Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birthday Dinner a Bust

Overall, my birthday was simply wonderful. A near perfect day, and the celebrations aren't quite over yet. I have a big birthday bash weekend planned with my college friends as we travel back to campus and watch SU take on Georgetown. Then, I'll be celebrating with my family at one of our favorite Syracuse restaurants. Lastly, an epic dinner party back here in Cleveland. This birthday will carry on for close to a month. But, it's 30...that's allowed, right?

One piece of my actual birthday that didn't live up to our expectations was dinner at Parallax Restaurant & Lounge. We are big fans of Chef Bruell's restaurants, but we haven't been back to Parallax in five years (even though it's the closest to home). We've been meaning to get back there, so it was an easy pick for my birthday dinner with "R".

It was a Tuesday at 6:45PM, so we easily got a reservation and the restaurant was only slightly over half-full the entire time that we were there. However, a VIP table of basketball players and coaches were seated next to us shortly after we arrived (still not sure who they were after scouring rosters online). Immediately, our level of service went downhill. Placing our food order took forever, we had to flag down another server in order to get a second round of drinks, food/beverages were slower arriving at the table, and it just wasn't the experience that I think we would have had otherwise.

Overall, the food wasn't that great either. We decided to share two small plates to start the meal. We ordered the Pork Belly Chiroshi with shishito peppers, fried egg, and mustard broth ($11).
The pork belly had already been pulled apart into small pieces, so the fatty, buttery texture of good pork belly that we love was lost in this dish. The pieces were just a little too crispy. Also, I LOVE spicy food, but there were bites of this dish that I felt overdid it just a bit. It was good, but not great, and I probably wouldn't order it again.

Parallax is also known for their fantastic sushi, so we couldn't completely miss out on this even though I wasn't in the mood for rolls. We decided to share the Nigiri Sushi Combo of Tuna, Salmon, and Yellowtail ($14 for two pieces each).
The fish was clearly very fresh, and I enjoyed it, but you can get good nigiri like this at several other restaurants for a lower price tag. I'll stick to Pacific East. However, I would like to go back to Parallax to try some of their specialty rolls.

For my entree, I made a last minute decision to switch from the scallops to the Soy Lacquered Mahi Mahi with ginger fried rice and shishito peppers in a pineapple nam prik ($24).
Sadly, overall the dish was very dry and a little bland. There were also way too many peppers on the plate. It wasn't terrible, but I certainly wasn't thrilled with my selection. I enjoyed my bites of "R's" Vietnamese Chile-Garlic Shrimp more, but he wasn't in love with his dish either.

For the hefty price tag, we weren't overly impressed with our meal, and it didn't leave us wanting more. We've had much better experiences at his other restaurants (Chinato, L'Albatros, Cowell & Hubbard, Table 45), so I think that it may be another five years before we find ourselves back there again.

Do you have a favorite Bruell restaurant?

2179 West 11th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113


Crystal @EatDrinkClev said...

Oh that sucks! Hate spending $ on food and having a bad experience. L'Albatros and Chinato are my favorites of his by far. I haven't been to Parallax in ages and now I'm definitely not in a rush to go back. Glad that this was just one bump in an otherwise fabulous birthday month!