Archive for August, 2012
Today, we ate at home. We didn’t cook. Instead, as we do every year, Michele drove to Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Cleveland Heights and picked up dinner. We do this because the food at this festival is very good and it represents a corner of the culinary world not well served in Cleveland, or our kitchen.
Michele enjoys the Cathedral’s fish and Jeff never mastered the preparation of lamb shanks and rarely finds them on menus. Theirs are very good. A stack of stuffed grape leaves are waiting for lunch tomorrow and WOW, the pastry. Don’t eat the rest of the week. Have the pastry now!
A festival is not a typical posting for us, but this is unique.
Roast leg of lamb on the menu this weekend!!
http://www.clevelandgreek.com/3352 Mayfield Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118 216.932.3300 ext 1
It is finished. We have completed our tour and have the tee shirts to prove it!
We are not strangers to the restaurants owned by Zack Bruell. We happily visit them through the year, so the annual Tour de Bruell just means an adjustment of our visits to coincide with the contest rules. Last year, it resulted in our becoming a finalist, enjoying a beautiful five-course meal at Table 45 and winning a third-place “behind the scene” experience in the kitchen of Table 45. You’ve got to love a place that treat return customers with this much regard.
After having returned to all five places in the last two months, we though it would be a good time to recap our thoughts on each place.
• Parallax – We still regard this place to be Chef Bruell’s benchmark. We have enjoyed every meal here and this trip was no different. A great atmosphere, knowledgeable staff and a perfect collection of eating options makes this a place, by which almost all other Cleveland eateries should be measured.
• L’Albatros – After a year or two, some restaurants start to get sloppy and the quality begins to diminish. Just the opposite has occurred here. It seems as though every visit results in better and better food, even when Jeff orders his favorite Pied de Cochon and Michele the Trout with Almond crust. L’Albatros is giving Parallax a run for its money.
• Chinato – It is always exciting to visit Chinato, because of the vibrancy of its downtown setting. A blink and you might think you were in Manhattan. Like L’Albatros, this food has maintained its high standard. This is hearty fare, best defined by the Beef Braised in Amarone over Creamy Polenta. Rich and exploding with flavor. One meal compels you to the next visit.
• Cowell & Hubbard – While still new, we have enjoyed each of our meals here. With a menu that has you planning your next visit, while ordering for the current, Cowell & Hubbard is on the precipice of greatness.
• Table 45 – We are just a wee bit worried about 45. We have had fabulous meals here, but we have also experienced more than one boo-boo. Way too much butter soaking the fish and an extreme amount of garlic on a delicate veal dish have drawn or concern. Regardless, this remains a favorite that we hope will find its assured footing.
So all is completed, except the waiting. Will we again be fortunate enough to be a finalist? We’ve got our fingers crossed and our tee shirts on. If you haven’t completed your tour, get moving! You know it’s worth the effort!
http://parallaxtremont.com/ 2179 West 11th Street Cleveland, OH 44113 216-583-1111
http://albatrosbrasserie.com/ 11401 Bellflower Road Cleveland, OH 44106 216-791-7880
http://tbl45.com/ 9801 Carnegie Avenue Cleveland, OH 44106 216-707-4045
http://chinatocleveland.com/ 2079 East 4th Street Cleveland, OH 44115 216-298-9080
http://cowellhubbard.com/ 1307 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115 216-479-0555
Like so many places, Lure simply got away from us. We dined there a number of years ago and then, probably because it is a distance from our home, we have simply overlooked it and forgot about including it in our culinary options. That changed last weekend when we attended the annual downtown Willoughby Art Festival. After a leisurely walk in some of the most comfortable weather of the summer, it was time for food. We considered another visit to Pranzo on Euclid, but decided a return visit to Lure, located down a side street, was in order.
We both started with the Bistro Salad, a nice, fresh collection of greens, cucumber and salsa. Placed in a square bowl it not only looked good but tasted good as well. Michele fully enjoyed the Potato Chip-Crusted Trout and Jeff joined her on the seafood side of the menu with Crab-Crusted Grouper, topped with wonderfully crunchy spinach. Clean plates, all around.
Lure also has a full Sushi service, a great outdoor “tikki” style bar out front and a cozy, eclectic interior. The staff is energized and the vibe says, “You’ll have fun here!” So why have we stayed away so long? Life has many mysteries. Not so mysterious, Lure has good food.
http://thelurebistro.com/38040 Third Street Willoughby, OH 44094 440-951-8862