When I mention fahrenheit on this site, it’s most likely that I’m about to give instructions about how to preheat your oven before baking a batch of cookies. In this case, however, I’m taking about the restaurant Fahrenheit, in Tremont, a hip suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I had the chance to dine there on a recent trip to Ohio to visit the Smucker’s headquarters with some other bloggers. The restaurant is owned by Chef Rocco Whalen and is one of the hottest spots in Tremont, which is an area known for its vibrant culinary scene and high quality restaurants.
We actually started our meal with a whole variety of appetizers, including crispy calamari and lobster pizza, but the appetizer that really appealed to me were the Potato Nachos. Homemade tornado-cut potato chips topped with bacon, green onions and a goat cheese dressing. With the salty combination of crispy potatoes, creamy cheese and bacon, it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong: this dish was dangerously addictive and I think just about everyone who took a bite became an instant fan.
The salad featured a goat cheese croquette and thin slice of serrano ham on a bed of balsamic-dressed greens, as well as a side of cherry compote that added a nice sweet contrast to the goat cheese. The croquette was excellent (though a bit large – even the chef joked about “Cleveland portions”) and I liked the side of ham, which reminded me of ham and cheese croquettes that I ate in Spain.
We had several choices of main course. One option was Pumpkin Ravioli with Browned Butter, Roasted Squash, Spinach and Basil Parmesan. The ravioli was sweet, with a good balance of rich squash and cheese inside each square of pasta. The browned butter sauce was a good match, but it was actually the more savory spinach that brought some excellent balance to the dish – and really set it apart from plenty of overly sweet pumpkin ravioli dishes I’ve eaten.
My main was the Kobe Beef Short Ribs with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, Teriyaki Mushrooms and Smoked Pepper Relish. The short rib’s are chef Whalen’s signature dish – or at least one of them – and are probably the number one item recommended by anyone who has eaten at the restaurant. They are fantastic. The flavorful meat is so tender that it almost literally melts in your mouth. The wasabi mash was very unique, with the fresh wasabi root being treated much more like a root vegetable than just as a seasoning by the chef and getting mashed right in along with the potatoes. It had a good wasabi flavor and a lingering, but not overpowering, wasabi kick to it.
Dessert was a chocolate and coconut pot de cream that had an unusually dense consistency for a pot de creme, but was clearly intended to showcase just how much chocolate was in this little cup. It went very well with my coffee, where the chocolate and cream could melt right in with the darker coffee notes. If I hadn’t been so full, I definitely would have considered tasting a few more dessert options, as the dessert menu sounded just as appealing as the main courses did.
For anyone going to Cleveland, this restaurant is definitely worth a stop. You probably won’t go wrong with anything on the seasonally-changing menu, but the short ribs are something that I would go back for. If you want something a little more casual, it is worth noting that Chef Whalen also has a Fahrenheit food truck that roams the city several times a week at lunch and that he is usually cooking on the truck himself. He will also be appearing this January on a new food network show. He’s a great guy and if his personality comes across half as well on TV as it does in person, I suspect we might start seeing and hearing a lot more from him.
2417 Professor Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113