Since nabbing the "Best New Restaurant" award back in 2009, this contemporary French bistro tucked into a University Circle carriage house has only managed to improve with age. Chef-owner Zachary Bruell has an uncanny knack for delivering magical, memorable dining experiences with near-clockwork precision. And if there is a cuisine and menu that is more indulgent and pleasurable, we haven't found it. From the garlicky escargot to the porcine perfection that is pied de cochon, to the last course of deliciously stinky cheese, meals here can lull diners into a dreamlike stupor. When you combine that exquisite food and service with fine weather, crisp white wine and a drop-dead gorgeous patio, you end up with the kind of experience that leaves an indelible mark. L'Albatros is not only one of Cleveland's best French restaurants; it is one of Cleveland's best restaurants, period.
11401 Bellflower Rd., 216-791-7880, albatrosbrasserie.com.
Staff Pick: L'Albatros