I had to do it. It's been in my head for the past two days.
Welcome to a new blog post series, Monday Morsel, a snapshot post on a new or newly discovered restaurant. Let's get Monday Morsel properly christened with coverage on one of Cleveland's most anticipated new openings: Cowell and Hubbard.
|Cowell & Hubbard A Zack Bruell restaurant|
Zack Bruell's new restaurant opened to the public in February 3, 2012, ahead of schedule, much to the delight of throngs of hungry Downtown foodies. Cowell and Hubbard is Bruell's fifth restaurant in Cleveland: Parallax in Tremont, Table 45 at the Intercontinental Hotel on Cleveland Clinic campus, L'Albatros in University Circle, Chinato in the Eth 4th/Gateway District in Downtown Cleveland and now Cowell and Hubbard in Playhouse Square District in Downtown Cleveland.
Venue and Atmosphere: Respecting History
Cowell and Hubbard was a destination jewelry store, founded in 1861 and thrived throughout the early 1900s. Cowell and Hubbard's website expands on the history. Click the photos to see an archived photo slideshow that shines historical light on this landmark building.
Although I didn't scope out the entire space, the mood and atmosphere pays tribute both the past and today's Downtown and Playhouse Square. Lush red velvet booth coverings remind you of the theater curtains and etched window glass reflects the name onto the walls in a unique, almost ghostly manner.
Service: More water or bread?
Bruell must have a military training program for his service staff. At every location, his team is incredible and Cowell and Hubbard is no departure. For an opening night experience, I expected some hiccups. Our server, Tina, though at times had to leave the table to get an answer for our in-depth foodie questions, was well-educated on the menu and had a few personal recommendations. The wait staff kept our water filled and bread plates heaped with carb heaven.
Food: Solid Execution
Our table of six each got a first course and a main course, sharing bites and laughs. The menu IS HUGE. I highly recommend perusing the menu online prior to dining. There were a few items that I'm certain will be tweaked based on guest feedback. A friend ordered the whole roasted chicken and it was a little bloody - quite literally. I was nervous to try the shared sample of the chicken because it was so pink. The issue was brought to light and the manager offered a re-fire of the item and assured us that according to the chef, the chicken was in fact the proper color from the roasting process.
Here are a few items that stand out on the menu.
- Butternut Squash Ravioli with greens, jalapeño and prosciutto
- It's one enormous ravioli, large enough to share if you're feeling nice. Sweet, savory with a little kick at the end from the jalapenos
- Welsh Rarebit
- Welsh rarebit is nostalgic for me. I ate it growing up and this evoked all the same memories. I admit I even are a few spoonfuls of the melted cheese on its own. And it was INCREDIBLE. Creamy smooth tangy goodness. I recommend a few additional pieces of brioche.
- Thyme Dumplings with broccoli rabe, garlic and pepperoncini
- "Dumplings" don't do the item justice. The pasta was more like gnudi that just dissolved in my mouth. Each piece was pan-fried which added an interesting texture.
- Lamb Breast with yogurt, mint, preserved lemon, pine nuts, Moroccan spices
- The flavors are intense and mellow at once. Highly-recommend.