Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Review: E2 and Park Bruges

Highland Park gets a taste of Europe with the opening of E2 and Park Bruges.


Photos by Laura Petrilla

 

If you haven’t been to Bryant Street in Highland Park lately, check it out. Two recently opened restaurants—E2 and Park Bruges—offer casual cuisine with a European flair and are part of the burgeoning little commercial district, soon to add a Japanese restaurant and the retooled At the Park bar. 

These new establishments join the existing food scene that includes fine dining at Joseph Tambellini Restaurant; Thai food at Smiling Banana Leaf; tasty pastries at Food Glorious Food, a bakery and cooking school; and great coffee at Tazza D’Oro Café & Espresso Bar, the neighborhood meeting place.

E2 and Park Bruges are brought to us by chef/owners who have succeeded in other enterprises. E2 is owned by executive chef Kate Romane and Larry Lagattuta of Enrico Biscotti, the well-known bakery and cafe in the Strip District. Park Bruges comes from family owners Elaine Wolfe and Barry Silverman, daughter Amy Seager and her husband, chef Jesse Seager. This team found great success with the popular Point Brugge Café, located in Point Breeze.

E2 is a small eatery that can seat 28 diners upstairs, up to 85 people downstars and 12 on the front porch.  The space was renovated with asparagus-colored walls, chalkboard-topped tables, a giant chalkboard menu and photographs of friends, family and loyal customers from the Strip District restaurant, soon to be enhanced with photos of E2 customers. 

The cuisine at E2 is healthful with a European (predominantly Italian) flair. Romane’s partner is third-generation farmer Tara Rockacy of Churchview Farm in Baldwin. Romane takes produce to E2 daily from the farm where they live.

The brunch menu is a nice mix of traditional breakfast fare and hearty luncheon foods.  My favorite was the brioche breakfast ($10): homemade brioche and pieces of Camembert on mixed greens with sliced Granny Smith apples—all drizzled with truffle honey.  The frittata changes weekly; the feta, olive and oregano version ($11) is light and fluffy and not overcooked.  The bread puddings and French toast (both made with Enrico’s homemade bread) change weekly and are excellent as well.

E2’s brunch and dinner menus offer “OMGs” (which stands for “Oh my gosh—I am so hungry!”).  Romane says, “I want people to have something to nibble on when they come in hungry and are looking at the menu.”  During brunch, OMG offerings include homemade beignets, donuts and zeppolis (savory fried dough sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and pepper with optional anchovies rolled into the dough). Sadly, these can be inconsistent—sometimes great but over- or undercooked at times.

However, at dinner, the OMGs are wonderful, especially the marinated olives ($3), which are plump and fresh; the simply prepared white beans in olive oil ($3); and the Gorgonzola spread ($3)—all served with homemade focaccia.

For dinner, the simplest dishes are the best ones.  I recommend the huge pan-seared
scallops ($11), the beans and greens and sausage ($12), the spaghetti aglio e olio ($12) and the fettucini with meat sauce ($12). 

E2 offers a few desserts: biscotti, berries with lavender whipped cream and homemade chocolates.

Unlike E2, Park Bruges moved into its space after local community groups extensively rehabbed it and mossArchitects completed all design work. The interior is uncluttered and spacious, with low-key elements of dark-wood floors, light-wood tabletops, pewter walls and burgundy furnishings. About 65 people can be seated in the restaurant's booths and tables, with additional seating available on the patio.

To launch the new restaurant, Kevin Hunninen, executive chef of Point Brugge, moved to Park Bruges. James McCaslin, Point Brugge’s former sous chef, took over as executive chef of Point Brugge. Park Bruges' menu is rather similar to that of Point Brugge.  “Point Brugge has more of a Belgian flair, while Park Bruges has more of a French flair,” says owner Elaine Wolfe.

The homemade soups and salads are among Park Bruges' strong suits, along with the signature mussels ($12): a generous 16-ounce portion of grit-free, plump mussels cooked in a flavorful broth (choose from classic white wine, shallot and herbed buerre blanc, or spicy Creole with andouille sausage, peppers, onions, celery and Maytag bleu cheese) and served with crusty bread to soak up the broth.

Park Bruges has two unique dishes: the tarte flambée and the poutine. The tarte flambée ($10-$13) is from the Alsace region of France and is similar to a flatbread, with crisp, lightly baked crust and a variety of toppings. Poutine, “the official street food of Montreal,” is Canada’s version of the Pittsburgh classic, fries and gravy. The Classic Montreal Poutine ($8) comprises Park Bruges' crispy signature fries topped with homemade beef gravy and cheese curds from Lawrenceville’s Arsenal Cheese.

A great complement to the poutine would be any one of the Belgian beers offered, which have “a wide variety of flavors with more complexity and richness” than American beers, says Wolfe. Desserts at Park Bruges are a must and are made by the talented Susie Treon, whose desserts are reminiscent of any European bistro.

Info:

E2
» 5904 Bryant St., Highland Park (15206); 412/441-1200, e2pittsburgh.com
» Brunch: Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: Tues.-Fri., 5-10 p.m.; Sat., 6-10 p.m.
» OMG's: $3-$5; Salads & Appetizers: $8-$12; Brunch Entrées: $9-$12; Dinner Entrées: $8-$18; Desserts: $6
» BYOB ($6 corkage fee); major credit cards accepted; dinner reservations only (for parties of 6 or more); vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options; wheelchair-accessible; no smoking; street parking; outdoor dining; catering/banquet services.

Park Bruges
» 5801 Bryant St., Highland Park (15206); 412/661-3334, pointbrugge.com
» Lunch: Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Brunch: Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner: Tues.-Sat., 3-10 p.m. (bar stays open until 11 p.m. on Sat.), Sun., 3-9 p.m.
» Salads & Appetizers: $5-$15; Brunch Entrées: $6-$15; Dinner Entrées: $16-$26; Desserts: $7.
» Alcohol; major credit cards accepted; vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options; wheelchair-accessible; no smoking; street parking; seat past 10:30 p.m. on Fri. & Sat.; outdoor dining (seasonal).

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

One of the stars of FX's “The Americans” is reportedly in talks to appear in the Mister Rogers flick “You Are My Friend.”

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

The Topgolf complex opening in Bridgeville features a driving range with microchipped golf balls that score themselves, plus plenty of food and drink options.

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

5 Great Ways to Enjoy Picklesburgh

The city’s fourth annual pickle festival will feature more food, more music and even pickle-inspired beers.

Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

When her last child graduated from college, Ingrid Meenen did something she had been wanting to do for 20 years — renovate the first floor of her Upper St. Clair home.

Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Return to your roots before your relationship blooms into a beautiful marriage.

Three of Pittsburgh’s Green Spaces Nominated for National List

Some of the city’s parks could earn a spot on the National Register of Historic Places by 2020. So why should you care?

Watch: Mister Rogers' Wonderful Sense of Humor

We stumbled upon this old clip of Fred Rogers' appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in February of 1982. It includes an amusing clip in which Mister Rogers loses a wrestling match with a tent.

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

America’s “Gratest” Celebration of Cheese is Coming to Pittsburgh

Sample cheese of every rind during the American Cheese Society’s annual Festival of Cheese.

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Watch: 12 Questions with WTAE's Sally Wiggin

The WTAE anchor was voted Best Journalist by readers of Pittsburgh Magazine. She answers 12 random questions ranging from her most memorable vacation to who should portray her in a movie.

Tax Credit Brought Mister Rogers Flick to Pittsburgh

The granting of the credit means the majority, if not most of the movie starring Tom Hanks, will indeed be shot in the Pittsburgh area.

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

Tom Hanks May Have Found Co-Star for Fred Rogers Film

One of the stars of FX's “The Americans” is reportedly in talks to appear in the Mister Rogers flick “You Are My Friend.”

Comments

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

Competitive, High-Tech Driving Range Coming to Pittsburgh

The Topgolf complex opening in Bridgeville features a driving range with microchipped golf balls that score themselves, plus plenty of food and drink options.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Comments

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Aaron Allen comes to Willow by way of 2-star Daniel in New York City. Plus, Greta Harmon joins the staff of the Ohio Township hideaway as the restaurant's new bar manager.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

Comments

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Leave enough time in your next visit to Kennywood to revisit some old favorites and these underrated gems.

Comments


Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

Comments

Five Essential July Events in Pittsburgh

Five Essential July Events in Pittsburgh

Parking-lot punk, polished Potter and other July attractions.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Comments

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Return to your roots before your relationship blooms into a beautiful marriage.

Comments

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

When her last child graduated from college, Ingrid Meenen did something she had been wanting to do for 20 years — renovate the first floor of her Upper St. Clair home.

Comments

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

Comments