Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dinner Club at Cowell and Hubbard

Last week's @CLEDinnerClub outing was a slap-in-the-face reminder that I need to make a return visit to Cowell & Hubbard immediately. It's no secret that I'm a fan of basically anything that Chef Zack Bruell does, but the meal that we had at Cowell & Hubbard on Tuesday was a great representation of the high quality food that Bruell's staff consistently puts out.

We started with a heavenly Hominy Stew.
With hominy, tomatoes, chicken, and cilantro--- this soup had us all scraping our bowls and whining for more.

The second course just wasn't for me--- Salmon Rittettes.
No matter how much I try to force myself to like it, salmon isn't my thing. Sometimes (rarely), salmon dishes can be mild enough for me to enjoy them. This particular salmon fell into the "too fishy" category for me, but others loved it. However, I did respect their craftsmanship in the cauliflower cous cous. The texture was so spot-on that it had us all fooled into thinking that it was true cous cous.

The last savory course was Braised Beef Shoulder with collard greens and fingerling potatoes.
Again, this dish was simply perfection on a plate. Tender meat, wonderful flavors, and I just love good collard greens. I want more.

The last course was the only one that hit a sour note for some of us. We had two options, and I had selected the Flourless Chocolate Cake.
The cake itself was everything that you'd expect from a flourless chocolate cake--- dense, moist, chocolaty, and enjoyable. However, it was paired with an orange ice cream that I wasn't a fan of. It had a floral aftertaste that lingered on your tongue. It was reminiscent of these medicinal orange throat lozenges that my mom used to give us when we were little. Several others at the table likened it to "medicine" so we mostly left it behind on the plate. Sometimes, not everything that Mitchell's does works. Now, not everyone felt this way, and all seemed to enjoy the other dessert option--- Apple Tart.

Apparently, all of these dishes were a preview of the new seasonal menu. Hallelujah! I want more hominy stew and beef shoulder, immediately. Looks like it won't take me as long to get back to Cowell & Hubbard this time. My only complaint about the restaurant? The menu is too lengthy, and it's hard for a diner to navigate. Too many tempting options leaves me confused and second-guessing any choices. I'd rather have the menu rotate often, and feature less items.

As usual, this four-course meal was $40. If you haven't joined the @CLEDinnerClub for an event yet, what are you waiting for? The food, exploration of area restaurants, and the company always make for a good time. I look forward to attending each month. I rarely miss one!

Hats off to the group's coordinator, Joe G., and the staff at Cowell & Hubbard for another memorable one. This one certainly ranks in the top five outings.

Cowell & Hubbard
1305 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115