Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Alley Cat Oyster Bar

Cleveland restaurateur Zack Bruell's new Alley Cat Oyster Bar has opened as part of The Flats Project on the east bank.
Right across from Shooter's and The Music Box Supper Club, diners can enjoy views of the Cuyahoga River that have been hard to find in the past.
Finally, some waterside dining with food to match the quality of view!
The menu features 12 types of oysters. Currently, they are offering three a night, until they get to know the menu better. We indulged in the three available that evening. Other than the fact that a few of them hadn't been detached from the shell, we really enjoyed them. We also ordered the Beef Tartar with egg 63, house grain mustard, and toast points ($15). It was a good tartar, but Greenhouse Tavern and Luca both have better versions. I'd try other starters before ordering this again.

I convinced Mr. H to share entrees with me, so that we could try more than just the Lobster Roll ($22). What can I say, we're on a total lobster roll kick after our trip to Maine. My mom, also a lobster lover, was also ordering the roll, so I just had to try something else too.
This was a far cry from what we were able to get in Maine, but it was probably the best version that I've personally had in the Greater Cleveland area. I was concerned that it was dressed with Green Goddess (I'm a lobster purist!), but the dressing was light and it didn't detract from the butter-poached lobster. For the price, I'd like to see more lobster on the roll. The fries were quite good! Extra crispy, and lightly seasoned.

We also shared the American Red Snapper with an arugula bread salad ($21).
The fish was cooked perfectly, and the flavors were light and summery. Enjoyable, but not memorable, however.

Service left a lot to be desired. It was much sloppier and more casual than other Bruell restaurants, and the staff seemed very uneducated on the menu. Like, we were served bread that had kernels of corn in it, but no one could tell us what the type of bread was. I've been to other Bruell restaurants close to opening, and that was never the case before. I think management is aware of the issues, and they are addressing them, so I expect that things will be running more smoothly next time we're in. Because, we'll certainly be back!
This is what Cleveland needed. More quality seafood options, excellent cocktails, and waterfront dining. It's so exciting to see the progress being made in The Flats. Have you been down there recently?

Alley Cat Oyster Bar
1056 Old River Road
Cleveland, OH 44113