Archive for August 19, 2012
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!
2179 West 11th Street Cleveland, OH 44113 216-583-1111
11401 Bellflower Road Cleveland, OH 44106 216-791-7880
9801 Carnegie Avenue Cleveland, OH 44106 216-707-4045
2079 East 4th Street Cleveland, OH 44115 216-298-9080
1307 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115 216-479-0555