Before Zack Bruell opened this University Circle gem, French food in Cleveland all seemed to fall into the same camp – and by camp, we mean faction of fusty purveyors peddling antediluvian dishes like chilled raspberry soup, trout amandine and beef Wellington. In the right hands, even dishes like those can taste contemporary, but we prefer Bruell's deft takes on duck confit, pied de cochon, and skate wing in brown butter. Of course, the service and the setting have as much to do with a diner's bliss as the fare, and in those regards, this hot spot tops every other establishment in Bruell's never-ending empire of restaurants.
11401 Bellflower Rd., 216-791-7880, albatrosbrasserie.com.
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