Top 7 Ways to Eat Your Way Through Pittsburgh Restaurant Week 2014
Brazen Kitchen recommends one restaurant for each day of the week — because #PRW2014 is the best excuse to eat out again and again and again.
Pittsburgh Restaurant Week has grown up so much in two years. I first wrote about it in January 2012, when it launched with a pioneering 30 restaurants. The celebration has grown as fast as everything else in our food scene. Today it opens with 70 participating restaurants in the city and beyond. Spots are offering three-course prix-fixe menus or $20.14 specials.
The full lineup is posted online here. There's a lot to sift through. So, as always, let me help you out with The Brazen Kitchen Best Bets for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. These are the healthiest, yummiest plates of the week — proving, of course, that good-for-you food tastes very, very good.
Top Pick: Root 174
If you’ve always wanted to go to Root 174 — or if it's one of your favorites — you cannot miss the deal you are getting for $35.14: three courses! The above photo shows falafel with coconut tzatziki, quinoa salad, harissa, pea shoots and lemon vinaigrette. Other top options are the Moroccan chickpeas with pistachio, tomato and pea harissa — and my favorite: legendary vegan meatballs with cauliflower puree, pickled cauliflower, grilled asparagus, kale and black garlic (are you kidding me?!).
Grit & Grace is offering a deal with its $20.14 promo: buy four dim sum options and get the fifth free. I love the smoked tofu and soba noodle salad sambal vinaigrette and peanuts and the roasted eggplant, honey balsamic vinaigrette and bulgur wheat dim sum.
Salt of the Earth also has a $35.14 three-course tasting menu. Get the watermelon with sesame, cucumber and tarragon starter, then the pasta with smoked tofu, green tomato and chanterelles and tonified versions of comforting carrot cake or s’mores for dessert.
Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina offers $30.14 dinner and $14 lunch and brunch deals. I always go for brunch. I love the “panqueques” — pumpkin-spice pancakes, apple compote, cumin-maple syrup, granola with a side of tortitas de patata, which are shredded potato cakes, roasted pepper and corn. Plus do not miss the elotes — aka grilled corn like you’ve never had.
Pino’s Contemporary Italian Kitchen has a three-course $30.14 deal that allows you to choose anything from the regular menu. Italian comfort food anyone? I am having a kale Caesar salad, a pasta Bellagio with artichokes, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, Mediterranean olives, white wine, tomato sauce on tagliatelle pasta — plus dessert!
Franktuary always is a fun option. For $20.14, you can try the awesome hot dogs (the veggie dog is one of the few faux meats I’ll eat!) with a pretty butterhill salad, a mini dessert and a glass of Church Wine Punch or seasonal sangria. Summer!
Bigelow Grille has a $35.14 multiple-course dinner. I am starting with a summer vegetable panzanella (I love bread salads!) or zucchini fritters with spicy tomato sauce and basil. For the main event, I'll go with a handmade gnocchi with heirloom tomato coulis and zucchini. Because it's Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, I am definitely having dessert — the strawberry rhubarb pie is perfect.