Hop to Mad Mex's IPA Jam and Chile Fest

Plus get the scoop on new Highland Park restaurant Park Bruges.

>>brewevent
Mad Mex hosts Chile Fest, IPA Jam

Mad Mex is thinking beer—but not the brews you would traditionally expect to complement Mexican food. The Hatch Chile Fest and IPA Jam will be held at Mad Mex’s Cranberry location tomorrow from 1 to 4 p.m.

The event, coordinated with the help of four distributors, will feature tastings of selections from breweries such as Blue Point, Victory, Flying Dog and many others with varieties ranging from Belgian to black.

In addition to the ample brews, the event will include a pig roast and outdoor grilling. Starting at 5 p.m., free live music will be provided by Higher Ground, a local Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band, and The Boogie Hustlers, a local group that blends soul, R&B, rock and jazz.

(Village Shoppes of Cranberry, 20510 Perry Highway, Cranberry Township. Sat., 1 p.m. $20, advance; $30, at the door. Info, tickets: 724/741-5656, madmex.com)
—Rob McCoy, PM Editorial Intern

>>diningreview
Park Bruges brings French-inspired cuisine to Highland Park
Park Bruges, a relatively new establishment, joins Highland Park’s  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. The eatery is brought to us by family owners Elaine Wolfe and Barry Silverman, daughter Amy Seager and her husband, chef Jesse Seager.

Park Bruges’ menu is rather similar to that of Point Brugge Cafe, the eatery’s sister establishment located in Point Breeze.

"Point Brugge has more of a Belgian flair, while Park Bruges has more of a French flair," says owner Elaine Wolfe.

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 fries and gravy, a Pittsburgh classic.

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.

(5801 Bryant St., Highland Park. 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.; Sun., 3-9 p.m. Info: 412/661-3334, pointbrugge.com)—Valentina, PM Restaurant Critic

>>amuse-bouche
Taste of Dahntahn: After months of waiting, locals can finally grab dinner at Taste of Dahntahn, Courtney Lynch-Crawford’s Pittsburgh-centric eatery. The menu, which features casual cuisine, pays tribute to the Steel City with dishes named after local people and places—Carnegie included.

(535 Liberty Ave., downtown. Dinner only. Info: 412/224-2240)

Friday Night Live: Normally, Market Square is a place to visit when you’re looking to shop ’til you drop or eat a delicious meal. But during summer, the newly renovated Square expands its offerings: Friday Night Live occurs weekly from 5-8 p.m., and several nearby eateries offer food and drink specials. On top of that, ‘Burghers can sway to the sounds of such local bands as These Lions, who will play tonight.

(Market Square, downtown. Fri., 5-8 p.m. Free. Info: marketsquarepgh.com)

Taste of Great Lakes Dinner: Get a taste of the Great Lakes region tomorrow evening at Olive Press. Diners will eat a five-course meal, prepared by chef de cuisine Alex Fillo; the menu includes dishes made with fresh produce and Minnesota trout. In addition, a few selections from the Winery at Wilcox, located in Elk County, will be offered.

(Olive Press Restaurant at Hyatt Regency, 1111 Airport Blvd. Sat., 6:30 p.m. $50 per person. Info: 724/899-6017, pittsburgh.hyatt.com)
—Kristina Martin, PM Assistant Editor

Categories: PGHeats