Thursday, July 21, 2011

Restaurant Review: Burgatory Bar

Rob and I have been trying to explore new (or new to us) restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. On this past Saturday, July 17th, Burgatory Bar was graced with our presence. To start off with, the restaurant is located in the Aspinwall neighborhood of Pittsburgh at the Waterworks Mall. This meant that there was a short drive (only about 10-15 min), but also ample parking, that was FREE. This was a big positive in my book as it can be quite difficult to find parking in Pittsburgh and often it is at meters, but I digress.

Since I was not my usual over-prepared self, we did not have reservations and had an hour wait. To be fair it was about 6:30PM on a Saturday night, so I wasn't surprised. I was however, pleasantly surprised by the waiting system they had set up. Their scheduling book was on an iPad and sent me texts to let me know my estimated wait, when my table was ready, and then post-meal a thank you text for visiting the restaurant. During our wait we decided to take a stroll around the mall, which is an outdoor strip mall. We used up about 20 min or so reading magazines in the neighboring Barnes & Noble and then perused the Wine & Spirits for any tempting buys (I did end up buying a few more bottle of my new favorite Alentejo).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wine Review: Sogrape Callabriga Alentejo

The Wine: Callabriga Alentejo
From the back label
Winery: Herdade do Peso
Maturation: Oak barrels 12 mo and bottle 6 mo
Tasting Notes: Red-violet colour. Intesnse ripe red fruit aroma. Full-bodied and smooth, displays excellent balance and elegance. Ages well for 2-3 year.
Food Pairing: Meat and soft cheeses.
14.5 % alc/vol.
Bottled by Sogrape Vinhos
Imported by Evanton, Inc. Stamford, CT.

Figure 1: Bottle opened and served in vintage cocktail glass.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Farmers' Market Haul

In my continuing quest to become more educated about the food I consume, I became interested in buying more fresh produce locally. I began looking for farmers' markets and discovered the website for Slow Food Pittsburgh. They offer a completely organic farmers' market every Saturday from 9AM-1PM known as the Farmers@Firehouse due to its location at The Firehouse Lounge in the Strip.

The weekend is a more flexible time for me to get my shopping done, since I work long hours during the week and can't make it to most farmers' markets as they seem to be during the afternoon on weekdays. In addition to the convenient time, I was also attracted to the fact that this farmers' market offered only organic produce.

Enough chit-chat, let's get to the goods. Here was my haul (Figure 1) for this week:  hens' eggs, proscuitto and Crested Duck black hawaiian sea salt from The Farmer's Wife; kale, swiss chard and zucchini from Mott Family Farm; hydroponic tomatoes from Pucker Brush Farm out of Shelocta, PA; quails' eggs from Blackberry Meadows; and spring onions, broccoli and peas from Blue Goose Farm.
Figure 1: Organic produce from Farmers@Firehouse on July 9, 2011.