So there I was, sitting down to my third dinner of the evening. Forking up big bites of tender short ribs at 9:30 p.m., I thought, Either mine is the best job in the world (I get paid to do this!) or the worst (I am doomed to grow very, very fat). Conundrums like this are best pondered with a glass of wine close at hand. After a sip of my Norman No Nonsense Meritage, a California red, and another forkful of fall-off-the-bone, slow cooked meat, I concluded that being thin is overrated. And beef short ribs have been underappreciated for far too long. Once considered humble food — inexpensive, fatty, tough and suitable for steerage class — beef short ribs have become a top hog on restaurant menus. They invoke homey comfort foods and adapt to all sorts of seasonings, offering chefs a chance to show off. Anybody can make a filet mignon taste good. But it takes skill (and time) to transform this stuff. Here are five of our favorites.
Why We Love It
Three Birds 18515 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, (216) 221-3500 Chef: Rachel Spieth
Braised short ribs
Caramelized onion mashed potatoes and spicy kale
The fork-tender meat is dressed in classic stock-based reduction sauce made with red wine and tomatoes.
Fahrenheit 2417 Professor Ave., Cleveland, (216) 781-8858 Chef: Rocco Whalen
Snake River Farms Kobe short ribs
Baby bok choy and teriyaki lo mein noodles
The meat’s from a breed of pampered steers, so the texture is pure satin. They’re seasoned and sided with a nod to Chinese tradition, but the result is completely original.
The Flying Fig 2523 Market Ave., Cleveland, (216) 241-4243 Chef: Karen Small
Grilled short rib small plate
Dark spicy hoisin glaze gives the velvety meat a touch of sweetness, while sea salt and garlic add extra zip.