Tour de Bruell - 2019

TCBL had the honor of being invited to join Zack Bruell on a progressive dinner through 5 of his restaurants last week. Attendees included contest winners (details next), Zack and his finance Denise, and other members of the media.

Each year Zack offers a contest aptly titled, “Tour de Bruell” to promote visits to his 5 Cleveland area restaurants. Anyone who purchases one entree from each of the five participating restaurants becomes entered in the contest. This year, 10 winners and their guests will be selected for a Labor Day, multi-course meal and wine pairing at one of Zack's restaurants, and it is at that dinner that a grand prize winner will be selected for a four-course wine dinner prepared by Zack Bruell at their own home.

The restaurants are:

Each time you purchase an entree you’ll receive a stamp in your dining pass. Passes must be completed by September 2nd, and multiple entries are allowed. Guests who completed the pass before July 4th were entered to win the chauffeur-driven progressive dinner I was a part of!

Our night started out at Table45 located at the Intercontinental where we enjoyed a wine flight paired with Sushi. We heard from Zack about his background and the path to opening Table45 (his third Cleveland restaurant).

Table 45 at the InterContinental Hotel Cleveland features World Cuisine – tastes from around the globe, featuring different regions each month and one of the most spectacular contemporary dining rooms in the region.


Next, we boarded the limo bus and headed to Parallax. Parallax was Zack’s second Cleveland restaurant. We enjoyed wine paired with the most amazing scallops in one of Zack’s signature sauces.

Parallax, located in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, is Zack’s flagship restaurant. The newly redesigned menu features classic French cuisine reimagined with a strong Asian influence. When it opened in 2004, Esquire Magazine named Parallax one of the nation’s top new restaurants.


Just in time for sunset over the river, we arrived at Alley Cat. A personal favorite for the view alone, we indulged in oysters & a lovely prawn topped salad. My favorite part about Alley Cat was getting to listen to Denise tell us how she and Zack met. She even stood him up for lunch at L’Albatros once before finally agreeing to meet him, a year later!

Alley Cat, a waterfront seafood restaurant and oyster bar in the Flats East Bank entertainment district. It features open-air dining and expansive views of the Cuyahoga River. It was named one of America’s Top 100 restaurants by Open Table.


Our journey then took us to Cowell & Hubbard located right in Playhouse Square. As it was much later in the night, we got to enjoy a private dining experience in the restaurant and it was a definite treat. This stop brought beef stuffed ravioli topped with short rib, probably my favorite meal of the night.

Cowell & Hubbard, is a modern French restaurant in the center of Playhouse Square. It takes its name from the iconic jewelry store that once occupied Cleveland’s Millionaire’s Row.


Our final stop for cheese and dessert was L’Albatros. If you haven’t been to L’Albatros yet, you must go soon! We highly recommend ordering from the cheese cart. We enjoyed three different kinds of cheese, paired with unfiltered local honey, and lime sorbet. The best part was listening to Zack tell the story of the painting in the men’s room and having us all walk through the bathroom to see it. Maybe one day you’ll get to hear the story, too. ;)

L’Albatros is Zack’s contemporary interpretation of a traditional French brasserie, complete with a Maître Fromager, a resident cheese expert. It is set in a historic carriage house on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

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