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L'Albatros brings new French flavor to Northside

Gillian Seaman

Issue date: 1/30/09 Section: Focus
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As many students may have already realized, That Place on Bellflower Road was recently replaced with a new eatery, specializing in French brasserie cuisine: L'Albatros.

The restaurant, named after the rare golf shot (also known as a double-eagle), has been completely transformed by head chef and restaurateur Zachary Bruell and celebrated its opening in early December. So far, it has been packed with customers.

Bruell, who worked in That Place as a youngster, has succeeded in making L'Albatros totally his own. Upon entering the restaurant, the diner becomes immediately aware of the sweeping changes that Bruell has made. L'Albatros now features an open kitchen, extended bar, and three redecorated dining areas.

The all-brick fireplace room is the most popular room, according to waitress Francine. With its large fireplace and beautiful view of the snowy outdoors, it creates a warm, cozy atmosphere to enjoy a nice meal. The other two rooms feature a modern aesthetic with a distinctly minimalist touch that adds a certain chic feeling to the restaurant.

The chef stated that the eatery's new modern decor and intimate atmosphere was something that could be found in a typical European restaurant. "I want my restaurants to take people places. Not just through the food, but also through the atmosphere," Bruell explained.

Bruell expressed a clear desire to integrate the restaurant in the Case Western Reserve community. In fact, CWRU's own professor Charles Michner gave the restaurant its name.

However, Bruell admitted that the restaurant has not attracted many students and hoped that in the spring student business would increase. "I don't want it to be a special occasion place." He went on to emphasize the restaurant's "informal formality" that he hoped would attract students as regular diners. "People can dress up or come in wearing jeans."

"The food is not overly sophisticated," he stated, pointing out that, in addition to the French cuisine, L'Albatros offers both pizza and hamburgers.
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