Kaleidoscope Cafe a reflection of owner’s tastes
By Bob Karlovits
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 7:04 p.m.
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012
The owner and chef of the Kaleidoscope Cafe in Lawrenceville says he is a down-to-earth, “let's see what we can do with what's in the cupboard” kind of guy.
While Dan Robinson's restaurant near the bottom of 43rd Street has an easy-going feeling, the menu can be quite a bit more elegant.
Herb-baked polenta ($17), which is served with a marinated portabella and a ragout of winter vegetables, for instance, is a bit dressier that the Go Fish Sandwich ($10). But, even that meal is served with a preparation that changes each day. Pan-seared basa ($23) with a lobster, white-bean puree and greens sauteed with bacon is fancier than a slow-roasted, pulled sandwich of chicken, pork ($7) or duck ($10).
The selection on the menu at Kaleidoscope makes it a good choice for a dinner or lunch. Its casual atmosphere makes it a good place for a dress-down meal out.
Robinson has been running the restaurant for 11⁄2 years after he took over the site that used to be River Moon, a restaurant that was a little more focused on dinner.
The native of Edinboro, Erie County, defines himself as “line-trained,” coming from experience in a number of kitchens rather than study in a culinary school. He has gone from food jobs at McDonald's and Eat ‘n' Park to country clubs and restaurants on the South Side, and was looking to find his own place.
Robinson brags of enjoying his current “short commute.” He lives above the restaurant.
The site is small, but easy to spot at its corner location. The interior is of a crisp, modern design and its square tables have tops designed by local artists and are for sale for about $500 each, Robinson says.
He says he has tried to make it a casual lunch spot for residents of the tight, row-house neighborhood, workers from the Butler Street business district or techies from the robotics plant next door.
Kaleidoscope might seem lunch-oriented, but Robinson doesn't want anyone to overlook the restaurant for dinner. Besides the dinners mentioned earlier, it offers such items as filet mignon ($30) with bourbon mushrooms, vegetables and a choice of fries or roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
Like River Moon, it is a bring-your-own site with a $2.50-per-drinker corkage fee. Robinson says on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the restaurant will provide a free bottle of wine to diners ordering two entrees and a small platter or appetizer.
Those dishes include Kaleidoscope crab dip ($9), which is served with bacon, corn, onion and red peppers or deep-fried gnocchi ($7) tossed with herbs and cheese served with marinara.
Meals also include pastas from $14 to $18 featuring the delightfully named The Cow Jumped Over the Blue Moon ($16), which is beef on fettuccine with a gorgonzola cream sauce and a sweet-onion confit.
Lunch-type meals include a chicken breast sandwich ($7), a veggie-stack sandwich ($6) and a build-your-own burger that starts at $6.50 and to which a variety of cheeses can be added for 50 cents or avocado, bacon, egg or barbecued pork or chicken for $1.
Small and large salads are offered for $7 and $10. Chicken or portabello can be added for $2.
Kaleidoscope Cafe, 108 43rd St., is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Details: 412-683-4004 or www.kaleidoscopepgh.com
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
- Kovacevic: The smartest man in hockey
- Penguins far from satisfied after Game 2
- Behind Crosby’s hat trick, Penguins sneak past Senators
- Penguins notebook: Malkin makes points run
- Error in 9th allows Pirates to rally past Astros
- Ex-Steelers QB Batch learns new form of 2-minute drill
- Pittsburgh officer’s off-duty heroics give toddler chance to live
- Driver dies in Mercer County crash
- Accrued sick time weighs on Pittsburgh budget
- Senators head home to regroup
- Just hold on, 911 officials say of busy signals, but frustrated callers want explanation
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.