Top Chef alum Heather Terhune will cook at the Commoner

Written by Melissa McCart on . The Forks blog

heatherkimptonLast week, I reported that Dennis Marron was leaving as head chef of the Commoner in the Hotel Monaco Downtown. On July 27, the Commoner will bring in Heather Terhune.

The season 9 Top Chef contender left as head chef at BDK Restaurant & Bar in San Francisco (also a Kimpton property) to take the position, though Kimpton spokesperson Jennifer Resick Williams of Know Public Relations said it hasn't been announced whether Ms. Terhune's position will be temporary or long-term. 

Before her post in San Francisco, Ms. Terhune had been the executive chef at the Kimpton's Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago since 2011; it was during her tenure here that she filmed Top Chef in Texas. 

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Summer previews for the Vandal, Station and Morcilla

Written by Melissa McCart on . The Forks blog

thevandalTonight builds momentum for Station in Bloomfield and the Vandal in Lawrenceville, both of which are slated to open the first week of August.  It's the BYOB Brooklyn Brewery beer dinner that starts at Atlas Bottle Works in Lawrenceville and moves to the Vandal across the street. A pair of tickets for the sold-out event was $100. 

If you don't make it, there are still tickets available to Cocktails & Contstruction on Saturday at Station from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $40. 

Speaking of events, there is also a Morcilla pop-up at Cure on August 17 and 18. Morcilla is the second Lawrenceville restaurant from Justin Severino, the chef owner at Cure. Tickets are $65 per person. Click here for the menu. And click here for more information on the restaurant. 

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What's dishing on the blogs: Coconut and lemons

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have elaborate desserts and intriguing poultry recipes. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

Let's have dessert first! The Brown Eyed Baker made a moist Coconut Bundt Cake with White Chocolate-Coconut Glaze. Jessica from How Sweet It Is baked fragrant Caramelized Peach and Lavender Scones, and Chef Chuck whipped up a tasty Lemon Pie at Cooks and Eats.

On the savory menu, it's poultry time! Linda from Dinner Plan-it prepared a crazy-good Smoked Citrus Cumin Garlic Turkey Breast. Yum Yum chose a wonderful Grilled Chicken with Mustard-Dill-Yogurt Sauce, while Bill from Three Dogs BBQ went with an "outside the box" Sticky Fish Sauce Chicken recipe. And if you're looking for a vegetarian dish, try the light Arugula Kale Reggiano Salad from How Sweet It Is, the gluten-free Grilled Vegetable Soba Noodles with Rosemary Garlic Sauce from The Hungry Hounds, or the simple White Bean, Spinach, Mushroom, Potato, and Cheese Quesadilla from the Sugar Pixie.

On the local scene, Yum Yum paid a visit to Cucina Bella in Bridgeville for the loaded Della Casa Salad and delicious Ortolana pizza; Good Food Pittsburgh announced that Soba rolled out this year's Farm Dinner tasting menu, which includes among others the Tempura-fried peach, shiso aioli and apple slaw, and the Walleye pike, corn and shrimp dumplings; Hal B. Klein at Pittsburgh Magazine dished about the entertaining and invaluable Beer Bible; Dan from Pizza Walk with Me introduced us to Nick Offerman and his Pizza Farm; and Three Dogs BBQ competed in the I Love BBQ and Music Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y.

See you here next week!

Brown Eyed Baker photo

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More on former chef at the Commoner; Circolo closing and other news

Written by Melissa McCart on . The Forks blog

Palladino-HotelMonaco-040915-105Here's a late afternoon sweep of restaurant news: 

1. Yesterday, I reported that chef Dennis Marron has left the Commoner. "It has been a long year," he said, citing the intense planning for the restaurant at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. "When I moved here, I knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to eventually do my own thing." 

This summer, he said he's going to take time to "get to know the city even better," and will begin looking at spaces. When I asked him if he has a concept in mind, he said he has many.

"But I'm a firm believer that the concept has to fit the space," he said. Stay turned for progress on Mr. Marron's next move. 

2.  At Soba in Shadyside, chef Dustin Gardner is midway through this week's farm dinner series, a $40, 4-course tasting menu (an additional $25 for a beverage pairing) showcasing favorite local farms.

Mr. Gardner pointed out a few favorites, namely, the blackberry gazpacho served with macadamia nuts, yogurt and sunflower sprouts in the first course that includes a tuna taco, ramp kimchi, tempura-fried peach, shiso aioli and apple slaw.

He also said the walleye course is on point, served with a corn and shrimp dumpling, heirloom tomatoes and lacinato kale. The tasting menu is available to customers through July 17. For more information and the menu, click here. 

2. Though it had only been open since late January, Circolo, Lounge 88 and Stogies Cigar Bar has indeed closed. Ron Sofranko of Sofranko Advisory Group LLC said he had never seen such a quick open and close in all of his years in the business.

With Mr. Sofranko and others as investors, Troy Potteiger worked with a team to put together over $1 million in financing to build out the former Mullen's space. The building at 2100 East Carson will go back on the market, confirmed Mr. Sofranko. 

3. And in quick-hits:
Gateway Clipper now offers a Sunday brunch cruise, with boarding at 11 a.m. and the cruise from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Adults pay $32 per person for tickets. 

The July 30 "Shop Late in Lawrenceville," sweetens the evening with free pastries and desserts from local bakeries at multiple stores starting at 6 p.m. while supplies last. 

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What's dishing on the blogs: Breakfast in the burgh

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

1. SR Greek Yogurt with Figs

This week, we have vibrant breakfasts and fruity desserts. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

At Simply Romanesco, I'm all over this delicious and no-cook Yogurt with Fresh Figs, Honey and Pistachios breakfast recipe. Jessica from How Sweet It Is went for colorful Summer Fruit Brown Butter Shortbread Parfaits with Coconut Cream. Linda from Dinner Plan-it scarfed down lovely Potato, Apple and Bacon Waffles, while the Brown Eyed Baker opted for quick and easy Chocolate Chip Muffins. For something savory, try Yum Yum's wicked Potato Salad with 7-Minute Eggs and Mustard Vinaigrette.

On the dessert list, we have a decadent Coffee Ice Cream Hot Fudge Sundae Pie with a Macaroon Crust from How Sweet It Is, a chocolatey No-Bake S'mores Dip from the Brown Eyed Baker, adorable Blueberry Hand Pies from Yum Yum, and an elegant Watermelon Chiffon Pie from The Hungry Hounds. For the perfect ending, gulp down Haute Pepper Bites' refreshing Blueberry Mojito!

Locally, the girls from eatPGH had the bacon and dry blue cheese burger from Tessaro's for the first time; Yum Yum revisited Meat & Potatoes where she tried the Three Little Pigs Sandwich and the Lobster Mac, among other tasty dishes; the Sugar Pixie went to BJ's Brewhouse for the Hawaiian Mahi Mahi and the Black and Bleu Burger; and Good Food Pittsburgh announced that Hofbrauhaus will be hosting a beer dinner on July 20.

See you here next week!

Simply Romanesco photo

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What's dishing on the blogs: Fourth of July grilling time

Written by Dana Cizmas on . Shared Plates

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This week, we have Fourth of July savory and sweet recipes. Here's what's dishing on the blogs we follow:

For Fourth of July, our local bloggers are grilling hot dogs! Haute Pepper Bites opted for the mighty Chicago Style Hot Dogs, while The Hungry Hounds went with gourmet Loaded Hot Dogs. In terms of side dishes, Jessica from How Sweet It Is made a filling Bacon Blue Potato Salad with Soft Boiled Eggs, and Chef Chuck whipped up a fresh Pico De Gallo Salad at Cooks and Eats.

Our holiday dessert and drink menu is also laden with goodness! Yum Yum baked a tasty and Fresh Strawberry Pie, whereas the Brown Eyed Baker came up with festive Red, White & Blue Finger Jello. To wash it all down, try the colorful Red, White & Blue Layered Drinks from the Brown Eyed Baker or the boozy Strawberry Gin Slushies from How Sweet It Is.

On the restaurant scene, the girls from eatPGH sampled the food at PJ's Bar-B-Q & Steak House in Center Township; Chef Chuck from Cooks and Eats enjoyed a delicious meal at Bistecca at the Meadowlands; Yum Yum lunched at Bob's Kennedy Diner in McKees Rocks; Good Food Pittsburgh listed the new summer additions to Bistro 19's menu; Hal B. Klein at Pittsburgh Magazine shared his thoughts about Pittsburgh restaurants; and Three Dogs BBQ headed to Covington, Va., for the Covington Cork and Pork Festival.

Happy Fourth of July and see you here next week!

Haute Pepper Bites photo

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