Cowell & Hubbard is the latest restaurant by Zack Bruell, the owner of several of Cleveland's best restaurants including Parallax and L'Albatros. It is a welcome addition to the restaurant scene around Playhouse Square and a very good place to visit either before a show or simply as a destination restaurant.
Cowell & Hubbard is in the space of what once was an upscale jewelry store in the same place, at the corner of E. 13th Street and Euclid Avenue. It is just steps from all of the theaters in Playhouse Square. They have valet parking, but there is also ample parking nearby for about $5 (a little more, sometimes, if there is a ballgame or other event going on). You can park at E. 13th and Chester, or E. 14th and Prospect, and there are both open lot and garage options at both locations. Or you can just use the valet.
The restaurant itself is decorated in blacks and reds. There is a high ceiling and the feel is generally open.
The service is excellent. One thing to be aware of is that there may be more than one waiter or waitress assigned to your table. Some reviewers have found this confusing, but we realized that this kept the service level high even on a busy Saturday night. The staff was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. One nit: I don't know why the greeter at an upscale restaurant can't spare a welcoming smile for someone coming in with a reservation. To their credit, however, they did thank us for coming on our way out.
I've been to C&H both for lunch and dinner. The seafood in particular is outstanding. I've had both the flounder and the rockfish. Both were very good, buy I liked the rockfish in particular. Others had the Lake Superior whitefish and liked that as well. Two of our table had the beef cheeks or beef shoulder and both loved them. Save room for dessert: there are many delicious options. We liked both the flourless chocolate cake and the Linzer torte (from the same region as the Mozart Linz symphony - basically an almond and raspberry flavored torte).
C&H is certainly appropriate for a business lunch, but we also found it ideal for a pre-show meal (they got us out well in time for our show without feeling at all rushed). Overall, this a welcome addition to the restaurant scene around the theaters of Playhouse Square. We'll be back.
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