I've now eaten at this restaurant twice. Finally, a truly excellent French restaurant in Cleveland. It has been a while since this was available. I would have to drive to Erie or Vermillion to get this good of an French experience.
The service is very good. As other reviews had commented, the staff are learning the industry. I had to correct their French a couple of times (my waiter was confusing foie gras with sweetbread), but they really are working hard and doing a very good job.
I am going to talk about both times I visited this place. Once alone and once with my wife.
From the first visit, I had the foie gras appetizer. It truly was excellent. Actually it was the second best I've ever had. The first being at Bernard Loiseau, in Saulieu, Burgundy, France. The third being the French Laundry in Yountville, CA. The perfect preparation--crispy on the outside with just a very slight hint of caramelization, wonderfully sweet and savory on the inside. A classic preparation with all the correct accoutrements. In reality, the biggest difference between Bernard Loiseu's and Edwin's was the quality of the liver. You probably cannot get that quality of liver in the US.
I had a French 75 the first time I was there. Excellently done. Since the first cocktail was so good, I decided to try one that is usually done incorrectly, a Sazarac. The Sazarac was also quite good. When I ate there the first time, I had the sommelier do the wine parings. He was quite competent. The one case where I selected another wine, I had wished I had stayed with his selection. More about that later.
I've had two other appetizers. The vegetable soup is excellent. Very flavorful. Truly excellent soup. I also had the rabbit pie. It was good, though it seemed that something was missing. I am not sure what, but it seemed to need some rebalancing to keep up with the quality of the other dishes.
The sautéed scallops in duck fat was a pleasant surprise. The preparation was different than I expected. I expected a more rich, smooth taste, but the sauce was very bright and citrusy. It was excellent, and I enjoyed the surprise. Unfortunately, it made my more oaky white Burgundy paring not work that well. The more minerally, and fruity sauvignon blanc would have been a much better choice.
The main course for my second visit was halibut wrapped in crispy potatoes served with green beans. The dish was good, but had some issues. The sauce was very tasty, but I would have liked it to be a bit thicker in order to better coat the fish with. There should have been more green beans. There were only 6 on the plate. I rarely complain about volume, but they tasted good. Some more would have been better. Also, the fish was slightly dry on both ends of the piece. The way that the halibut was wrapped created uneven cooking. This needs to be perfected.
The first time, I had the Grand Marnier soufflé with Creme Anglese. It was classic and excellent. Try it when you go there.
The second time I had the creme brûlée. It took a while to get to the table. So much so that they gave me a complementary glass of an excellent sweet sherry. The taste was excellent, especially the custard, but the caramelized sugar wasn't crispy. It was a bit soft--and stringy--though that is too hard of a word. It seems that more caramelization was needed to get the texture correct.
Overall, a very good restaurant with some truly outstanding dishes. I look forward to seeing this restaurant grow and mature.
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