Eat, drink, dance at Urbanist release party

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Events

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There is a TON going on this weekend, but one hot ticket is the one above -- for the release party for the third issue of the Urbanist, a printed guide to independent attractions across the city in the areas of food, drink, art, shopping and more.

So Saturday's PGH Spring Thing party, which runs from 6 p.m. to almost 2 a.m., has a lot going on, too.

The former CJ's at 2911 Smallman St. in the Strip District will be a music venue and bazaar of food and drink from current and forthcoming hot spots. The menu for the latter: 

Station: Pork belly with green garbanzo bean, egg custard, chili and bread crumb

The Ballroom (opening on the second floor of Round Corner Cantina): Green, eggs and ham: Fish sauce-glazed pork belly, egg-white puree, egg-yolk sauce, green onion; or grilled Japanese eggplant with lemon, miso, gomashio

Cure: Lardo and radish crostini or nduja and pickled pepper crostini

Bread & Salt: Bread with butter and anchovy

The Vandal: Vanilla chia pudding, rhubarb butter, rosemary-nutmeg granola and lamb sausage, pickled red cabbage, dill aioli

tako: tako punch of blanco tequila, pamplemousse, ruby red grapefruit juice, lime, sage, agave, hopped grapefruit bitters; spicy cucumber margarita of blanco tequila, cucumber/pepper juice, cointreau, lime​

Round Corner Cantina -- Tiki drinks by Will Groves, Sofia Sparkling cans, Tecate

Hop Farm Brewing -- two brews

You get samples of all the food and two drinks for your $25 admission, and you can buy additional food and drink (bars open at 6, food starts serving at 7).

It's $15 if you just want to come, starting at 10 p.m., for the music, by VIA, Obvious and DME with headliner Lunice. 

Get your real tickets here

Check out Urbanist Pittsburgh here















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Curtis Gamble's pop-up on April 11, updated

Written by Melissa McCart on . Events

gamblefood
UPDATE: Below, you'll find the menu for the April 11 pop-up at Thin Man Sandwich Shop. Tickets are $100 and are available by calling 724-882-0561 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Station pop-up at Thin Man

First: Beet, citrus, goat cheese, cracker

Second: Butter-poached halibut, pickled rhubarb, fava beans, buttermilk, popcorn dashi

Third: Grilled octopus, dill gnocchi, dandelion greens, yogurt, green olive, red-pepper jus

Fourth: Grilled hanger steak, charred carrot, fines-herb hash brown, English pea and Serrano-chili sabayon

Fifth: Popcorn panna cotta, salted caramel, caramel corn
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March 10, 2015

Those eager for a preview of Curtis Gamble's upcoming Bloomfield restaurant called Station should know this: Though the March 15 dive-bar pop-up has been cancelled, he'll host a dinner at Thin Man Sandwich Shop in the Strip District at 7:30 p.m. on April 11. The five-course all-inclusive dinner with a drink pairing costs $100 per person.

The chef of Downtown's Grit & Grace, in partnership with Justin Janosko and John Pieranunzi of Craftwork Kitchen in Downtown's U.S. Steel Tower, is in the process of taking over the D'Amico's space at 4744 Liberty Ave., serving "new American food and some classics spun in a Mediterranean fashion," Mr. Gamble told the Post-Gazette.

The dive-bar pop-up was cancelled as the business changes ownership and navigates the sale of the liquor license.

Station is shooting to open in May or June.

Mr. Gamble envisions Station as a "public house or public watering hole." The name evokes both "where you are in life" and "a place where a lot of people come to gather," he said. He plans cocktails and "a great beer list" to accompany the food.

John Colombo photo


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Superior Motors starts pop-ups

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Events

sousa table

Kevin Sousa fans champing at the bit to sample the eats at Superior Motors, his much-anticipated Kickstarter-funded restaurant in Braddock, are in luck. 

This past Wednesday, the Pittsburgh chef announced a series of "R & D" pop-up dinners  to be offered this spring in his very own home kitchen, as a way to show folks what the food will be like. 

After so many months of planning, "it's time to get back in the kitchen," says Sousa, who recently was profiled on Eater.com.

The BYOB meals are sure to be one hot ticket: He says the first, on Feb. 2, sold out in five minutes after he tweeted a link for tickets on ShowClix. At 10:15 p.m., no less.  

SOUSA 3Mr. Sousa still can't pinpoint when, exactly, the 50-seat Braddock Avenue restaurant -- it sits opposite U.S. Steel's belching Edgar Thomson Works -- will open for business, other than to say it should be sometime in late spring. While original plans called for an early January/February opening, no one should be surprised that a project this nuanced and complicated would face delays, he notes. 

"There's inevitably going to be problems when you're moving 100 tons of old concrete."

But now that all the permits are in order and actual construction has started -- they're pouring new concrete this week, and will begin framing as soon as it's cured -- things should move fairly quickly, he says.

In holding the pop-up dinners, all of which will have just 10 seats up for grabs, Mr. Sousa hopes to get both positive and negative feedback on menu items he'll be testing. In keeping with farm-to-table philosophy, dishes will be seasonal and locally sourced when possible.sousa outside

He expects to hold at least three dinners, and maybe as many as six or seven, "if it's not a burden on my family or home," a former warehouse with a funky third floor (it's crafted from a shipping container) that used to belong to Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.

"It's the same way we played with Salt before it opened," Mr. Sousa says, referring to the Garfield restaurant he launched in Sept. 2010 and sold in Feburary 2014 to architects and co-owners Doug and Liza Cruze. 

In light of his new responsibilities with Superior Motors, he also closed Station Street Hot Dogs in East Liberty in November, and is in the process of divesting himself of Union Pig and Chicken, which he opened in 2012, with an arrangement to sell it to two employees. 

With guests seated at his own kitchen table, expect the meals to be very personal affairs -- more like an intimate dinner with friends than a night on the town. "But the vibe will mimic some aspects of Superior Motors," he says, with open, minimalistic interior spaces  and a gritty urban landscape on the outside.   

Guests will either score a seat at a six-top in front of a large window overlooking the historic Carnegie Library across the street, or at the counter facing the open kitchen (and working chef). Cost is $85, plus tax, gratuity and service charge.

The seasonal menu for February's first dinner isn't yet set, but Mr. Sousa says it will feature seven courses, including grass-fed beef and Lampost Farm chicken.   "It will be wintery, for sure."

Expect to see sous-vide action at future dinners, along with a "rustic impression" of the creative American food he's known for.

Proceeds benefit Superior Motors and Braddock Redux, a nonprofit that serves to better the community through training projects, art and green initiatives, and the creative re-use of existing projects. The restaurant is a case in point -- the site was one of the first indoor Chevrolet dealerships in the country, and the former convent next door eventually will house stagiaires and culinary and service interns.  

For info on future pop-ups, you can follow Mr. Sousa and Superior Motors on Twitter @SM15104 or on Facebook

Kevin Sousa photos


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A winter local food tasting

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Events

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American Healthcare Group, which puts on regular tasteful Farm to Table Pittsburgh events, is doing its first Winter Local Food Tasting. This "For the Love of Pittsburgh" event is to run from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Pittsburgh Public Market, where the group says it will assemble more than 65 local food vendors.

For $25, attendees can taste their way across the market and meet and mingle with these producers. 

This "is a great time of year to slow down and savor the winter offerings of local farms, food producers, wineries, breweries, bakeries, caterers, etc.," according Farm to Table, which is selling tickets here. We've asked who some of the confirmed vendors are, and will update that here when we hear back. 
 
After this event, it won't be long until American HealthCare Group presents the 9th Annual Farm to Table Conference and Local Food Tasting on March 27 and 28 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.  This year's theme is Cooking at Home.  

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Oyster fest at Wholey's

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Events

oysters

Love oysters?

You're in luck. Wholey's in the Strip District is celebrating the briny bivalves in a big way in the days leading to Thanksgiving.

Oyster Fest kicks off Friday at the Penn Avenue fish market with sales and offers on oysters, along with recipes for everything from oyster stew and fried oysters to a New Orleans-style oyster po-boy.

There also will be samples, along with demonstrations on how to shuck the hard-shelled mollusks without slicing your fingers or stabbing yourself in the thumb or hand in the process. (Hint: It involves a kitchen towel.)oyster2

That includes an "oyster training class" at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23, with PG garden writer Doug Oster.

Varieties available for sale during the fest will include all the favorites: James River, Chesapeake, Connecticut, Delaware Bay, Blue Points and Well Fleets. 

An added bonus: For every freshly shucked oyster sold from the market's oyster bar, part of the proceeds will be donated to The Children's Institute, a rehab center in Squirrel Hill. 

The fest runs through Nov. 26. 

Post-Gazette (top) and Gretchen McKay photos

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Sharpen those knives

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Events

fingers cut

Sure, you can slice and dice with a dull knife. But the question is: Do you really want to?

As anyone who's ever tried to cut through an old tomato with a worn-down blade can tell you, dull knives put you at greater risk for injury -- having to press harder while you're slicing increases your chance of slipping and having the blade end up where you don't want it to.

As in your finger. Owie! 

Dull knives also make it more difficult to evenly dice veggies (which assures even cooking) and tend to smash food rather than slice it. 

There is a solution, and it doesn't involve digging deep into your pockets for a new set of Wusthofs or Henckels.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, Crate Kitchenware/Cooking School in Scott is hosting a knife-sharpening event. Cooks can get up to three knives sharpened at just 2 bucks apiece. All while donating to a good cause -- proceeds will benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a global organization funding Type 1 diabetes (T1D)  research.

And if you're in the market for a few new knives, too? There will be special deals on aforementioned Wusthof products. 

Crate is located at 1960 Greentree Road. More info: 412-341-5700. 

Wonderhowto.com photo

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