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  • Parallax & L’Albatros Owner Zack Bruell Talks Food, Wine & Restaurants With Cleveland Magazine

    [caption id="attachment_3377" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Cleveland Chef Zach Bruell"]Bruell[/caption]


    Zack Bruell is the man who put Cleveland on the map for fine dining. Bruell, owner of such restaurants like Parallax and L'Albatros sat down with Cleveland Magazine writer Rebecca Meister to discuss his restaurants and visionary ideas for bringing more of the fine dining experience to Cleveland.

    Zack Bruell slips on a pair of wire-rimmed glasses to study the lineup of food headed for Parallax's dining room. He adds a spurt of lemon juice to a mixed green salad and re-centers a tower of fried green tomatoes before a short, dark-haired man in a polo shirt interrupts him.

    "Zack?" the diner says, tapping him on the shoulder. "I'm hoping you can help me. I just bought a rack of lamb. I was wondering how long should I cook it for?"

    "How big is the lamb?" Bruell asks, not skipping a beat.

    "Six pounds."

    Bruell pauses. "I wouldn't cook it," he decides. "I'd braise it."

    "Braise it?"

    "Yes. Braise it. Keep it on for 2 1/2 to three hours."

    The man thanks him, and Bruell, confident in his advice, turns back to the orders, which are starting to pile up. Dishes overlap on the counter, the burners are cluttered with used frying pans, while the food tickets buzz in. An assistant pivots between a chicken roasting on the grill and plate of sashimi salad sitting on the line.

    "Do you have the desserts?" Bruell barks out. "I need the desserts." Chef du cuisine Jeff Gable puts fresh raspberries and blackberries on a chocolate mousse and raspberry layer cake, passes it to Bruell, then looks briefly heavenward.

    In the middle of this firestorm, Bruell smiles. His face, spotted with freckles, lights up with happiness as smile lines push deep into his cheeks, softening the hard lines of his narrow, pointy face.

    "We call this civilized ruckus," he says. "What we are doing is marching toward the edge of the cliff. When you get there, you just sort of curl your toes over the edge and hope you don't fall." Bruell's brown eyes sparkle. "I like to go out as far on that cliff as I can."

    The 58-year-old owner of four of Cleveland's most popular and diverse restaurants thrives on a diet of adrenaline and organized chaos. Since 2004, he's opened Parallax, a sushi and seafood lounge; the InterContinental's Table 45; French brasserie L'Albatros; and Italian eatery Chinato. Bruell will open his fifth Cleveland restaurant, a modern French-American bistro called Cowell and Hubbard, this winter.

    Friend and fellow chef owner Paul Minnillo texted Bruell two words when he heard the news: "YOU'RE INSANE."

    Read more at Cleveland Magazine

    Filed under: Entertainment, Forest Hill News & Events
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