Where We're Eating in January
This month, we're digging "Odd Couple" lattes, fennel-flavored pretzels and much more. Plus, don't miss our one-on-one with bartender extraordinaire Colin Anderson of Cure in Lawrenceville.
Coffee is not a one-size-fits-all drink. Generoasta’s lineup encompasses an array of preferences, with equal attention paid to espresso, lattes and blended frozen drinks. The Odd Couple latte, a marriage of chocolate and orange, contains just enough caffeine and flavor. Café options include salads, wraps and so on, but if you’re heading in for breakfast, go for the French toast.
901 Warrendale Village Drive, Warrendale; 724/330-7007, generoasta.com; photo by Laura Petrilla
The menu lists dishes you’ve heard of and probably tried: baklava, hummus, falafel. But you’re rewarded for trying something new, such as the dawood basha entrée — a half-dozen beef meatballs in pomegranate and tomato sauce. Use the rice pilaf to sop up every bit of the sauce. Chargrilled quail is the way to go if you’ve got a light appetite.
2018 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill; 412/421-1920, nayacuisine.com
Stick to your resolution to eat well in 2015 even when dining out. Find something to your liking that packs a healthy dose of nutrients. At Rumfish Grille, the pan-seared scallops entrée is a solid pick, plated with cauliflower purée, fennel, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. The addition of a garlic sauce delivers the necessary flavor while keeping the meal light.
1155 Washington Pike, Bridgeville; 412/914-8013, rumfishpgh.com; photo by Laura Petrilla
Window-shop while you eat: The upstairs café shares its space with a Peruvian arts and crafts gallery. The strongest menu items are some of the simplest — soups including black bean are great in the afternoon or with a side for dinner, while the rotating lineup of empanadas delights diners seeking sweet and savory choices.
5527 Walnut St., Shadyside, upstairs; 412/682-4501, laferia.net
I Tea Cafe
Chances are you’ve passed over this gem that serves our new favorite form of poultry: the plum chicken starter, which raises the bar on snack-sized chicken servings. Order something obscure, such as fish tofu, with your Taiwanese hot pot. Despite the name, we think you’ll dig the hot grass jelly, a lower-calorie, Jello-like, sweet creation.
709 Bellefonte St., Shadyside; 412/688-8330, iteacafepittsburgh.com
Twirly Girl Baking Co.
Though the average game-day snack may come from a bag sold at your local grocery store, no one said it must be traditional. Twirly Girl Baking Co.’s fennel-orange pretzels pack flavors of citrus and oniony fennel; they’re what you should be pairing with your bottled beer. Mastermind chef/co-owner Julie Steinhaus sources a high-end type of Pennsylvania-made pretzels, which she breaks apart, seasons and bakes again. Her line, comprising five additional options, is sold at McGinnis Sisters markets, Giant Eagle Market District and other regional shops.
twirlygirlbakingco.com; photo by Laura Petrilla
Colin Anderson, Bartender | Cure
Upon learning that Colin Anderson loves (and studied) history, you can see why he’s drawn to 1920s-era cocktails. The self-taught bartender says he spends much of his time obsessing about Cure’s bar program — one example: clarifying the housemade tonic. He’s already thinking about the drink menu at Morcilla, chef/owner Justin Severino’s Spanish eatery that will open next summer.
Most memorable drink?
I think everyone [who] does this had that first cocktail love. [The] Aviation cocktail was the first cocktail I ever had that I was like, “Holy hell, this is really good.” I’ll never forget it.
Vermouth in general. I’ve been saying this for a long time . . . I’m not sure why it’s seen as a faulty ingredient.
How to have a solid bar program?
Care of ice is really important; we cut from a block at Cure.
Essentials for having a good drink at home?
Think [it begins with] vermouth; the reason the Manhattan is good is not because of the whiskey . . . Beyond that, I think glassware is important, and everyone should go to thrift stores . . . [to buy] a glass to fit your specific needs . . . For me, having a really nice bottle of scotch [also is important.]
5336 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/252-2595, curepittsburgh.com; photo by Laura Petrilla