Showing posts with label Table 45. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Table 45. Show all posts

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tour de Bruell Makes Another Stop

As "R" and I continue on our Tour de Bruell (having already tried Parallax and L'Albatros), we decided to spend our anniversary dinner at Table 45 in the Intercontinental Hotel this past Saturday. In order to properly celebrate our glorious three years together (dating, not married- we live in sin *gasp*), we wanted to kick it up a notch from our normal dining out. Table 45 was a good choice, as the atmosphere is quite different than the comfortable, warm, and more casual setting that we gravitate towards on a regular basis. I have never dined in another restaurant that so accurately fits the description of "modern"- clean lines, stainless steel, a color scheme of white/black/red, light wood accents, glass, and sleek furniture. It creates an impressive visual, but it is certainly not an atmosphere that most people would find comfortable or inviting to dine in. Setting aside, the service was good but not great. I'm not sure if it was just our server or if he was trained to be this way, but he was a little stiff. Now on to the food...

We had a $50 gift certificate to spend, so we decided to share an appetizer and ordered the Crab Cakes ($12)- rice paper wrapped crab cakes served with a spicy Asian remoulade. Two medium sized cakes arrived with a side of remoulade. Tasted by itself, the remoulade didn't strike either of us as anything special. But, once paired with the crab cake the sauce added texture and flavor that enhanced the overall dish. The cakes were lightly wrapped in rice paper and fried- giving it a nice crunch to each bite. The filling contained mostly fresh crab, which was the dominant flavor of the dish without tasting fishy. "R" considers himself a crab cake connoisseur (crab cakes and gyros- he's so varied), and he ranked these cakes up there among the top.

For his main course, "R" ordered the Hanger Steak ($22)- Latin marinated steak with boniato root mash, plantain chips, and tomatillo salsa. Our server warned him that this dish was packed with flavor, but aside from the slight heat in the salsa I didn't see where he was coming from. The steak itself didn't have a whole lot of flavor, and it was slightly over done. The boniato root (in the sweet potato family) mash was creamy with a hint of sweetness, and I think it was the best thing on the plate. Unfortunately, "R" was a little disappointed with his selection and slightly jealous of mine. Based on our server's recommendation, I ordered the Braised Short Ribs ($26) (pictured above)- Cabernet braised short ribs with spring pea risotto and natural sauce reduction. The meat was so tender that it literally fell apart as I took each bite. The knife was left clean! I also really enjoyed the spring pea risotto, which was soft and creamy with the occasional whole pea included that added texture and brought out the pea flavor. The lightly shaved parmesan cheese also helped. The only, tiny, criticism that I have about this dish is the sauce. It was missing that "something special", so the flavor was pretty basic. Overall, I did enjoy the dish but it didn't wow me as other Bruell creations have in the past.

It was another successful stop on "the Tour", but I doubt that we will be dining there again when Bruell's other restaurants have a slightly more comfortable atmosphere and have delivered better dishes in our opinion. Next (and last) stop- Chinato! Who's with me?

Table 45
9801 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 707-4045

Table 45 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It May Have a Funny Name...

Anyone who pays attention to the restaurant scene in Cleveland has heard of Zach Bruell and his popular contemporary cusine at Parallax (Tremont), Table 45 (located inside the InterContinental Hotel by the Cleveland Clinic), and his newest restaurant L'Albatros Brasserie & Bar (University Circle). I've had the pleasure of dining at Parallax before (delicious modern seafood), haven't made it to Table 45 yet, and last night was my first time experiencing L'Albatros since its opening. I have to say that if my decision was based on the decor and atmosphere, I would not be going back. Bruell's contemporary trend was taken a bit too far with the cold white plastic chairs and table, minimalist artwork and decor, and simplistic (a.k.a. boring) bar area. Also a glass of wine runs you about $10. Now on to the food- which is where he really shines!

We started with the "French Toast" served with ragout of wild mushrooms and balsamic syrup ($8). Our waitress stated that it was their signature starter and very popular. The dish was very rich, but inventive and flavorful. The carmelized mushrooms and hint of balsamic syrup was a wonderful combination. The light, fluffy french toast squares just melted in your mouth. Two of us ordered the pasta special of the evening which included house-made noodles smothered in a light goat cheese fondue with grilled cauliflower. The dish was tasty and the portion was perfect, but I think I would have enjoyed my first choice off their regular menu a little better. I think it was the words "goat cheese fondue" that got me! Luckily, our other dining companion ordered my top choice: Seared Sea Scallops with brussel sprouts, noodles and pernod cream ($20). The gigantic scallops appeared to be seared to perfection, and they were nestled on a bed of house-made noodles. I may be back to try this dish for myself! We finished with the Warm Chocolate Brownie served with crème anglaise and vanilla bean ice cream ($7). It arrived warm as promised, and the ice cream was melting right into the thick gooey brownie. Umm, can you say heaven?!

Overall, I was impressed with the food and will probably overlook the atmosphere of the restaurant while dining there again. Rumor has it that Bruell is opening a fourth restaurant on East 4th in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!

L'Albatros Brasserie & Bar
11401 Bellflower Ct.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 791-7880

L'Albatros on Urbanspoon