Where We’re Eating in August
This month, we're having grilled vegetables at Bistro 19, chicken dum biryani at Café Delhi and more.
As summer’s heat peaks this month, get your fix of seasonal produce at Bistro 19 with the grilled vegetable stack starter. Executive chef Jessica Bauer cooks zucchini, tomato, squash and onion, and dresses them with Mozzarella, balsamic syrup and a delightful basil oil for a vivid, savory appetizer.
[711 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon; 412/306-1919, bistro19.com; photo by Laura Petrilla]
Scents of curry waft through the air. Servers hustle, smiling at diners. Plates of steaming samosas arrive. You can really relax at Café Delhi, where reasonably priced, hearty Indian dishes are served. We can’t get enough of the chicken dum biryani with a side of raita. Garlic naan is the perfect complement to goat dishes, such as curry, and the corn soup. Almond kulfi (or ice cream) is best enjoyed on the outdoor patio.
[205 Mary St., Carnegie; 412/278-5058, facebook.com/paicc]
Thai Me Up
Ordering only pad thai at this takeout haven would be foolish, for the menu lists nontraditional Thai offerings, too. In the mood for sriracha fried rice? How about a sweet take on fries — pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot sticks served with plum sauce? You’re “bound to like” the stir-fried basil leaves with peppers and chicken in garlic sauce. Head over on a peaceful evening, when the front-facing garage doors are up, and sip your jasmine tea.
[118 S. 23rd St., South Side; 412/488-8893, thaimeuppittsburgh.com]
Sharp Edge Beer Emporium
This beer hot spot allowed patrons to “brew” their own burger long before that was a mainstream option; select the patty, cheese (including smoked gouda), sauce (such as black bean-corn salsa) and toppers (peppers and caramelized onions are fine choices). The ostrich burger and mussels are hits. Buffalo bites are half-price later in the evening. With countless Belgian beer choices, such as on-draft Leffe Blonde, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect brew.
[302 S. Saint Clair St., Friendship; 412/661-3537, sharpedgebeer.com]
Café des Amis
The words “breakfast served all day” appear often on menus at diner-style eateries. Here, the French-American dishes are a little lighter — ham, egg and cheese on a croissant with a side of tomato salad, for example. At this bakery-bistro, breads and pastries are made from scratch. The real gold is the sandwich portion of the lineup, which includes a croque monsieur. The crepes are stellar, too; fill yours with lemon and sugar, and top with whipped cream.
[443 Division St., Sewickley; 412/741-2388, cafedesamispa.com]
Jamie McLeland | Owner, The Steer and Wheel food truck
Johnson & Wales grad Jamie McLeland took on a few different roles during his culinary career. He’s now putting fresh spins on the burger — such as the “bacon squared” with balsamic bacon jam, chive cheddar and bacon. With his playfully named food truck, which rolled out this spring, McLeland is bringing dressed-up beef patties — plus veggie and turkey — to those who crave locally sourced ingredients presented in a fun way.
Thoughts on cookbooks?
You can find so much online now. I look at a few recipes and make my own [version].
Egg on your burger?
I liked a fried egg with beets; it’s a New Zealand-style burger.
Best patty meat?
Beef. It’s like steak — a good amount of fat [makes the steak].
Preferred level of burger doneness?
Medium — meat’s held together; if it’s a good blend, it’ll be juicy.
Inspiration for your lineup?
My menu of burgers comes from a mixing of classical training via culinary school, working with chefs in the past and bar food.
[Plain] pizza and beer. It’s like a good burger: You have to have good [basics]; anything else takes over flavor.
[thesteerandwheel.com; chef photo by Laura Petrilla]