L'Albatros Brasserie + Bar

March 1, 2016
L'Albatros Brasserie + Bar

In Cleveland's museum district, a masterpiece

Tom Okal

Monet. Matisse. Renoir. Degas. In one period of painting alone, France dazzled the world with a magnificent feast for the eyes. Now, consider the culinary influence of France’s entire history, a history with a love of food and wine profoundly unparalleled: pate’, cassoulet, bouillabaisse, coq au vin, baguettes, croissants, fromage, burgundy, chardonnay choucroute garni, beef bourguignon and on and on and on.

Thankfully, that influence was felt strongly by renowned chef and Cleveland restaurateur, Zack Bruell, in his sublime salute to France, L'Albatros.

Let’s paint a picture. An old carriage house nestled away from the road quietly waits. You enter. Immediately, the spirit of the place embraces you. The lighting is cozy. The aroma is wonderful. To your right, a small open-air kitchen is bustling in silent intensity. It is warm. In every sense of the word.

You are led to your table by a gracious and efficient host. Promptly, water, bread and olive oil are before you. The décor is minimalist, the effect is anything but. Exposed brick and whitewashed brick, along with comforting shades of creamy white and warm grey create a sophisticated calm. The menu is classics-centric rendered by Chef Bruell in bold, masterful strokes.

The hors d’oeuvres offer many exquisite options such as terrines, escargot, oysters on the half shell and a charcuterie platter. Salad selections abound on a spectrum from the traditional to the singular - the watercress “Caesar” with white anchovies, Parmesan cheese and large caper berries explodes with flavor. For entrees, you can journey the entire expanse of France: the rich cassoulet features lamb, duck confit, pork belly and sausages; seared sea scallops arrive atop shaved Brussels sprouts, house made noodles and Pernod cream; and the veal short rib is paired with mushroom risotto and veal jus. Wherever you decide to venture on this menu, you’ll discover it is all executed with a fierce passion for the finest.

They say certain restaurants have an atmosphere, a vibe. This place has something deeper, something no architect or interior decorator could ever create, something that leaves you feeling peaceful and grateful.

L’Albatros has a soul.

L’Albatros Brasseries + Bar
11401 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

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