Written + Produced by Andrea Bosco Stehle | Photographs by Michael Fornataro
From happy hour to dinner time, we’re eyeing up dishes with fall flair
Italian Shrimp and Grits
Stacked and steaming, this dish is as delicious as it is beautiful. The house-made polenta, cut into triangles, is piled high with sautéed shrimp, zucchini, and cremini mushrooms and the restaurant’s flavorful San Marzano tomato sauce. Chef and owner Jeff Iovino suggests pairing the polished plate with a light, crisp Sangiovese or Chardonnay. Look for an array of polenta dishes making their debut this month! Cafe io, 300 Beverly Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.440.0414. cafeio.com.
Can’t wait until November 24 for all of your favorite comfort foods? Bigham Tavern’s got your fix! On September 29 and October 27, it’s serving up Thanksgiving Thursdays, featuring a whole, roasted turkey and all the fixings — mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, cranberries, and a seasonal veggie (charred Brussels, here). The smash hit is available from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., daily. Bigham Tavern, 321 Bigham St., Mt. Washington. 412.431.9313. bighamtavern.com.
Oysters and Bubbles
You don’t have to stay the night to indulge in one of the Omni William Penn Hotel’s new happy hour promotions. Monday through Sunday, sip and savor $1 oysters and $3 bubbles in the Palm Court from 5-7 p.m. Director of Food and Beverage Brian Annapolen knows a thing or two about East Coast oysters, having grown up on the Jersey Shore. You’ll see Blue Points, Kumamotos, and Olympias on the menu. Check out the all-new Bloody Mary Bar, too, on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Annapolen has elevated the program to feature smoked vodka, Double Cross vodka, and Casa Amigos Blanco Tequila, George Clooney’s private label. Omni William Penn Hotel, 530 William Penn Place, Downtown. 412.281.7100. omnihotels.com/pittsburgh.
After a five-hour slow roast, Chef Scott Croyle’s pork shank falls off the bone at first fork. Braised in veal stock, red wine, plum tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and onions, the dish packs a punch of flavor and tenderness as it holds in moisture during the roasting process. Focusing on “warm, friendly flavors” for fall, the restaurant is also serving up a fresh look — it recently underwent a $500,000 front-of-the-house renovation. Jacksons Restaurant + Bar, 1000 Corporate Drive, Canonsburg. 724.743.5005. experiencejacksons.com.
Plateau de Fruits de Mer
Boasting one of the best views in the city, Monterey Bay Fish Grotto takes pride in its strong seafood game. Dining with friends? Go for the Plateau de Fruits de Mer, or seafood tower, which features oysters and Middleneck clams on the half, curried sun shrimp, jumbo lump crab salad with basil vinaigrette, fresh squid salad, chilled mussels, and snow crab cocktail claws. Stay for sunset and a spread of sweet offerings, including a fan-favorite, the Angel Food Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which won Best Dessert at Chef’s Best Dish in 2013. Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, 1411 Grandview Ave., Mt. Washington. 412.481.4414. montereybayfishgrotto.com.