Monday, December 17, 2007

Playing With Food With Good Friends, Part II

After the Slow Food cheese tasting ended on Saturday afternoon, eight of us decided that we needed to play with more food and drink, and so we trundled through the snow to Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, and Rocco Whelan's cheerful bistro Fahrenheit.

None of us was at all hungry, but after all of the cheese we'd had at Baricelli Inn, libations seemed just the ticket. I wish I'd photographed my cocktail - a Mojito variation based with Pyrat rum, muddled mint and fresh berries. Most of my companions opted for beer or wine, except for Kay, who ordered a Gran Marnier from our bartender, Jen, who was celebrating her graduation from nursing school. Congratulations Jen!

Gran Marnier served in a snifter perched atop a mug of steamy hot water. Mmmhhh.

Chef Rocco was in the house and stopped by to say hello. We lost about half of our group as it got close to 7:30pm - and the four of us who remained began to feel a little hungry. So, we ordered an appetizer and two pizzas to share.

Chinatown Chicken Springrolls, Hong Kong Dipping Sauce, Cucumber Salad, Pickled Ginger.

Close Up of the Dipping Sauce

Close Up of the Spring Roll

I had a nice chuckle as we enjoyed these savory morsels - one of our friends had suggested eating at Ty Fun across the street. But this spring roll, and the fabulous dipping sauce, were better, than any springroll we could have gotten anywhere else. And, we could not have gotten pizza at an Asian restaurant (not even Seoul Hotpot has them anymore) and I wouldn't have wanted to miss these!

Margherita, Oven Dried Tomato, Roasted Garlic, 3 Cheese, Basil

Our first pizza was topped simply with luscious tomato slices, cheese and basil. Fahrenheit's pizzas have a nice toothiness and great flavor.

Fennel Sausage, Caramelized Onions, Stewed Tomato, Basil

This pizza truly dazzled us. First, the sausage was outstanding. But the real stars of this pizza were the golden nuggets of perfectly caramelized onions. This pizza was so amazing, I forgot to take a slice shot.

The Sausage Pizza had me ready to try at least one more variety from Chef Rocco's arsenal! But alas, my companions preferred sweets to savories, and I didn't want to be a dessert-pooper. And, we did choose well.

Butterscotch Mouse Topped with Cream and Chocolate Straw

Molten Chocolate Cake with Berry Sauce and Creme, and topped with Ice Cream

I have to admit, I did eat my full share of these two desserts. The chocolate was, well, chocolatety, with a creamy center and luscious accouterments. As for the butterscotch - it is one of my favorite flavors, and this dessert delivered it with gusto.

Chocolate Coffee

No - this was not for me! (Those of you who know me or have read this blog know that I have a complete aversion to all things coffee.) But it looked pretty enough to justify a picture!

The four of us finished our desserts and beverages, but we were having so much fun playing with our food that we just couldn't stop! So we phoned the couple who had left us to join other companions for dinner, and agreed to meet up with them at the storied Velvet Tango Room.

Our host, Paulius, treated us to a taste of his luscious from-scratch EggNog - made with rum, brandy, eggs, cream and spices. Wow. We spent some time playing with drinks while enjoying wonderful music from the piano/bass combo. A perfect end to a day filled with fun, friends, and most important - playing with our food.

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