It's been almost five months since Jeff Jarrett took over as top toque at Amp 150. In that time, he's kept a pretty low profile — at least, as low as possible for a guy running the enormous kitchen at the Cleveland Airport Marriott. But now, armed with a new website and menu, and with plans for a kitchen greenhouse, Jarrett is powering up.
Not that any wholesale changes are likely for the restaurant that made its mark with imaginative dishes crafted from local, seasonal ingredients. "Like Ellis [Cooley], I plan to stay on the path of doing local food," says Jarrett, referring to his friend and respected predecessor. "The biggest thing is sticking with the farm-fresh concept."
Nonetheless, diners may notice a more playful mood to the upcoming menu. "I like fun presentations," Jarrett says, "things like 'green eggs & lamb,' which is sort of my tribute to Dr. Seuss. But I certainly intend to maintain the refined quality of the food."
Among other menu changes, that means putting his own spin on standards like impeccably seared scallops, which he'll serve garnished with colorful rings of his homemade candied hot peppers, or imaginative takes on his succulent braised short ribs, which earned him a devoted following at Palate, his short-lived stronghold in Strongsville. (Other stops on Jarrett's résumé include Hudson's North End Market, Lockkeepers in Valley View, and Light Bistro in Tremont; along with Cooley and Brian Okin, Jarrett is also a co-founder of the popular Dinner in the Dark series.)
Changes aside, menu prices will remain the same: nothing over $20.
With a quarter-acre garden and two beehives yielding raw ingredients, and composting and recycling programs firmly in place, operations manager Nathan White admits it's not always easy fitting a local, sustainable peg into a corporate hole. "There's no template for what we're doing here. It's all been trial and error. But even though we are a corporate entity, we've been given great autonomy. It's a big undertaking, but we think it's worth it."
Amp 150 is at 4277 West 150th St., inside the Cleveland Airport Marriott. For more info, call 216-706-8787.
MOVIN' THYME: Medina's Thyme, The Restaurant recently marked its fifth anniversary. It will celebrate by closing its doors at the end of the year.
Hold on: It's not what you're thinking. "We're moving," explains chef-owner John Kolar. "We found a really cool space just off the main square."
Currently home to Cana Wine & Martini, which will continue operations through November, the new space will allow Kolar to run two distinct concepts. When it opens in early 2012, Thyme Square will feature an upscale fine-dining venue on the upper level and a casual, pub-style eatery on the main floor. An open kitchen in the pub will service both spaces, says Kolar.
The new restaurant will be at 113 West Smith Rd. Until it opens, you'll continue to find Thyme at 716 North Court St.; for more info, call 330-764-4114 or visit thymetherestaurant.com.
EATING CLEVELAND: Restaurant Week is in full swing now through November 13, featuring specially priced three-course dinners (most of them $30) at dozens of Cleveland Independents member restaurants. Learn more at clevelandindependents.com.