It's a Mega Challah Bake!

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Events

08252014MegaChallahLoaves

We love that Barb Segel, development coordinator for Chabad of the South Hills, sent us a heads-up about this cool event, because it's fun to say "Mega Challah Bake."

That's what girls and women from all over Pittsburgh will be doing at Beth Shalom Congregation's Ballroom in Squirrel Hill on Thursday, Sept. 18. The event, called "Loaves of Love," starts at 6:30 p.m. with participants mixing, kneading and shaping two challahs -- the braided Jewish egg bread that is special for the Sabbath and holidays. 

When the event is over all over, they'll have one loaf to take home and one to give to a friend as a mitzvah ("which means good deed," as Ms. Segal explains). If you don't have anyone to give your extra one to, we here at The Forks would be happy to take it.

Tickets are $18 in advance or $25 at the door. You can reserve at megachallahpgh.com or by calling 412-860-4390. 

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Notion to cook for yinz n'at

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Events

Notion-PGH-photos

Chef Dave Racicot of Notion is at it again with his imaginative, push-the-envelope food artistry.

On Sept. 17 through Sept. 20, he'll offer a special six-course tasting menu at his East Liberty restaurant that aims to redefine -- while also paying homage to -- more than a half-dozen iconic Pittsburgh foods.

Consider it his version of the TV cooking competition "Chopped," only at a more relaxed pace and with more choices on your plate, n'at.

The $85 meal ($121 with wine pairings) will include Chef Racicot's modernist spin on such quintessential 'Burg dishes as cabbage rolls, kielbasa, Pittsburgh salad (topped with french fries), haluski, pierogies and chip-chopped ham. For dessert, there'll be something sweet involving Clark bars and Klondikes, created by the Isaly Dairy Co. in the 1920s and enjoyed by kids both large and small ever since.notionlogolite

"Notion is redefining beloved local dishes  ... to show guests that high-end food doesn't have to be unfamiliar," according to a release. "Expect dishes that creatively combine old- and new-world traditions with modernist techniques and imaginative plating."

Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling the restaurant at 412-361-1199 or filling out a request here. You also can send an email to reservations@notionrestaurant.com.  

Notion photos

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Paint Nite at Notion. No, really.

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Events

paintnite

Chef David Racicot is well-known for the ultra-creative, modernist dishes he cooks up at Notion and the absolutely gorgeous way he plates them. It's the very definition of culinary artistry.

By hey -- we eaters like to dabble in the arts, too, given the chance. Especially when booze, good food and a few friends are involved.

Nice guy that he is, Chef Racicot (pictured below) has cooked up a series of events that give all you would-be Picassos that chance in exactly that scenario.

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22, and every Tuesday after that for the foreseeable future, he'll host Paint Nite at his East Liberty restaurant.  

dave1Unfamiliar with the sip-and-paint movement? It's basically a step-by-step art class during which students get to knock back a few drinks. For a set fee, participants get everything they need to create a masterpiece from scratch:  a 16-by-20-inch canvas, primary-colored acrylic paints and artist's brushes. You even get a painter's smock in case the drinks fly too frequently and things get out of, ahem, control.

Which, of course, is kind of the point. Adding alcohol to mix, say organizers, helps customers loosen up and not worry so much about whether their work is any good.

It's a philosophy shared by a lot of aspiring amateur artists, some of them sober: Established in 2012 by a pair of Boston entrepreneurs, Paint Nite now has events in 87 cities across the U.S. and in four countries. Some 2,200 painting parties are held each month, entertaining more than 65,000 people. 

On July 22, Pittsburgh artist Ben Carley, who studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, will be teaching the painting "Morning Break Through." Rated a "2" on a difficulty scale of 1 to 5 (so relatively easy), it depicts a schooner sailing through a big puff of clouds into a brilliant sunrise. morningbreakthrough

Along with the "ultimate social painting experience," Notion will offer a special menu during the event. The small bites and sweet treats will range from Beef Tartare Lettuce Wraps ($8) and Truffle Popcorn ($4) to Chocolate Nutella Cake and Vanilla-Berry Cheesecake (each $8).  If fine wine isn't your thing, there also will be a selection of handcrafted cocktails, including a Ginger Julep for $11, an Aperol Negroni for $11 and Strawberry (Vodka) Lemonade for $9. 

The two-hour class normally costs $45 (with food and drinks extra), but for next week's kick-off event, the artist is offering a special rate of $25 here; simply type in the coupon code PNBEN. Space is limited.

Notion is located at 128 South Highland Ave., East Liberty (412-361-1188). Ben Carley also will be teaching Paint Nites on July 29 and Aug. 5, 12 and 19.

Paint Nite and Notion photos

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This week, drink wine on Mount Washington

Written by Melissa McCart on . Events

altiuswine1Altius in Mount Washington will host its first weekend wine tasting starting at 4 p.m. this Saturday, dubbed "Alan Uchrinscko's School of Matching Food and Wine."  For $35, you'll learn about six different organic or biodynamic wines. Light repast, including focaccia, Parker House rolls and oatmeal stout-caraway bread is provided. No matter where you'll sit, you will have a terrific view.

Mr. Uchrinscko knows his way around wine, having joined Altius from Lautrec, where he was the wine-and-spirits manager for one of the largest cellars in Pennsylvania. Before that, he was a wine specialist for Christie's auction house and worked at New York's Burgundy Wine Co. after wrapping up a degree at University of Chicago. 

If you can't make the tasting, the restaurant features happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, during which Mr. Uchrinscko pours wine flights and Rieslings, part of the nationwide Summer of Riesling festival that started in 2008. Weeknight cocktail hour runs from 9 to 10 p.m., featuring barrel-aged cocktails, among others.  

Melissa McCart photo

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Slow Supper: Big Table

Written by Hal B. Klein on . Events

Beer

Last night, Brooklyn Brewery chef Andrew Gerson collaborated with Chef Kate Romane of E2 and Kate Romane Productions for a "Big Table: Slow Supper" dinner in the John V. Heimeman Co. warehouse in Lawrenceville. (Here he is, welcoming guests.) Chef

Thommy Conroy and Quelcy T. Kogel of Harvest and Gather transformed the raw space into a candlelit indoor picnic, and Lone Pine String Band’s bluegrass jams served as a live soundtrack for the evening. The $75-per-person event was a benefit for Slow Food Pittsburgh.

The chefs collaborated on a five-course dinner as part of Brooklyn MASH, a 12-city international tour sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery that’s intended to celebrate the food, music and culture of the host city while at the same time building brand loyalty for the brewery.

The MASH tour first visited Pittsburgh this past October, when the event co-hosted the first dinner held in Downtown’s Butcher and the Rye.

This time the tour included a Justin Severino supper at Blackberry Meadows Farm, Chef Gerson teaching the art of beer pairing at Marty’s Market, a roundtable discussion on craft beer with Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy and several Pittsburgh brewers at Church Brew Works, and stand-up comedy at the just opened Rowhouse Cinema in Lawrenceville.

MenuLast night’s menu (at left) was a bright transition from spring to summer. Sour cherries added pop to the scallop-and-apple crudo. Course two (my favorite) took advantage of a late pea season; the earthy, yeasty, barrel-aged Brooklyn Wild Streak was a funky counterpart to the sweet green dish. The meal grew heavier with course three’s grilled sausage, braised fennel, and spinach emulsion; crisp Brooklyn Local 1 helped cut the richness of the sausage and fennel. Course four was a transition into summertime featuring grilled lamb chops (on the grill below), turnips, charred onion emulsion, and a giant bowl of salad greens. Kate Romaine’s doughnuts — a brunchtime E2 staple — rounded out the meal, dressed with a tart apple caramel and spiced cherries; Brooklyn’s Cuvee Noire, 10.6 abv and aged for six months in bourbon barrels, provided a potent compliment.

Another interesting beverage, mixed into a pre-dinner cocktail, was the shrub from Wild Purveyors (at bottom).

Lamb 1

The Pittsburgh MASH has two more events on Saturday: homebrew education at 2 p.m. at the Copper Kettle Brewing Co., Greenfield, and the “MASH Bash” at 8 p.m. at South Side's Club Cafe with Speedy Ortiz, Legs Like Tree Trunks, and The Lopez. Both events are free, but have limited space, so get there early.

Shrub

Hal B. Klein photos

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Good run, good beer, good people

Written by Gretchen McKay on . Events

run for beer mag
It's been a month since the Pittsburgh half and full marathons. Time to get back on a training plan, people, if you haven't already.  

But it's also summer, a time for kicking back and having a little fun outdoors after a hard day at the office. 

Elite Runner's summer Pub Run series kills those two little birds with one sweaty stone.Runners-Legs1

Staged the second Thursday of the month at various locations, the Mizuno-sponsored fun runs begin at 6:30 p.m. and offer participants their choice of two relatively easy distances: 5K or 5 miles. Afterwards, everyone gathers for beer (you're responsible for your own bar tab), the opportunity to compare split times and brag about recent PRs, and the chance to win some cool prizes from the shoe company.

The first run is this Thursday along the Montour Trail in Robinson (Mile 3). Runners will meet at The Brothers Grimm parking lot, 136 Old Beaver Grade Road. 

Future meeting dates are July 10, Downey's House, 6080 Stuebenville Pike, Robinson; and Rivertowne North Shore, 337 North Shore Drive, next to Root Sports, on Aug. 14.

If you want your runs to also include carbs, Elite last week kicked off its Wednesday Summer Outdoor Race Series. The chip-timed evening trail runs alternate between the Panhandle Trail's trailhead in Oakdale and Settlers Cabin Park (Alconquin Pavilion) in Robinson. All races begin at 7 p.m. , cost $10 and include beer and pizza afterwards. You can register here

Organizers swear the races aren't competitive. Yeah, right!

 

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