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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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Seven Springs Foggy Brews

Foggy brews seven springs

Foggy Brews

 

After a few runs down the mountain at Seven Springs, or lets be honest one really, I am ready for a break. When I need to refuel on the mountain I head to the Foggy Brews  restaurant for craft beer and hand-crafted food creations. This place is seriously delicious, exactly what the resort needed. The menu has many delicious choices. So many I usually can’t decide and order too much food, falling into a sluggish food comma unable to return to the mountain… Oh well 🙂 this food is worth it!

Foggy Brews Bar

 

The bar area here is huge, featuring a 100ft bar top in a modern but rustic style, with shelves made from snowboards. There are of course plenty of beers on tap to choose from.

Out of all the fun starters on the menu, the crispy pickles are fulfilling, served with a BLT aioli. This pairing was surprising to me, as us Pittsburghers love our ranch dipping sauce, but it is a welcomed replacement.

Foggy Brews Fried Pickles

 

My go to main dishes are the Bison Burger and or the Quattro Formaggi Grilled Cheese. The grilled cheese is very delicious, rich and buttery, so I would caution those eager to return to the slopes to indulge in this dish. but you might not be so ready after enjoying this dish of buttered sourdough, stuffed with four rich cheeses and served with truffle honey aioli, roasted tomato soup for dipping.

Foggy Brews Grilled Cheese

 

My Boyfriend enjoyed the Mushroom Barley with rich mushrooms, barley and vegetables simmered with a beef broth, topped with herbs.

 Foggy Brews Mushroom soup

 

Although the barman suggested the mussels, my BF who eats mussels regularly, did not enjoy the dish. Described as, “Fresh black mussels steamed in a Spicy Carrots broth, Andouille Sausage, Shallots,” he says he thought the sauce was weird and he craved a warm buttery sauce instead.

Foggy Brews Mussels

 

We also love to order the Bison Burger and the Fish Tacos. I really encourage you to try the Foggy Brews next time to head to Seven Springs. After a meal here you’ll need to revive yourself with a cup of coffee. Which come in the cutest vintage-inspired mugs.

Foggy Brews Coffee Much

Foggy Brews Coffee Mug

 

Even if you aren’t working up an appetite on the slopes, its worth a visit. rainbow at Seven Springs Seven Springs

 

 

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