Dig in to Pittsburgh’s tasty food events, new restaurants, menu specials, and a delicious dinner series this month!
By Andrea Bosco Stehle
Buon Compleanno, Sophia Loren! Girasole is hosting a birthday tribute to the Italian actress on September 21, one day after her 81st birthday. “She is one of Italy’s spiciest exports!” says Patti Gerasole. “And she continues to be an international and legendary symbol of beauty, grace, and intelligence.” One of her biggest fans, Jimmy Pie Gerasole, will present a special toast, and the restaurant will serve up recipes from Loren’s cookbooks, along with tidbits from her life. The five-course dinner, which includes wine, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $60 per person.
For reservations, call 412.682.2130.
[733 Copeland St., Shadyside.]
2. ANDREW’S STEAK & SEAFOOD
It’s no gamble if you will have a stellar meal at Andrew’s Steak & Seafood, one of Rivers Casino’s nine distinctive restaurants. And, for the third year in a row, the restaurant has been recognized by Wine Spectator magazine with the 2015 Restaurant Excellence Award for its wine selection. “When dining at Andrew’s Steak & Seafood, guests are welcomed and encouraged to work with our sommelier to choose a wine that fits their taste and pairs well with their meal,” says Andrea Kleinrock, vice president of food and beverage at Rivers Casino. “We’re very proud of our wine list, and it’s an honor to be recognized for the third year in a row.” Grape job, Andrew’s!
[777 Casino Drive, North Shore. 412.231.7777.]
3/4. POROS + SONOMA
Opening this month in Market Square is Poros, an Aegean-inspired restaurant with “estiatorio”-style dishes, like Fennel-Stuffed Lavraki. The European sea bass, indigenous to the shores of Greece, is roasted in a tandoor oven with lemons and fresh herbs. “The tandoor clay oven holds such a high temperature that it chars the outside of the fish while keeping the integrity of the moist, flaky fish on the inside,” says O’Brien. Continue your culinary quest on Penn Avenue at Sonoma, where Chef de Cuisine Scott D. Moonan is whipping up his venison dish, shown here, a hearty choice for the autumn season. Made with pâté, chop, parsnip, rutabaga, king oyster mushroom, and a juniper demi, this comforting dish is served with a warm shepherd’s pie. Looking for something lighter? Moonan introduces his Tuna Two Ways, made with truffle asparagus, pancetta, larded tuna crudo, tartare, cherry pepper romesco, frisée, and citrus. We’re sold!
[Poros, 2 PPG Market Square, Downtown. / Sonoma, 947 Penn Ave. Downtown. 412.697.1336.]
5. COMMON PLEA CATERING
Launching this fall is Common Plea Catering’s updated catering menu. “We have completely revamped every aspect of it, from hors d’oeuvres, to stations and desserts,” says Assistant Events Coordinator Stacy Stoller. “It’s important for us to give each of our clients the most superb food service, and this new menu certainly showcases the limitless extent to our creative cuisine.” You can expect inventive items, like the Maple Pork Belly Slider, served on a cinnamon donut, and a Red Oak salad bundle, wrapped in prosciutto, shaved fennel, and grilled asparagus with a blood orange dressing. Yum!
[2945 Smallman St., Strip District. 412.281.5140.]
6. BRADDOCK’S PITTSBURGH BRASSERIE
Highlighting true French brasserie style, Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brasserie’s new menu is modeled to showcase its roots. From Duck a L’Orange with roasted cauliflower, fava beans, candied orange, and bourbon orange glaze, to Bouillabaisse Rouille, featuring walleye, mussels, shrimp, potato, rainbow carrot, celery, and grilled bread, Executive Chef Jason Shaffer impresses with authentic flavors and ingredients for top-notch creations. We recommend warming up to his Pot-Au-Feu, pictured here. This dish delights with “six-hour” brisket, potato, vegetable fricassee, and jus. For a light finish, have your salad post-dinner. Shaffer prepares his Arugula Salad with faro, crisp apple, candied onion, bacon lardon, and a citrus mignonette. Bon appétit!
[107 6th St., Downtown. 412.992.2005.]
Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar Pastry Chef Meghann Walsh has done it again! She’s added new, mouthwatering desserts to the menu, in addition to a house-made ice cream and sorbet program. From her Banana Split Shortcake — made with house-made brown sugar ice cream, a pistachio core, grilled brioche, cinnamon plantains, marshmallow fluff, pineapple, and strawberries — to her Crème Brûlée Trio of coconut, lemongrass-ginger, and vanilla varieties, your sweet tooth will surely not be disappointed. Sharing with friends? Opt for the Ice Cream Social, made with house-made vanilla and chocolate ice cream sandwiches, malt ice cream bonbons, miniature ice cream tuile cookie cone, and sorbet. Get your sweet on!
[2350 Railroad St., Strip District. 412.281.6593.]
8. BIGHAM TAVERN
After winning first place and People’s Choice at The PittsBurgher gourmet burger competition at Rivers Casino, Bigham Tavern has added its prized item to the menu! The Hangover Helper is comprised of house-made pulled pork hash, a 6-ounce Angus beef patty, coyote seasoning, capicola, bacon, an egg, sweet chili sauce, beer cheese, American cheese, crispy onion straws, tomato, and Sriracha mayo. Grab a bite on September 21 as the restaurant presents the 8th Annual Chad Barber Memorial Golf Outing at Rolling Hills Country Club. Proceeds from the outing will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh and its 50th anniversary.
For details, call 412.431.9313.
[321 Bigham St., Mt. Washington.]
9. SUDS IN THE STRIP ON TOUR
Welcome the first day of fall on September 23 with the Suds in the Strip On Tour, as its next installment stops by the outdoor space of 31st Street Studios. A five-course collaboration dinner, at $125 per person, will feature creations from Cioppino Restaurant Group Executive Chef Matt McClelland; Osteria 2350 Chef di Cucina Steve Harlow; Marty’s Market Executive Chef Dan Lamb; Kaya Executive Chef Ben Sloan; and Cioppino Restaurant Group Pastry Chef Meghann Walsh. With a focus on barbecue, the menu will feature beer pairings from Roundabout Brewery, as guests enjoy the musical stylings of Jim Mullett of The Bandits. At evening’s end, all unused food product will be donated to 412 Food Rescue!
[31st Street Studios, 77 31st Street, Strip District.]
10. GATEWAY CLIPPER
Through October, combine brunch and a day on the water with a fabulous Sunday cruise on the Gateway Clipper Fleet! “Brunch is more than a destination — it’s an experience,” says Suzanne Krug, director of sales and marketing. “That is exactly what we want to deliver to Pittsburgh’s avid brunch-goers.” Enjoy thick-cut cinnamon swirl French toast, fluffy scrambled eggs with chives, applewood-smoked bacon, natural pork sausage links, and pancake blankets with Hammonton blueberry filling. You can even have decadent, chocolate turtle mousse pie for dessert. “Whether it’s a time to unwind after a Saturday night on the town or to get together with friends after a long week’s work, our Sunday Brunch Cruise is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and indulge in a grand selection of delicacies,” Krug says. The extraordinary view, guaranteed. — Mary Schrott
For pricing and more information, call 412.355.7980.
[350 W. Station Square Drive, Station Square.]