There are some restaurants that you know you can always count on. Regardless of when you go, if it’s for dinner or a drink, or how much time may have lapsed in between visits, you just know you’re going to have a great meal and good time.

For me, Fahrenheit is one of those places. From the first time I took my mom there for pizza almost seven years ago to this past Friday night for dinner with friends, they are consistently good. Has every single item I’ve ordered through the years been spot on? Not necessarily, I’ve definitely favored some things over others. But I can say the same for just about anywhere that I’ve been to so many times I can’t even recall all visits. Nonetheless, I love this restaurant. It’s one that I quickly recommend to visitors and happily visit time and time again (last month I sent a whole group from HGTV there and they reported back that they loved every bite).

I must admit though, this time it wasn’t necessarily the food that impressed me the most (though I did enjoy my entree). Rather, sitting on the newly constructed patio watching people parade up and down the street for the Tremont art walk. The sterling silver rings I’d worn glinted in the sunlight as I talked. This is the first time we sat on the patio and from my understanding, it wasn’t an easy space to construct. From my point of view, it’s worth all the frustration and patience it took them to complete.

It’s not that there’s anything over-the-top extraordinary about this patio. But the location, size, furniture selection and other added details picked to finish it off truly make for a nice setting. I could have sat there all night. In fact, none of us seemed to mind that the kitchen was backed up and our dinners probably took twice as long. Didn’t even phase us, though our server was clearly upset and routinely apologized. To me, a weekend dinner should be enjoyed and not rushed, and that’s exactly what we did – enjoyed the wonderful surroundings, company and took our time with dinner.

Speaking of dinner, Fahrenheit has several new items on its menu for summer. I tried the heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad with toasted bread and caper-balsamic dressing and the sushi grade tuna with Indonesian fried rice and a green curry coconut sauce. Jamie went for the famous short ribs with Teriyaki lo mein noodles and a ginger soy reduction.

I love heirloom tomatoes, especially when they are simply prepared without too much fuss, which is exactly how this salad was constructed. My only complaint was there wasn’t enough goat cheese. In fact, there was barely any. Luckily the tomatoes were fantastic enough on their own.

As for my tuna, this just might have been one of my favorite Fahrenheit dishes I’ve sampled yet. The tuna was perfectly jeweled in color and super fresh – just how tuna is supposed to be. And the rice was a great pairing – lots of flavor. I wasn’t overly crazy about the curry coconut sauce, but that was mostly because it was too spicy for my liking – much spicier than I anticipated with barely a hint of any sweet coconut.

I did try a few bites of the short ribs and now I know why this dish is a long-time customer favorite. I can’t recall having short ribs prepared this way and I truly enjoyed it, as did Jamie who happily finished the plate clean. Now we’re both short rib snobs – easily our favorite dish. We compare any and all short ribs to the best plate we’ve ever sampled at Crush in Seattle a few years ago. While Crush still retains the title, with former Cleveland chef Keoko Turner’s version coming in at #2 (though I hear Turner is back in town making organic chocolates), I’d say these are up there. But to be fair, Rocco’s version is different, so it’s not like comparing apples to apples. But as two self-proclaimed short rib gurus, this is a mighty impressive dish.

By the way, congrats to chef Rocco Whalen who won the Cleveland top chef award at the St. John Westshore competition with Ted Allen.

If you haven’t yet been to Fahrenheit, even any of the galleries and shops throughout Tremont, now is your chance. This Sunday marks the 7th annual Taste of Tremont from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. I still can’t believe this event is in its seventh year. I still remember the first one and have gone every year except last. It’s a fun event and worth checking out. And the weather is supposed to be around 70 on Sunday – ideal for this sort of thing.


  1. Allison M.
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    my friends and I love the martinis there. just watch out for the cucumber one – it's very strong. Very.

  2. Kate
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. Fahrenheit is an amazing, wonderful restaurant. I mostly go there for their happy hour which is such an incredibly good deal. I've been once for dinner and it was definitely one of the most impressive and memorable meals I've had while dining out.

  3. John Ettorre
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I think it's high time that I finally try this place. But I'm wondering if you have any thoughts about a favorite of mine, Gavi's in Willoughby. Looks like you haven't written about it, but I'm wondering if you've been there.

  4. michelle v
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    John – you have to try it, you'll love it! And as a fellow Italian, you have to try the little meatballs – one of my favorite Rocco dishes.

    Ah Gavi's. When they first opened, I was a fan. I took my parents and my gram as well as friends. The past two times I've been though I was dissapointed. Jamie and I went about 2.5 yrs ago and had a bad experience and haven't been back since. I was also underwhelmed with their second venture in Gates Mills, Sarah's Place – though I did like the setting and enjoyed my chicken pot pie.

  5. John Ettorre
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Michelle. I figured it was something like that behind your lack of mentioning them. Never knew about Sarah's Place.

    I would still recommend their unbelievable lamb-infused sauce with gnocci or cavetelli. It's simply the best pasta sauce I've ever tasted. Better yet, my wife was able to replicate it in our kitchen, which has given me waves of delight.

  6. michelle v
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Ok John – you can't temp like that without sharing! What's your wife's recipe? Please share, sounds wonderful!

  7. John Ettorre
    Posted July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I'll ask her and let you know. And sorry, I think I misspoke. Pretty sure it was veal, not lamb. I think she simply reverse-engineered it, like a good engineer might when trying to design a knockoff device they admire. Let's just hope they don't hold a patent on that sauce (it reminds me of the infamous story about how Maria of Maria's Roman Room (do you know it, on the Cleveland/Lakewood border?) wouldn't let her son, Pete of Pete & Dewie's, use any of her recipes. I don't think it got ugly, with lawyers or anything like that, but it nevertheless must have made for a bit of discomfort around the holiday dinner table.

    And by the way, glad to see you getting some much-deserved love from Cool Cleveland today. Your fame is rapidly spreading, for all the right reasons. You write well, know what you're talking about, and always deliver value. What an old-fashioned idea…

  8. michelle v
    Posted July 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    John – people are going to think I'm paying you! Thank you so much -as always, you're too kind. It's really much appreciated.

  9. Ryan
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Couldn't agree more that this place is ALWAYS excellent. Great post!