One of the big names on the Cleveland culinary scene would have to be Zack Bruell. Owner of four wonderful restaurants, Table 45, Parallax, L'Albatros, and Chinato, Zack offers Clevelanders a variety of food and cooking styles. In all of my dining adventures at Bruell's restaurants, I have yet to have a less then fabulous meal. The service and selection also is nothing short of wonderful too. If I only paid a bit more attention (or joined Twitter sooner) I would have participated in the Tour de Bruell, a promotion running through December 3 to dine at all four restaurants with the chance to win a four course meal for eight people with Zack Bruell. My most recent dining adventure happened to be at Bruell's French Brasserie on University Circle, L'Albatros.
When going to restaurants, I love to try new things. I hate falling into the always ordering the same thing rut may tend to fall into when dining out. Yes, I do have my "stand-by" dishes just in case something does not capture my curiosity and spark my appetite. When going over the extensive menu at L'Albatros, which has a large variety of poultry, seafood, beef, and vegetarian options, one thing definitely caught my eye, "sauteed skate wing". Now I like to think I am quite familiar with various poultry and seafood options, however I never heard of skate. My boyfriend clarified it was a type of sting ray but never tried it himself. I asked our server, who was very helpful and friendly, about the taste. She explained it as a very mild seafood almost like a whitefish or shellfish. That made my decision for me. I must say, I am very pleased with my adventurous pallet because I LOVED the skate. It was sauteed in a brown butter sauce and accompanied by zucchini and tomatoes cooked in cheese.
I must also mention the puree of eggplant, mushroom, and tomato soup that we had was the perfect starter to the meal. A bit of future advice for those wanting to have soup but not wanting it to fill you up. Ask if it could be split into two or more portions and share with your table. Much like Bruell's other restaurants, a basket of bread is not placed on the table, yet brought to you, as needed, to enjoy with the olive oil and herbs. I also must commend our server too for being very friendly and attentive. After asking about a huge cheese tray I saw being taken around and mentioning my love of truffle, she brought me what is now my new favorite cheese (I will tweet the name later to ensure proper spelling). It was very mild had a perfect perfect buttery texture. I was later told, this particular cheese was brought back to Italy by Marco Polo.
Overall, I would recommend any of Bruell's restaurants for a date night or night out with friends who are in town. The food and service will exceed any expectations. Bruell's restaurants, specifically L'Albatros, are worth repeat visits to truely experience all it has to offer.
I now want to apologize for not updating recently. As we all know, Thursday is Thanksgiving and I have been a bit busy preparing the menu for the big day. I am so ready to talk turkey!! Also, I would like to mention Cakes Plus bakery in Rocky River. I am a recent winner of one of their Facebook contests and will blog about the Ultimate Brownies I have won once I pick them up.
Until next time...follow your heart, fulfill your hunger.