Smack dab in the middle of Case Western Reserve University’s campus is a little gem of a restaurant called L’Albatros. It’s one of those places that college students ask visiting parents to take them because it’s a tad pricy for the average student. It’s also worth every penny. The decor is fresh and elegant, without being stuffy. We wore jeans to lunch, but clearly could have dressed up. Even though we arrived twenty minutes before opening, we were seated right away and served warm bread. The olive oil had a fresh, crisp flavor, which was perfect for dipping the crusty rustic bread. There was a real danger of filling up on the stuff before our lunch arrived.
My husband ordered the Mussles with Pommes Frites and Spicy Aioli. A generous portion of tender mussles came in a bowl of butter broth topped with fries and a drizzle of aioli. Yum. The fries were crisp and delicious.
I had the Watercress “Caesar” salad. Served with both black and green olives, it was topped with a liberal portion of shaved parmesan. The anchovies weren’t those shriveled bone filled things you get in most places. These were fresh, fileted, with a slightly pickled flavor reminiscent of herring, but much milder.
The Braised Shoulder of Lamb my daughter ordered had a rich and comforting flavor, good for a cold day in Cleveland. It was served with pasta risotto and rosemary jus.
Fresh made pasta, tender, and cut in wide cut strips filled the Pasta Du Jour my other daughter ordered. It came with a healthy helping of roast root vegetables, eggplant, and kale. Shaved parmesan completed the dish.
This fantastic lunch for four was reasonably priced. If you ever find yourself in Cleveland, Ohio, Don’t forget to stop by L’Albatros.11401 Bellflower Road Cleveland, Ohio 44106 216-971-7880 http://www.albatrosbrasserie.com/
I should mention here that L’Albatros is one of Chef Zack Bruell’s restaurants and that wonderful olive oil is his own unfiltered extra virgin olive oil made from California olives.