Tag Archives: restaurant week

Restaurant Week Winter 2013 Meat and Potatoes

The final post to conclude my restaurant week winter 2013 at Pittsburgh: Meat and Potatoes! I was disappointed that we weren’t able to go to Bar Marco for our final stop, but since I had never been to Meat and Potatoes, this place was also quite high on my list. The restaurant is also a little on the expensive side, so restaurant week was the perfect time for me to try. We went with their restaurant week menu, and then ordered an appetizer – the bone marrow. This dish has been highly recommended by everyone that has been here, so why not make a 4 course dinner into a 5 course one?

Before I start commenting on the dish however, as strange as it might seem, I have had bone marrow many, many times in my life and I had very high expectations for this dish. Bone marrow is essentially fat, but the stuff is juicy and tender. I’ve had bone marrow on my hamburger before (see Ray’s Hell Burger under DC Area), and that is possibly the best burger I’ve ever had in my life. Ever. I love this stuff, and so I was really excited to give it a try.

Bone Marrow - grilled bread / gremolata / onion relish / sea salt

Bone Marrow – grilled bread / gremolata / onion relish / sea salt

However, I must say I’m a little disappointed. I don’t know how they could have gone wrong, but it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. Maybe it needed to come pre-seasoned, or the bread wasn’t flavorful enough. Its good, but I expected it to be amazing, which it wasn’t.

Pot pie - oyster/potatoes/onions/puff pastry

Pot pie – oyster/potatoes/onions/puff pastry

The first course of the 4-course menu is was a pot pie soup. Again, it was good but not amazing. The oysters didn’t really stand out, and the pastry was quite flat and soggy by the time it came out. I wanted a puffy, flaky pastry, but it was flat and a little gummy. I felt like this was a major filler course, and I would have been happier if they got rid of it altogether and made the other ones better.

Frisée salad - house cured lamb bacon/potatoes/smoked egg

Frisée salad – house cured lamb bacon/potatoes/smoked egg

The next course, a salad, had more potatoes than salad. I was totally cool with it, but again, good but not amazing. The lamb bacon was a little sweet, which went well with the saltiness of the rest of the dish, but I thought the potatoes were over-seasoned. It was incredibly hard to eat it by itself. Fortunately, the smoked egg was not really seasoned, so a bite of potatoes with a bite of egg made the dish edible. The frisee was a nice refreshing touch to the dish as well.

Hanger steak - lobster tater tots/chorizo bernaise

Hanger steak – lobster tater tots/chorizo bernaise

For our entree, I was expecting amazing things from the lobster tater tots. I don’t think they tasted like lobster, and I don’t think it really pulled through as a good side dish. However, the steak was good, and chorizo bernaise sauce was very, very good. Out of the 4 dishes so far, I think the steak was the best.

Bread pudding - bourbon creme anglaise

Bread pudding – bourbon creme anglaise

Finally, dessert: bread pudding. I was very excited about this dish, and I think it really delivered its true potential. Instead of the traditional bread pudding that is thick and heavy, this bread pudding is more like a cake slice, but the consistency and texture is amazing. Its smooth and moist, but at the same time a little chewy with nice texture. It really was bread and pudding.  I loved how they redefined what bread pudding could be. The creme anglaise with bourbon was delicious, and the pecans were a very nice touch.

Overall, I think only the entree and dessert are worth coming here for. I would love to try their normal menu because I felt like the other courses were just fillers, especially the ones on the restaurant week menu.

Have you been here before? What did you think?

Meat and Potatoes
649 Penn Ave  Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 325-7007

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Restaurant Week Winter 2013 – Avenue B

Pittsburgh Winter Restaurant Week 2013 was last week, so Avenue B is the second place I went. Their prix fixe menu had 3 courses: a soup or salad, a choice between 3 entrees, and dessert.  Avenue B is one of my favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh, so I had high expectations. I decided to go for soup and the meatloaf entree.

3 different types of bread

3 different types of bread

First of all, I liked the bread that they served. The butter was sweetened, so it added a nice sweetness to all the breads. There was white bread, sourdough, and multi-grain, I think, all of which were delicious. The only thing I didn’t like was that the bread wasn’t warm, but otherwise they were delicious.

Roasted apple & rutabaga soup, apple slaw, frisee, guanciale

Roasted apple & rutabaga soup, apple slaw, frisee, guanciale

The first course was delicious. I liked the strong taste of rutabaga, which is a Swedish turnip. The taste reminded me of daikon radish soup I am used to having at home. It was also sweet and sour, which presumably comes with the taste of apples. Guanciale, is an unsmoked Italian bacon, which was delicious and went well with the soup. I do wish they put a little more. The broth they used was also very, very good.

Kobe meatloaf, goat cheese & chive whipped potatoes, crispy onions, tomato jam

Kobe meatloaf, goat cheese & chive whipped potatoes, crispy onions, tomato jam

The second course is the Kobe meatloaf. It was amazing. The meatloaf was, juicy, light, and incredibly flavorful. I could have eaten three of them and would have wanted more. The fried onions were sweet and delicious. The mashed potatoes were fluffy and on the tangy side, with a strong taste of green onions. Overall, this entree, was so, so good, and I think I liked it because each component was very successful at bringing the flavors of the ingredients out.

Caramel blondie torte, pretzel butter cream, bruleed apple

Caramel blondie torte, pretzel butter cream, bruleed apple

Finally, the dessert was a caramel torte with bruleed apples. I also ordered a orange rooibos tea, which was definitely the right move. The caramel torte is basically two delicious squares of twix with sweetened butter(?) in the middle. I thought it was definitely on the sweet side, but my citrus tea cut through that and made both more delicious. The bruleed apples though, were genius. I loved the sweet caramel on tangy apples – simple and elegant. The dessert was very, very good, which definitely lived up to my expectations.

Have you ever been to Avenue B? What do you think?

Avenue B
5501 Centre Ave  Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 683-3663

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Alma Pan Kitchen

Hey guys. It’s a new semester and a new year! I haven’t really been keeping up with blogging while I was home because I really just didn’t feel like it. Therefore, I think its only fitting that my new year’s resolution should be to update my blog within two days of experiencing the food, so to say. In light of that, I’m here to bring you a new review: Alma Pan Kitchen at Reagent Square.

I decided to try this new place out because I saw them listed in Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. I was craving the sweet and sours of Latin American cuisine as well. I went along with the special menu because I was excited to see ceviche on the menu, despite it not being marinated fish like traditional ceviche.

Ceviche de Hongos - Mushrooms, green onions, pink beans, and avocado marinated in fresh citrus juices

Ceviche de Hongos – Mushrooms, green onions, pink beans, and avocado marinated in fresh citrus juices

The ceviche was not as sour as I expected it to be. I’ve never had real ceviche, but I was expecting a really strong, almost assaulting, taste of lemon or lime, but it was a lot milder and was a little sweet too. The dish had mushrooms, black eyed peas and corn. It was a decent dish, but not spectacular.

Chuletas de Puerco con Pina y Batata - Grilled pork tenderloin topped with cilantro and jalapeno, served with pineapple and white sweet potato puree

Chuletas de Puerco con Pina y Batata – Grilled pork tenderloin topped with cilantro and jalapeno, served with pineapple and white sweet potato puree

I ordered the grilled pork tenderloin and I thought it was really really well made. The pork was soft and tender. It was topped with cilantro and a Chile paste, which made it flavorful. I switched my sweet potato and pineapple puree into collard greens, which also had a sweet and sour note to it. Overall, everything on the plate complemented each other. I liked this dish. I would definitely come back for it.

Pastel de tres leches con fresas en dulce - Traditional three milk cake with berries

Pastel de tres leches con fresas en dulce – Traditional three milk cake with berries

Finally, for dessert we ordered Tres leches cake. I’ve never had one before, and I was really excited to try it. It’s a lot sweeter than I expected, but given that it was covered in condensed milk, I shouldn’t have been. The cake was moist and milky, which was good. However, it also had a very large crumb, which I’m not fond of. I did like it I overall though.

I think I would like to come back and try a few more of their dishes. I generally like the sour and flavorful that is Latin American cuisine, and the grilled tenderloin really impressed me.

Have you been to Alma Pan Latin Kitchen? What do you think?

Alma Pan Latin Kitchen
7606 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
(412) 727-6320
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