L’Albatros Brasserie and Bar, Cleveland, 9/4/18

entrance
entrance

L’Albatros is a large place spread over numerous rooms.  Its setting is an old carriage house on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.  You entered by the open part of the kitchen with the oldest of the dining rooms straight ahead.  We were instead ushered into a newer room that was lined on one side by windows looking out to the patio.  Music played in  the background but sound was well dampened by the acoustic ceiling tiles.  Plastic tables and chairs were heavy gauge and not covered with tableclothes but did have cloth napkins.  The well worn menu offered just a la carte options and the changing options included the soup and pasta of the day.  Service was friendly and helpful but didn’t include a lot of explanation of the food, which overall lacked a spark.  

building
building
sign on street
sign on street
kitchen
open kitchen
interior
interior
wine by the glass list
wine by the glass list
menu
menu
Frankie and the table condiments
Frankie and the table condiments
interior
interior
interior
interior

 

Bread service was presented in a basket of cut small slices.  It came with a dish of olive oil, which seemed odd as the restaurant is billed as a French bistro.  The bread had a nice crisp crust and a doughy interior.  It was good and the olive oil nicely fruity.

bread
bread
bread and olive oil
bread and olive oil

 

We started with the chicken liver and foie gras mousseline, served with cornichons, caper berries, pickled onions and toasted baguette pieces.  It was very mildly flavored and very whippy.  I could detect no richness that the foie gras should have added and little liver flavor at all.  The pickled onion was the best of the accompaniments to mix with the mousse and contrasted nicely with the totally crisp breads but it was also nice spread on the house soft bread.  I would call this okay but mostly way too bland.

liver
Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Mousseline with toast points
closer
closer
cornichons
cornichons
capers and onions
capers and onions
wine
wine
wine room table
wine room table
Frankie found flowers
Frankie found flowers

 

The Sauteed Skate Wing with brown butter, parsley and balsamic vinegar was plated with a vegetable medley of peppers, eggplant, yellow squash, zuchini, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.  Many of the vegetables seemed to have been grilled separately before being mixed into the fun combination.  The skate was cooked perfectly and very tasty but it would have benefitted from a more generous serving of the browned butter.

closer
closer
skate
Sauteed Skate Wing with brown butter, parsley and balsamic vinegar
vegetables
vegetables
Vegetables
vegetables closer
another room
another room
another room
another room

 

The Faroe Island Salmon was grilled and served with lentils, watercress leaves and béarnaise sauce.  The lentils were fairly dry but the salmon was nicely cooked.  The béarnaise sauce was nice but I think I liked the aioli that came with the fries better with the fish.  It was okay but unexciting.

salmon
Faroe Island Salmon grilled with lentils and béarnaise sauce
closer
closer
other side
other side
inside
inside
awards
awards
bar
bar

 

We added a side order of fries to split and they appeared house cut and fried.  They came with optional aioli and ketchup which we opted to have.  Some of the fries were nicely crisp and overall good.

fries
side of fries
ketchup and aioli
ketchup and aioli

 

For dessert we tried 2 of the waiters recommendations.  The Apple Cake was served with praline ice cream.  The cake was super moist and the ice cream was nicely studded with nuts and caramel.  It was decadently sweet and really good.

desssert menu
dessert menu
dessert beverages
dessert beverages menu
dessert
Apple cake, praline ice cream
another side
another side
top
top
underneath
underneath

 

The Pistachio Cake was served with burnt butter cream frosting.  It was dense and buttery with a nutty, sweet icing.  It started as a non-wow but really grew on me.  It was different but very interesting.  Not a huge sweet fix, it was still oddly satisfying and I’d get it again if I ever found myself here again.

pistachio cake
Pistachio Cake, burnt butter cream frosting
other side
other side
top
top
inside
inside
another dining room
another dining room
awards
awards

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