The Angry Bear Kitchen opens today in the former Sage space in Clintonville. During a first look at their soft opening last night, it appears the trio of chefs, who share equal ownership of the restaurant and menu, are well on their way to achieving their initial goal: nose-to-tail cooking presented in a non-intimidating way.

The Angry Bear Kitchen opens today in the former Sage space in Clintonville. During a first look at their soft opening last night, it appears the trio of chefs, who share equal ownership of the restaurant and menu, are well on their way to achieving their initial goal: nose-to-tail cooking presented in a non-intimidating way.

The menu is divided into a collection of shareable plates and large plates, and one could easily make a meal out of two or three small plates. It's on this part of the menu where the chefs really seem to be having their fun. So I stuck to this portion of the menu last night.

A few favorite things I tried: They batter tender sweetbreads in buffalo-wing-style sauce and serve it with a side of creamy blue cheese dressing and shaved celery. It's the fanciest version of buffalo wings I've ever tried. Short ribs are presented as a tender tartar, worth trying for the accoutrements on the slate plate-garlicky ramp pesto, sweet caramelized onion puree and cured egg, sliced and fried into little chips. Their poutine-a Canadian-inspired dish of fries topped with gravy and cheese curds-gets a twist with pulled-pork tender, shredded beef tongue. On the lighter side, a carpaccio of sunchokes was crisp and fresh with wonderfully sharp pickled mushrooms.

After last night's dinner, I'm looking forward to seeing what chefs Jarod Norris, Tyler Minnis and Daniel Scalzo. (For more on them, see my Daily Crave post about the opening.)

Though limited in what they could do with the small, brick-lined space, they've done a nice job opening it up. Now every move in the kitchen is easily viewable from the dining room. The bar was also shifted to give it more breathing room. The specialty cocktail list crafted by Basi Italia bar manager Phil Richardson pulls from classics you don't see very often (like a Pisco Sour and Scofflaw).

The trio of chefs plans to change the menu every month. Here's a look at what's on the May menu:

Plates

Lemon & ricotta gnocchi, wild mushroom, shaved parmesan ($8)

Butter lettuce, radicchio, fried onion, blue cheese dressing ($8)

Charred broccoli raab, chili flake vinaigrette, pecorino romano, white anchovy, cured lemon, poached egg ($7)

Sunchoke carpaccio, almonds, pickled mushrooms, micro green ($9)

Short rib tartar, caramelized onion puree, caper chips, ramp pesto, micro green, cured egg ($11)

Maine mussels, mortadella, chorizo, garlic, wine, charred bread ($13)

Chamurra spiced lamb skewers, tzatziki ($9)

Pork rillette hand pie, caramelized apple jus, pickled green apple, mustard ice cream ($12)

Crispy sweetbreads, hot sauce, blue cheese, shaved celery ($10)

Beef tongue poutine, fries, cheese curd, gravy ($10)

Dungeness crab, avocado mousse, charred & pickled shoshitos, grapefruit marmalade, chives ($12)

Large Plates

Spinach fettuccine, spring vegetables, pecorino, lemon ($17)

Onion and goat cheese tart, kale chip, kale salad, squash puree ($16)

Lake Erie walleye, white chocolate celery root puree, artichoke chip, brown butter emulsion ($26)

Grilled hangar, horseradish panna cotta, confit potato, blue cheese sabayon ($24)

Chicken everything: seared breast, braised leg, crispy skin salad, potato gnocchi, spring vegetables ($18)

Braised pork shank, white bean, kimchi, fried Brussels, jus ($21)

Half pound burger, charred balsamic red onion, gruyere, smoked bacon, truffle aioli and fries ($13)