Duncan Weller

A writer and visual artist, Duncan Weller is a Governor General's Award winner who lives in Thunder Bay. You can visit his website at www.duncanweller.com. His latest two books are a novel, Flight of the Silk, and an expanded edition of the award-winning children's picture book, The Boy from the Sun.

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