Chef Zack Bruell's fifth restaurant, Cowell & Hubbard, opened in Downtown Cleveland recently on Euclid Avenue in the heart of Playhouse Square. This modern French bistro was a welcomed addition, and being a Bruell fan- I couldn't wait to check it out.
Valet parking is available ($8), so parking was easy and I was quickly inside. The space is quite large, but is broken up into smaller areas using seating and decor. The bar is long and area open, so it's welcoming for anyone just popping in for a drink.
The menu is daunting to say the least. With 21 appetizers and 11 salads, it's hard to even know where to begin. The good news? Most of it sounds amazing, and you leave wanting to come back and try more. I had asked around to see what people recommended, so narrowing my choices was a bit easier. I selected the Butternut Squash Ravioli with greens, jalapeno, and prosciutto ($9) from the Appetizers section.This dish is served with one large ravioli. The textures in this plate are just beautiful. My favorite component was the crispy prosciutto that added great bite to the dish. It isn't ideal for sharing, but I'd recommend this dish and I'd order it again. Only tiny criticism- it could have been served hotter, and I didn't taste any heat from the jalapenos.
For my entree, I went with the Lamb Breast with yogurt, mint, preserved lemon zest, pine nuts, Moroccan spices and olives with cous cous ($19).For the price, the serving was large and I was able to take some home with me. The meat was tender and just fell apart at the touch. Overall, I did enjoy the dish and its combination of flavors- it was reminiscent of a beloved gyro. However, the lamb meat was a little fatty, and I had wished that there was more tang from the yogurt.
The only thing that was not overly impressive with our experience was our server. She was a little "off" in both personality and attentiveness. A couple of other servers stepped in when they saw that we were waiting a long time to order, and when our dirty plates lingered a little too long. She also completely forgot a dessert that was ordered, but it eventually came out. So our meal ended up taking longer than anticipated, but we didn't really care since we were out for a fun girls' night of catching up and gossip.
We had a great time, and even though L'Albatros will still remain #1 Bruell restaurant in my heart (mmm, cheese)...I will be back to Cowell & Hubbard. It just might have stolen the number two spot from Chinato.
Cowell & Hubbard
1305 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115