More than 170 foodies flocked to the National Aviary to sample bites from some of the best restaurants Pittsburgh has to offer, as the kickoff to Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. Fourteen of the 69 total participating restaurants cooked up their best dishes, providing a preview of their restaurant week offerings. As guests sipped festive cocktails and dined on tasty samples, they were able to browse menus, make reservations, and even vote for their favorite restaurant preview of the evening! The prestigious title of “Best Summer Preview 2013” was awarded to Skinny Pete’s Kitchen for its delectable display of green chile soup with chicken and roasted corn, Hawaiian gazpacho, and caprese salad with smoked and fresh mozzarella. Some other fan favorites included Bistro 19’s barbecue duck tacos and James Street Gastropub’s cajun-dusted shrimp over grits. Once everyone was pleasantly stuffed, bids on charity raffle items began, with proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation Transplant Surgery Auxiliary. “A cocktail party is the perfect atmosphere to kick off the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week celebration,” says director and co-founder Brian McCollum. “Each restaurant passes preview tastings to lure diners in for its special restaurant week menus.”

View and purchases photos from this event and others in the WHIRL PhotoVault.

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