Bakery Square Event Embraces Food and Friends on V-Day
Plus, Legume relocates, elevates Oakland's dining scene and Elements' Bar 4 features an extra-yummy happy hour.
Valentine's Day Event Bucks Trend, Offers Food & Fun
On Valentine's Day, many people swap chocolates and roses before heading to the cinema for their night out. No matter your relationship status, though, you should really mix things up this year. That's what Love of Friends is all about. Touted as a "100 percent homemade celebration," the event brings together people of all stripes to munch and gab, not focus on romance.
Since Eat Street's primary concern is obviously the grub, we were pleased to learn that E2, Pittsburgh Popcorn Co., Enrico Biscotti Co. and a few others would be bringing in some of their signature items for all to enjoy. So, come Tuesday, would you rather go out and do the same thing you have for the past decade or rock out at Bakery Square with Pittsburgh native musician Melinda while noshing on some delicious homemade goods from Enrico's? The choice is yours.
(Love of Friends, Penn Avenue, Bakery Square. Tue., Feb. 14, 7-10 p.m. $25. Info: loveoffriends.com)
—Kristina Martin, PM Associate Editor
Legume Relocates, Elevates Quality of Cuisine
When Legume closed its small Regent Square restaurant to expand in Oakland, fans were genuinely worried. How long could they wait to reopen? And could Legume maintain the high quality of its homey food in a bigger space?
The good news is that the food is better than ever. The key to this place truly is the use of high-quality ingredients.
The menu starts off with "Nice Things to Share." I sampled the pork, duck and pistachio pâté ($8), served with coarse mustard and toasted baguette from Mediterra Bakehouse, and I was struck by the freshness and clarity of flavors.
Of the "Mains," I tried the spelt and beet risotto with ricotta, topped with a sunchoke salad and drizzled with pumpkin-seed oil ($17); I enjoyed the texture of the risotto with a little bit of “tooth” and the intensity of both the flavor and color of the beets, melded with the creaminess of the ricotta.
Another superb choice is the "Chicken Cooked Under a Skillet with Garlic" ($18); this is far and away one of the best chicken dishes I’ve eaten.
After dinner, I sampled the desserts, which are absolutely divine. The chocolate truffle cake ($6) is rich with deep chocolate flavor but light like a soufflé. And the warm gingerbread with poached pear and whipped cream ($6) is packed with spices like ginger, clove and cinnamon.
Bottom line: The food at Legume tastes great. And that’s what really matters.
Want the full scoop on Legume? Check it out here.
(Legume, 214 N. Craig St., Oakland. Info: 412/621-2700, legumebistro.com)
—Valentina, PM Restaurant Critic
Bar 4 Offers Fare, Drinks at Discounted Price
It's been a tough week: After experiencing snow, rain and frigid temperatures, it's clear that the groundhog might've been correct when he made his prediction. Since you've come to this realization, you should really go out tonight and start off your weekend the proper way. Luckily, Bar 4 (located inside Elements Contemporary Cuisine) can help with its happy hour offering.
Starting at 5:00 tonight, Elements' finest libations and grub will be offered at a discounted price (in other words: eat, drink, be merry and save some cash). For starters, the oenophiles are covered with $5 glasses of house wine, Oak Vineyard Chardonnay included. If you'd rather take the edge off with a brew, Guinness and East End Big Hop, among other drafts, are available for three bucks. And you can't forget the most important part—well, in our opinion at least: the pizzas. Individually sized pepperoni, mushroom and margherita pies are served piping hot for just $5. What's more, Elements hosts jazz musicians Friday evenings in its dining area, so you could head over after you're done at the bar. How can you go wrong?
(Bar 4 inside Elements Contemporary Cuisine, 444 Liberty Ave., downtown. Happy Hour: Mon.-Fri., 5-7 p.m.; specials offered at bar only. Info: 412/251-0168, elementscuisine.com)