Produced by Victoria Bradley // Directed by Emmai Alaquiva
How has the food scene changed in the last 10 years? How about 30 years? Listen in as two top chefs and innovative caterers talk about access to food and farms and the evolving vegetable-forward palate of a Pittsburgh — that is gravitating toward comfort food, done well.
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Restaurant Concepts: Brick Shop and Over Eden
TRYP Hotel partnered with Kate Romane Productions to create the food and beverage program at the hotel’s two new restaurant concepts. Chef Kate Romane assisted in the selection of Chef Mike Rado as Executive Chef of Brick Shop and Over Eden. Romane will continue to assist Rado as he assembles his local culinary team and adds his perspective to the menus for both concepts.
Guests can expect a menu focused on a classic contemporary American cuisine at Brick Shop, while its sister restaurant, Over Eden, will offer fresh, multicultural, shareable dishes at the laidback rooftop hangout. Both restaurants will have regularly changing menus rooted in seasonality of local ingredients. Boutique wine lists are being crafted by Food and Beverage Director Holly Smith, a veteran of West Coast and Western, PA fine dining scenes, whose background includes membership within the ultra-elite Court of Master Sommeliers. A cocktail program will present classics as they should be: simple, fresh new offerings.
Executive Chef Announcement: Chef Mike Rado, formerly of Butcher on Butler
Rado has been named the Executive Chef of the two restaurant concepts at the new TRYP Hotel, slated to open in late winter/ early Spring 2019. With nearly 25 years in the food industry, Rado is bringing a big personality and big flavor to Brick Shop and Over Eden.
Set on the site of a former trade school in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, the school’s old Brick Shop emerges with a new craft. Brick Shop serves contemporary seasonal American food with a robust wine program in a space that echoes the history and heart of the neighborhood. From menus drafted in the handwriting of the building’s original architect to the seasonal menu, featuring the bounty of the region and the creativity of our city’s finest food artisans, Brick Shop is a Lawrenceville original.
High above Eden Way, atop the former trade school, sits the rooftop restaurant and garden bar, waiting to be discovered. Over Eden invites you up with plates to share and a vibrant bar program. And there’s a view.
Dan Tomcik’s love of pottery began with his love of food. A lifelong cook and pizza maker, he felt great satisfaction from others, enjoying what he made. Then, he realized that experience could be greatly enhanced by serving it on a dish that was thoughtfully and beautifully created.
Dan’s lunch plate starts as a 3 1/2-pound ball of clay, pounded onto a pottery wheel, then spun and compressed into a flat disc and expertly shaped into a plate.
Next, it is dipped in glaze to give it the desired color and finish. Then, it’s time to turn up the heat.
The plate is then packed into a gas kiln and fired twice in an all-day process. Once it cools enough to un-brick oven, the finished product is revealed.
The first time we visited The Westfield Wonder, we thought we’d never leave. The first-ever combination brewery, winery, and distillery in Westfield, NY is just over two hours from Pittsburgh and features some of the best food and drinks we’ve ever had from a singular location. And this time of year — we can’t get enough of the picturesque patio and instagram-worthy fire pit.
Trust us: knock off a little early from work on Thursday and get to “Pint Nights.” Every Thursday, we crash the courtyard patio at Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing, where beers are half price, and there are eight delicious varieties on tap from which to choose. (Lim Wit, Uncommon Passion, Grape Lakes, and Rhiskey Business will be on tap for most of the summer off and on but won’t be on tap every day as they do a slight rotation.)
Also? We’re really in it for the share plates. Bird is the on-site restaurant, and Chefs Dan Kern and Michael Karle man the grill and put out lots of tasty Kushiyaki (Japanese charcoal-grilled meats and veggies). The combo of Five & 20 Pale Ale and skewered scallops is killer. The menu changes all the time, but we stole this one for you to check out:
This is the chill afternoon live-music experience on the patio or lawn at Westfield. We usually bring a blanket or a camp chair and relax with a cocktail. Earlier this year, Five & 20 held a little competition with the local Cloud 9 bar. The delicious amber-colored “Persymphony” cocktail win, and we order it all the time on these lazy Sunday days. Plus, we’ve collected a great new roster of local musicians to fan-girl out about: Check out Zack Orr, Meredith Rounsley, and The Bigness.
*Pint Nights, Bird, Sunday Sesh and outdoor yoga are all seasonal at Westfield Wonder. The restaurant is only open on a few select days during the week, so call ahead!view post
“Everyone asks me if I feel guilty not using my degree because I spent a ton of money on it. But every aspect of my business is design-related,” says Chelsea. Her pieces reflect her design background, utilizing clean lines and strong forms, while entwining function with aesthetic. She’s cultivated a personal style that takes shape in organic, simple, earthy pieces that people want to reach out and touch.
Chelsea Erdner is the ceramicist and small-business owner behind Bombabird. Her love for clay started in high school, when a beloved teacher introduced and encouraged her in the medium. She continued to pursue art at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, earning a degree in graphic design. After working for a small design firm, the 25-year-old artist decided to follow her passion and launched Bombabird 2016 as a part-time venture. “When I graduated and started working full-time, I really missed it. Being at a computer is fine, but it’s not the same as being covered in clay and making something,” she says.
During her time at the design firm, she met her now-fiancé, Cam, who not only kindled a new love but relit her passion for ceramics with a gift of classes at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. In June 2017, she decided to commit to Bombabird full-time. Now, she works out of her own studio in the Wilkinsburg home she shares with Cam, their two rescued greyhounds, Bill and Finn, and a cheeky sun conure, Kiko.
Bombabird ceramics have made their way onto countless Pittsburgh shelves, but they’ve also taken their calming aura into the home of actor and comedian Kristen Wiig. Wiig fell in love with Chelsea’s work while on set in Pittsburgh for Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which used some of Chelsea’s work in the shoot. Her assistant reached out to order Wiig a Bombabird dinner set. “That was one of the first projects where I thought ‘I can actually do this,’” she says.
“People want to hold them and feel the textures. My end goal is for people to use my pieces in their homes, daily. I want them to be beat up and loved.” Chelsea is also fascinated by glazed chemistry and credits the foundation of her work to developing a color palette she loved. The result is a selection of muted earth tones that look soft and inviting, without ever appearing dull or without depth. The green, white, gray and even pink hues she creates are reminiscent of forest at dusk or the ocean in November.
This stunning mix of elegant but functional dinnerware and decorative pieces shows the utility and the flourish that Bombabird embodies. Mix and match Bombabird’s assorted cylinder vases to serve everything from a cold beer to a tall glass of milk. Use their clay tumblers as a planter to bring some green into your life, or as the vessel for your end-of-the-day cocktail. Even their stoneware dinner set is a perfect backdrop for both a weeknight dinner and weekend appetizers with cocktail hour.
Whether it’s gray sage, soothing eggshell, or warm-toned whites, Chelsea is dedicated to developing her own color palettes. Bombabird’s dark stoneware clay tumblers add depth to their signature white glaze. And it was her gray sage glaze that was particularly tricky, but the moody result evokes summer thunderstorms.
Texture for Days
Bombabird’s collection of unique, individually crafted vases include pops of texture and carved details on each piece that are individually hand-drawn by Chelsea, giving them a personal touch. “My brain is really busy and when I create something simple, it’s relaxing,” says Chelsea. “I can create order and repetition. It’s very satisfying to me.”view post
We’ve all been there. Suddenly our calendars have jumped weeks, that special day has arrived– an anniversary, a wedding, a loved one’s birthday– and we’re without a gift.
Soon it will be that time of year again when we celebrate all things Dad (okay, so not the cargo shorts or corny jokes). But we aren’t panicking, because this time around we’re inspired by Pittsburgh’s vibrant food scene and delicious eateries.
We’re skipping the coffee mugs and tool sets, getting good ol’ Dad some sweet and savory treats, a bit of R&R, tickets to that annual food fest, and making that coveted reservation at his soon-to-be favorite restaurant.
Here’s our list of what not to miss in Pittsburgh this Father’s Day:
Edward Marc Chocolates
We think that a box of chocolates shouldn’t just be reserved for Valentine’s Day (because who doesn’t love chocolate?). This Father’s Day, let Dad indulge in Edward Marc Chocolatier’s featured Father’s Day sweet: Pecan Caramel Terrapins® with handmade vanilla caramel layered onto a bed of whole Texas Pecans, covered in Edward Marc’s signiture milk chocolate and drizzled with a dark chocolard cord.
While you’re shopping, check out their Rye Whiskey Salted Caramels. These one-of-a-kind candies are made with Wigle Whiskey’s Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey and have notes of cinnamon, black pepper, and tart cherry. The caramel is handcrafted in copper kettles in a Trafford factory, and the chocolate is made with sustainably sourced cocoa.
Biergarten x Hotel Monaco Father’s Day Pop-Up Shop
Is Dad picky? Particular? Hard to shop for? Well, he can choose his own gift at Biergarten’s Father’s Day Pop-Up Shop. Local vendors Surmesur, Steel City, Wigle Whiskey, Lovett Sundries, and Kerfcase will be setting up shop in the Biergarten from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 15, selling items like grooming products, craft liquors, and more. Make a day trip, or stay late for a drink at the Biergarten – all snacks will be half off during the event, and you can get something for yourself, too. —We won’t judge.
Brunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.//Dinner: 4 to 8 p.m.
Treat Dad to an authentic Italian meal this Father’s Day at Senti, an art-filled, modern Italian restaurant and wine bar located in Lower Lawrenceville on Butler Street that serves fresh takes on classic meals. They’ll be featuring special menu made just for him that includes caprese con avocados, salsiccia con uova, and chocolate bread pudding.
Show Dad you know what’s best by calling to make a reservation: (412) 589-4347.
Fairmont Spa and Health Club
We know the work week can get stressful, so let Dad take some time off and give him the gift of ultimate relaxation at the Fairmont Spa and Health Club. Have him stop in at their comprehensive fitness center, then head over for a restorative manicure, pedicure, massage, facial and body treatments featuring Aromatherapy Associates products. We’re certain that this gift will give Dad some much needed rest and relaxation. Visit their website for the full spa menu.
Festa di Limoncello at Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh
June 30, 2018 | 1PM – 4PM
Dad is sure to appreciate tickets to Pittsburgh’s second annual Festa Di Limoncello taking place at the open air lounge, outdoor space of Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh, and McMaster’s Way (the street connecting Vallozzi’s to Market Square) located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. The Festival is a can’t miss for Pittsburghers, whether you’re a dad or not. Featuring housemade Limoncello tastings, hand crafted Limoncello cocktails, Amalfi Coast street foods, Vallozzi’s famous pizza, citrusy sweets, breezy Amalfi coast inspired décor, and world music provided by local DJs, the Festa Di Limoncello will be fun for Dad and the whole family.
Tickets are $75 in advance with limited availability for just 150 guests. Pre-sale tickets are recommended and are available here for purchase.
Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival
September 23, 2018 | 1PM – 6PM
Does Dad enjoy pierogis just as much as we do? Well then he’s going to love the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival at Kenywood Amusement Park. The annual celebration of the #CityofDumplings will feature Pittsburgh’s favorite food from over two dozen restaurants, chefs, and pierogi purveyors. They’ll be serving up hot and delicious pierogies, creative pierogi-inspired dishes, dessert pierogies and tons more. Trust us, it’s the ultimate experience in Pittsburgh food, fun, and festivities. Buy tickets online at showclix.com and use coupon code PIEROGIDAD5 and get $5 off your purchase.view post
In February, Rivendale Farms (rivendalefarms.com) owners Thomas and Alba Tull struck a sweet deal with The Milk Shake Factory’s (themilkshakefactory.com) Edwards family to open up 25 new locations and have the Tull’s environmentally sustainable dairy farm supply their delicious ice cream for those incredible, old-fashioned hand-spun shakes.
Located west of Pittsburgh in Bulger, Pennsylvania, Rivendale Farms has a philosophy of sustainable farming, while implementing modern, animal-friendly techniques to create premium products. And their dairy farm is one of the best in the world.
Rivendale not only touts a humane dairy extraction process, but they also have some of the happiest and healthiest Jersey cows around. Originating from the Island of Jersey, a small British isle in the English Channel just off the coast of France, Jersey cows are reported as being purebred for almost six centuries, making them one of the oldest, fastest milk-producing dairy breeds in the world. These cows have a whole lot of personality and are able to produce some of the highest quality, premium milk available.
Christine Grady is the general manager at Rivendale and oversees all areas of operation on the farm. She says the premise behind Rivendale is about creating “healthy, local, environmentally sustainable farming,”while being able to harness the “ultimate extractivity of the product.”
The hands-on, holistic approach Rivendale takes to the milking process is important to the quality of the product and the consumer. “We can show you their faces, we can show you the land they use… we know what they are fed, we can show how they are cared for,” said Grady.
Chris Edwards is CEO of The Milk Shake Factory and said it is some some of the best dairy you’re going to find anywhere. “With Jersey milk, you get a more fresh, full-body taste that you don’t get in other kinds of dairy.”
Rivendale ice cream is a farm-fresh, soft ice cream. Not soft-serve, but a light, heavenly cream that makes each milkshake smoother and creamier. “We have developed all the recipes around the Jersey Milk, ” said Edwards. “And we are making the milkshakes according to the taste and texture of the Rivendale milk.”
The Milk Shake Factory partnership with Rivendale marks the company’s successful transition into becoming completely farm-to-table. “Now when people come into The Milkshake Factory they know exactly where their milk is coming from. Talking about where your dairy comes from becomes interwoven with the story of The Milk Shake Factory.“
Get your thinking caps on! Remake Learning Days have returned to Pittsburgh for their third year in-a-row!
What are Remake Learning Days? We’re glad you asked.
Remake Learning Days provide adults and children with a variety of options to explore their intellectual interests with a well balanced schedule chock-full of STEM-centric events focused on robotics, natural science, and coding, along with creativity workshops in theater, crafts, and music.
From May 17-25, Remake Learning Days will celebrate all things extracurricular, giving a chance for local community organizations to showcase their outside-the-classroom learning opportunities and offer free or low-cost alternative educational programming to families in Southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Sounds amazing, right? We thought so, too. Though if you need more convincing, here’s a brochure that lays out everything that’s going on throughout their nine-day extravaganza.
To help sort through the various workshops and activities, we’ve created a Top 5 list of can’t-miss events to make sure this year’s Remake Learning Days are you best ones yet.
1. 3D Printing 101
May 18, 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. — Free
Come learn how to design and print with 3D printers and 3D printing pens at the Carnegie Science Center’s Fabrication laboratory (“Fab Lab” for short). This introductory level Fab Lab workshop gives kids ages 8 and up a place to create, invent, and play in a safe and intellectually stimulating environment. This class is required to participate in a Fab Lab Open Workshop (FLOW). Adults must accompany children 12 and under and must register along with their child here.
2. EQT Children’s Theater Festival
May 18, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. — $9
Join The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in celebrating their 32nd year of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival by attending one of their many events throughout the nine Remake Learning Days. This year’s festival is once again located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and includes more than 40 free hands-on educational activities and outdoor pop-up performances with local artists, family-friendly art installations, and a scavenger hunt.
3. Two-Way Street Fest 2018
May 19, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. —Free
This isn’t your average block party. The annual Two-Way Street Fest in Wilkinsburg is back for its second year with exciting activities, entertainment, and food the whole family can experience together. This festival is hosted by the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, which promotes the revitalization of Wilkinsburg through residential and business development, organizational and individual civic leadership, and ethnic and cultural diversity.
“The perception of Wilkinsburg hasn’t been the best,” says Mayor Marita Garrett of Wilkinsburg. “We are working to change that by bringing in all these new things and exposing a different view of Wilkinsburg.”
The festival is held on Wood Street at the center of Wilkinsburg’s business district to celebrate their vibrant community and local businesses. Included are local vendors selling artisan products, nonprofit resource tables, healthy food demonstrations, food trucks, a skate park, and outdoor activities for kids all ages. Just make sure to register here.
May 20, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. — Free
Screws and drills and wood, oh my! Don’t be scared, though. This creative activity gives kids in grades 3 to 12 experience using construction tools and teaches them to work with fellow team members in building a collaborative sculpture. This event takes place outside of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on the Northside and is free to the public with no registration required.
5. Programming and Pastries
May 21, 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. — Free
Rise and shine! Wake up to fresh pastries and a whole lot of coding at the South Fayette STEAM Studio. Students in grades 2 through 5 and their guardians are invited to experience their first coding lesson together (and get a sweet breakfast, too). What more could you ask for on a Monday morning? Register here if you’re interested.
With the sunshine (or the lack thereof), Erie is calling. We’re hash-tagging #cmonspring and packing our overnight bags for the waterfront destination just two short hours away. Here’s what’s going on on the lake this season:
In the springtime, we slough off the heavy Cabs and look toward lighter varieties. Winemaker Mario Mazza makes some of the best bottles in Erie, so we asked for his picks. Here are five bottles we’ll be drinking as the weather warms up:
South Shore Wine Company Grüner Veltliner – “Versatile and food friendly”
Bare Bones Moscato – “Not overly sweet, and just a hint of fizz”
Sparkling Riesling – “This one is not just for celebrations or brunch – a fragrant and fruity traditional-method sparkling wine”
Mazza Vineyards Merlot – “A great option for those who are looking for a balanced and soft red, particularly on a cool spring day”
Bare Bones Rosé – “With summer just around the corner, this is a great option to get ready for rosé season.”
The thing about Erie is that it’s technically close enough to go for dinner (two episodes of The Splendid Table, and you’re there). And snagging a reservation at Chef Dan Kern’s 1201 Kitchen is always worth knocking off work a little early on Friday for a meal that’s truly inspired. His spring menu is (seafood-centric and) downright inspired. In fact, we already have three favorites:
(Left to right:)
Grilled swordfish with brown butter-grilled squash, Spanish Romesco, ricotta fritter, Yuri yogurt, almonds, and Aojiso-dressed bitter dandelion
Seared tuna with crispy potato, chili-pickled tsuyu, garlic aioli, and tobiko
Snapper ceviche with aguachile, jicama-cucumber salsa, and sesame oil
Okay, while you can technically head back to the ‘Burgh after dinner, we’re strong advocates of ordering a bottle of wine and booking a room. We love the Sheraton Erie Bayfront because it’s right on the water and so accessible to everything we want to do (read: visit more wineries).
1. Start at 6 Mile Cellars, a breezy 45-minute bike ride (or 15 minutes by car). The tasting room is located in a 100-year-old barn, but ask Sherri for a ride on her golf cart through the vineyard with a bottle of her rosé (the Snapper Cider is also killer).
2. Next, head to Presque Isle Wine Cellars, just 13 minutes down the road. Presque Isle Wine Cellars was one of the first two wineries to open since Prohibition. They also famous sell wine-making supplies to enthusiasts all over the country.
3. Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards is next, 10 more minutes by car and right on the water. This winery was the first to bottle Pennsylvania Champagne. It’s extra dry, crisp and covet-worthy.
4. Walk it off, or hop in the car for just three minutes to South Shore Wine Company, housed in cavernous and cool wine cellar, built in the 1860s.
5. Another three minutes down the road is the famous Mazza Vineyards. The spicy Sangiovese is a fast favorite. (We bought two bottles — neither made it home with us.)
*Sober up with a bite at Noosa (a 15-minute walk from the vineyard), right on the marina, before heading back to the Bayfront Hotel.
Sponsored by VisitErie.com and Mazza Vineyards view post
An elegant Easter dinner conjures up a few white-tablecloth fantasies. Senti is taking on all the responsibility for us, making their Easter Sunday dinner the perfect occasion to bring friends and family together – free from all the stress and mess of hosting ourselves. Stand-out entrée options include Porchetta Eggs Benedict, Braised Lamb Shank Served over Creamy Polenta, and Pan Seared Skate alla Senti served with White Bean Puree, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and Grilled Broccolini with Lemon Caper Aioli.
Every bunny knows that traditional Italian dishes and Easter Sunday go together like spaghetti and meatballs. That’s why we’re marking our calendars for Lidia’s special Easter Sunday prix fixe menu of family-style favorites prepared by Executive Chef Daniel Walker this April 1. The celebratory menu will include a three-course holiday brunch of fresh seasonal dishes, including Rainbow Trout with Salsa Verde, Lamb Chops “Scottadito,” and Salmon Fillet, as well as a decadent tasting trio of house-made pasta (for our inner carbaholics). A specially-crafted holiday children’s menu will also be available. Reservations are $45 per adult and $16 per child.
Tradition with a Twist
Acorn Pittsburgh is mixing tradition with innovation this Easter Sunday. Chef Scott Walton has crafted a one-of-a-kind menu of timeless dishes, each with its own modern twist. The menu is broken down into four categories: Bread, Fruit & Grains, Before Noon, and Afternoon, each featuring festive favorites to make up the ultimate Easter feast, including homemade biscuits with sweet goat butter and pickled strawberry and fried chicken thighs with mashed celeriac, pickles, and black pepper milk gravy. Acorn has also crafted three specialty cocktails for the occasion; Daliha Rojo, a tropical treat, Nanna’s Sunday Tea, a springtime pick-me-up, and The Cisco Kid, a play on the classic Bloody Mary. Seatings will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at $18 for children 12 years or younger or $39 per person.
Classic Comfort Food
fl.2 will be serving an a la carte style brunch on April 1 with special dishes created to celebrate the holiday. With the flare of Modern American cuisine in mind, Executive Chef Julio Peraza crafted a menu of irresistibly classic comfort foods. Among the most mouthwatering are Bananas Foster Sourdough Pancakes, Rosemary Crusted Steak and Eggs, and Alabama Style Fried Chicken. Of course, no brunch is complete without a mimosa, so fl.2 is offering their take – with grapefruit and tarragon.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail
This Easter, The Commoner is bringing the bunny to brunch. Peter Cottontail will be hopping down the bunny trail this April 1 to make an appearance between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the perfect holiday photo opportunity for little ones as well as those of us who are still kids at heart. The star of the show, however, is Chef Wyatt Lash’s spring brunch menu, packed with hearty favorites like Easter Ham and Eggs, Crab Benedict, and Pierogi and Eggs. Lighter options such as Vegetables for Brunch, comprising of a rice crepe, broccoli, roasted red peppers, kale, egg whites, Romesco, and herb salad, will also be available. Head Bartender Alex Dando’s Bloody Mary Bar will feature spring-inspired garnishes as well as died hard-boiled eggs for a fun festive touch.