ShareThis Page

Farm-fresh, autumnal fare on Six Penn Kitchen menu

| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Oven-roasted tomatoes, sauteed spinach and Manchego cheese add to the flavors of potato gnocchi.
Deborah Weisberg
Oven-roasted tomatoes, sauteed spinach and Manchego cheese add to the flavors of potato gnocchi.
Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Chris O’Brien presents his pork gnocchi dish.
Deborah Weisberg
Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Chris O’Brien presents his pork gnocchi dish.
Oven-roasted tomatoes, sauteed spinach, and Manchego cheese add to the flavors of potato gnocchi.
Deborah Weisberg
Oven-roasted tomatoes, sauteed spinach, and Manchego cheese add to the flavors of potato gnocchi.
Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Chris O'Brien cooks the potato gnocchi with the pork, spinach, oven-roasted tomatoes and other ingredients.
Deborah Weisberg
Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Chris O'Brien cooks the potato gnocchi with the pork, spinach, oven-roasted tomatoes and other ingredients.
Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Chris O'Brien grates Manchego cheese onto the poached egg before serving pork gnocchi.
Deborah Weisberg
Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Chris O'Brien grates Manchego cheese onto the poached egg before serving pork gnocchi.

Six Penn Kitchen has debuted its fall menu featuring a bounty of seasonal vegetables, hearty soups and other comfort fare.

Since opening 12 years ago in Pittsburgh's Cultural District, this upscale bistro owned by Eat 'n Park Hospitality Group has touted its focus on locally or sustainably grown products, including Jamison Farm lamb, Laurel Hill trout, cheeses from Emerald Valley Artisans and Goat Rodeo Farm and Dairy and vegetables from the Penn's Corner Farm Alliance.

Some veggies and herbs, such as lavender for the roasted chicken's honey-based glaze and sage for the brown butter in the autumn vegetable pasta, are grown on the Six Penn rooftop by executive chef Chris O'Brien.

“We try to source as many local products as possible, but what's most important is the integrity of the sources,” says O'Brien, an award-winning executive chef who previously worked at Poros, Restaurant Echo, the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., and Hyheholde Restaurant.

Everything at Six Penn is made in-house, including smoked meats, breads, pastas, pastries and ice cream. Although he kept the eatery's signature Confit Cracklin' Pork Shank since joining Six Penn earlier this year, O'Brien has crafted a menu that reflects his own style — creating approachable comfort food with classic European techniques.

Appetizers include roasted bone-marrow pate on bruschetta with lemon parsley salad; calamari and rock shrimp with cucumber and preserved lemon salad, lemon aioli and roasted red pepper coulis; and house-cured salmon with nova cream and cucumber salad.

Entrees range from fried veal sweetbreads with ricotta gnudi (pasta dumplings), blistered tomatoes, spinach and sun-dried tomato sauce, to roasted duck breast with root vegetable cassoulet and parsnip puree. The beef bourguignon is made with beef cheeks, fingerling potatoes, carrots and pearl onions in a red wine reduction. “It's my take on a classic,” O'Brien says. “The cheeks are an underutilized meat, and they're super tender after braising.”

The lunch menu features sandwiches such as the farm-stand vegetable burger and muffaletta panini, as well as soup of the day, soup or salad and sandwich combos, pastas and entrees. Brunch is offered on Sundays.

The Six Penn wine list — a two-time “Wine Spectator” magazine award-winner — is extensive, with hundreds of reds and whites available by the glass, bottle and half-bottle. Also featured are seasonal and classic cocktails such as the Hendrick's Sage Gimlet, a gin drink made with muddled limes and lime sours, simple syrup and sage.

With two floors for dining and a rooftop bar, Six Penn can seat 180, and the ambience is casual yet elegant.

Pork Gnocchi

Serves 6

2 pounds Idaho potatoes

2 eggs

½ tsp nutmeg

13 cup Manchego cheese

2 cups all-purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients:

3 lbs pork shoulder

6 cups beef stock or enough to cover

4 oz. unsalted butter

3 tbsp. sage

6 eggs

13 cup vinegar

12 oven-roasted tomatoes (two per person)

1½ cups of loosely-packed spinach

vegetable oil

To braise pork shoulder: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season pork with salt and pepper and sear in oil until golden brown on all sides. Cover with beef stock. Cover with lid or foil. Place in oven and roast for two-and-a-half to three hours, until tender. Remove pork from stock and cool. Cut pork into two 3-ounce portions, per person. Reduce stock to fortified reduction until it coats the back of a spoon.

To prepare sage brown butter: Melt butter in pot and whisk over high heat to agitate milk solids until golden brown. Butter should have a nutty sediment of solids at the bottom of the pot. Add fresh chopped sage to warm butter. Cool so butter solidifies. Reserve butter for finished dish.

To poach eggs: Boil water with vinegar. Crack eggs into water and poach for about two minutes. Remove from water and set aside.

To prepare potato gnocchi: Peel and dice potatoes and boil in water. Drain potatoes well, and rice through a food mill. Place warm potatoes on floured counter. Make a hole in mound of potatoes and place remaining ingredients in well. With a bench knife, work potato mixture until dough starts to come together. While still warm, roll dough into cylinder and cut into 1-inch pieces. Blanch cut gnocchi in boiling water until pieces float for two minutes. Remove from water and place in an ice-bath to cool. Once cool, remove from ice bath and reserve until ready to finish dish.

To finish dish: place pork, gnocchi, spinach, and oven roasted tomatoes in sauce pan with fortified braising liquid. Heat through until all ingredients are warm. Mount reduction of stock with brown butter. Place warm poached egg on top of each serving and finish with grated Manchego cheese and serve.

Deborah Weisberg is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.