Pittsburgh’s Charming French Bistro

This past week I had the pleasure of dining at Pittsburgh’s most exciting new restaurant Poulet Bleu, a charming french bistro. I was lucky to get a random open reservation for 7:45 on a Thursday. This new spot is booked for months out, for many good reasons!

The location is beautiful inside and out. To start, guests enter through a beautiful open courtyard with french music playing, a fountain, and yellow stripped awnings.

The entrance area features a long bar. I loved the touches of gold and the antiqued mirrors in the bar space. Tip: its first come first serve, you can order a full meal and its empty on Pens game nights.

I know I keep using the term charming, but the design and decor truly brings this small spot to life. I love the gold light fixtures, blue hues and white marble throughout. The bathroom houses my dream sink + faucet, and there’s many beautiful mirrors framed in flourishes throughout the space.

It’s so unique that the kitchen is in the center of the dining space. I couldn’t stop staring at the chefs preparing food in the open kitchen. Next visit I want to sit right at the island up close for the show.

We enjoyed a few starters or “petit plats.” Including the french onion soup made with braised oxtail, cognac veal stock and emmental, gruyere cheeses. The best part is the floating bread smothered with cheese and crisped flowing over the edges of the bowl. Definitely rich and could be a meal in itself. Also enjoyed the mussels in a creamy sauce with fennel, garlic, white wine and fresh herbs. 

 

For a main dish we shared a 12oz prime NY strip paired with cognanc pepper sauce and pommes frites. Steak and french fries are already a great combination, but at Poulet Bleu this was an extra special treat. I really enjoyed the tender steak and the flavorful red wine caramelized onions it was served with. The super skinny frites were delicious, crispy and salty. 

For dessert we indulged in the already famous chocolate souffle. It’s a fun pouf of chocolate served with accompaniments banana ice cream, cherry compote, candied pineapple, chocolate sauce, and a delicious creme anglaise.

 

Cheers to exploring another unique dining spot in Pittsburgh!  I can’t wait to return to Poulet Bleu! I’ve already made a lists of things to try, like the cheese plate and the Parisienne gnocchi.

My grainy iPhone pics don’t do this place any justice, I would encourage you to check out these professional pictures by Adam Milliron in the Eater review.

Continue Reading

Le Mont, a Pittsburgh Fine Dining Institution

le mont view

Yelp Elite at Le Mont, Mount Washington

Recently I was lucky enough to have been included in a fantastic Yelp Elite event at Pittsburgh’s Le Mont. Both the Yelp and Le Mont teams were very generous to treat us to a full dining experience! I’m sharing my first experience at this Mount Washington institution known for elegant dining and beautiful views of downtown Pittsburgh.

  

Le Mont is definitely known for traditional grandeur. It’s the kind of place that feels like you’re going to dinner at the country club with your parents – and their boss. It’s a special occasion venue, with an ornate and gilded décor that feels very fancy, formal, and elegant. The private room we dined in had plenty of windows featuring amazing views of downtown Pittsburgh and the North Side. The space is already lavish, with lots of gold, crystal chandeliers and ornate details – but when I visited it was also decorated for the holiday!

Before the meal, our group of Yelp Elite was addressed by the manager. She was very casual, and shared some of Le Mont’s history with us. She shared that they pride themselves on delivering a high class experience, and are now shifting to appeal to a younger crowd and expand what they’re known for.

To become more accessible and attractive to a younger crowd, Le Mont is now offering a seasonal celebrations menu with three- course, pre-fix meal cost of $38! This should be advertised more, as most deem the Le Mont as too costly – when this option is much more affordable. Le Mont as a classic institution does have a very basic menu, this celebration menu offers more fun and festive options.

Celebration menu le mont

I didn’t know what to expect, but was surprised to see that we were being treated to both red and white wine and our choice of soup or salad, entrée, and dessert. I am known for only liking sweet wine (my blog is Moscato is m Mantra) and I thoroughly enjoyed the red option by Merino of Portugal – it was truly delicious! Our menu featured very traditional high-end options, with a few of the celebration menu choices. I ordered the almond encrusted salmon entrée with bourbon glaze. I was served a large piece of quality salmon. I really liked the sweet bourbon maple glaze and the almond. It came with the classic sides of a swirl of whipped potatoes and broccolini. I also enjoyed the crème brûlée with fresh fruit.

The food was delicious and great quality! The wait staff was friendly and pleasant and cracked jokes. I’m really glad I got to experience the food and service at Le Mont. Thank you very much to Yelp and the Le Mont for a treat of an evening!

The only downside of my food was that the salmon was well done and the brûlée was served cold. It didn’t have that sensation of warm crystalized top with the creamy cool custard. I’m sure this was just due to the large party they were serving.

Overall if you’re looking for a traditional and elegant dining experience in Pittsburgh, with a view Le Mont is great. The consensus at my table of multi-generational Yelp Elites, was that Le Mont does have a bland almost boring menu. It’s just a bit old-fashioned. Their celebration menu was really needed, now that Pittsburgh is abuzz with so many dynamic dining options (aren’t we lucky that we have the luxury of being choosey?!). The Le Mont menu needs to continue offering a little more pizzazz, to truly be able to diversify and attract a younger clientele.

Continue Reading

Smallman Galley for Sunday Brunch

Smallman Galley

Smallman Galley is a co-op space for chefs looking to launch their own restaurant, a “launch pad for the best new restaurant concepts in Pittsburgh.” It’s a unique space housing 4 restaurant concepts, a full bar, and coffee bar. The creators of Smallman Galley aim to “cultivate and accelerate undiscovered Chefs by providing a forum to showcase their capabilities, hone their craft, develop business acumen, and build a cult following behind their concepts.” The space has four fully outfitted kitchens and open seats for guests, providing the infrastructure for chefs to test their concepts with low-risk and low-cost. To Pittsburghers it offers an amazing place to find interesting meals!

Currently the restaurant concepts in residence are Iron Born, Colonia, Banhmilicious, and brunoise. As with my first visit to Smallman Galley, I had a hard time deciding what to order with 4 unique chefs and plenty of creative menu offerings.

After weeks of seeing the pizza all over Instagram, I decide to try Iron Born. It offers a truly unique style of pizza for Pittsburgh! Iron Born Pizza may have a Yinzer name, but it’s a Detroit-style pizza. It is set on a fluffy, thick crust baked in a cast iron square pan which creates a truly delicious crispy caramelized crust and bottom. The cheese running over the edges creates crusty caramelized cheese! I split the White Pie of : Garlic Cream – Caramelized Onions – Marinated Cherry Tomatoes – Arugula – Ricotta – and I added sausage. The combination was great! The garlic sauce isn’t overpowering and the caramelized onions were delicious and sweet!  I would love to return to try another pie – the Carbonara Pie sounds delicious.

 

My boyfriend ordered Bacon & Egg Fried Rice, from Banhmilicious. It was very interesting and delicious, like nothing I’ve had before. The rice was a smaller than usual grain type and served with a fried egg on top and a side of soup. The soup appears to be a clear or an onion soup you would have at a everyday Asian spot, but once you taste it you realize its SO much more. Its almost like a spiced latte or strong chai tea – but meets the starter soup you’d have at a hibachi place. I asked and the soup features cinnamon, ginger, five spice and cumin (if I can remember correctly). We also had the mango bubble tea, which was filled with fresh mango. It was nice and refreshingly sweet.

I highly recommend a visit to Smallman Galley in the Strip District and can’t wait to return for another meal myself!

Save

Save

Save

Continue Reading

French Restaurant Downtown Pittsburgh

LE Lyonnais French Food Pittsburgh

Le Lyonnias is one of few places offering French comfort food in downtown Pittsburgh. Literally meaning “of Lyon” this spot offers charming small plates and indulgent meals inspired by classic french cuisine. I had the pleasure of enjoying a meal here recently.

Le Lyonnaise French Pittsburgh

We ordered a few tartines, which are open-faced toast layered with deliciousness.

POIRE ET BLEU:  Duck Rillette | Grilled Pear | Fourme d’Ambert Blue Onion Jam | Baguette

CREVETTE: Garlic Grilled Shrimp | Oven Dried Tomatoes Garlic & Herb Boursin | Five Points Baguette

JAMBON CRU:  Prosciutto | Truffled Scrambled Egg Shaved Mimolette | Five Points Sour Dough

Le Lyonnaise French Pittsburgh

They were all really well made and flavorful, but my favorite was the Jambon Cru. The truffled eggs were truly decadent, creamy and rich. Made me wish they were open for brunch 🙂  I would highly recommend adding this spot to your lists of places to try for a meal out on the town or a unique happy hour!

Le Lyonnaise French Pittsburgh

Save

Save

Save

Continue Reading

Pittsburgh Italian, DiAnoia’s Eatery

Pittsburgh Italian dianoia's eatery strip district

After months of salivating over the foodie community’s Instagrams I finally made it to Pittsburgh Italian restaurant DiAnoia’s Eatery. Located in the culinary hub of the Strip District, I was pleasantly surprised at how charming this spot is!

I walked and immediately gushed over the chandeliers that are made of  WINE BOTTLES and WINE GLASSES!? I immediately felt at home.

Pittsburgh Italian dianoia's eatery strip district

It’s a beautiful space feeling open, clean and fresh with white walls, highlighted with unique kitschy decor.

.  

I meet my two girlfriends on a Tuesday for a 6pm reservation. After a long day at the office we were ready for wine & carbs! DiAnoias does have a lovely light white moscato (from the dessert menu hahaha). I was thrilled.

We had a very sweet & charming waiter who was subjected to our gushing girl talk. He was great and added to our amazing experience.

For my meal I ordered Cacio E Pepe of spaghetti, grana padano, pecorino romano, black pepper. With handmade pasta and delicious cheese it was a very fulfilling, deliciously rish dish.

My friend ordered the mussels with bucatini, fennel, red pepper flake, parmigiano reggiano, white wine, garlic and butter.

My camera-shy girlfriend ordered potato gnocchi, with meatballs, red sauce, and pecorino romano.

For dessert I treated myself to more indulgence with a Nutella brownie and hazelnut gelato from local Shadyside Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream. My brownie was certainly a treat, with warm gooey nutella and fudgey bits.

I’m really glad we got to experience this charming Pittsburgh Italian restaurant. I can’t wait for an opportunity to return to  DiAnoia’s Eatery for dinner again,  and hopefully for Sunday brunch as well!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Continue Reading