PNC Park food so much more than hot dogs and beer; check out the new lineup
Fans attending next week's Pirates home opener will see some changes in the food available at PNC Park.
From the revamping of the all-you-can-eat seats to the rebranding of the former Hall of Fame Club to a partnership with Rivendale Farms as the supplier of fresh produce, eggs and dairy products, the changes were all introduced at a March 26 news conference at the ballpark. The Pirates open the home season at 1:05 p.m. April 2 against the Minnesota Twins.
Levy Restaurants operates all premium locations throughout the ballpark including the Rivendale Suite Level, Pittsburgh Baseball Club and Lexus Club. Aramark provides food and beverage services in all general admission areas, including the newly rebranded Jim Beam Left Field Lounge (formerly the Hall of Fame Club).
In the general concessions area, The Market will have bacon and broccoli macaroni and cheese, Nashville "hot" chicken strips or golden fried chicken strips, chicken Caesar salad and kale krunch salad.
Other areas throughout the park will showcase the pulled pork pierogie hoagie, kielbasa grinder, and the Nashville "hot" chicken taco trio.
Previously, fans could purchase a one-price ticket and get all the popcorn, peanuts, soda, hot dogs and hamburgers they could eat. Now, the one-price admission of $30 to the newly named Pirates Cove includes unlimited peanuts, popcorn and soda, and discounted prices for smaller versions of other items, including $5 each for the kielbasa grinder, loaded pierogies or cheeseburger and $5.50 for a 12-ounce beer.
"We want to think of this as more of a value section," said Keith Petrie, general manager for Aramark. "We want to offer more food at a value price."
The partnership with Rivendale Farms will integrate its products into high-quality concessions for fans at games and at the club's charitable activities. The suite level of PNC Park also has been renamed the Rivendale Suite Level, said Frank Coonelly, president of the Pirates.
The produce and dairy from Rivendale, based in Washington County, had previously only been served to the players and the staff in team meals; its chocolate milk has been used as a post-game recovery drink. The company's offerings will be integrated into a multitude of options by Levy and Aramark, including soft-serve and hard-pack ice cream.
"It's always our goal to connect with Pittsburgh-based businesses and the partnership with Rivendale Farms is another example of this," Coonelly said. "We are proud to team up with Rivendale and to be able to now offer their fresh locally grown products to our players, fans and staff as we work to continually improve the game-day experience at PNC Park."
Fans who are on the suite level can enjoy offerings such as
• The butcher baker cheesemaker — hand-cut cheeses and sliced meats with artisan chutneys, mustard and local honeys with warm baguettes
• The baja nacho platter
• Wing toss — housemade, seasoned, grilled and crispy fried chicken wings
• Summer grilled veggie pretzel flatbread
• Turkey burger sliders.
• Cocktail trays that include the ingredients to prepare signature drinks such as Moscow Mules, Margaritas, Bloody Marys, Old-fashioneds and Manhattan.
"We took some of the over-the-top base foods and brought them back to life," said Adam Holt, executive chef for Levy Restaurants. "We created smaller portion options at a smaller price so fans can enjoy more than one."
One of Holt's favorite options for the premium seat Lexus Club, is the Pittsburgh Paella, a three-foot pan that will feature items such as housemade kielbasa and traditional pierogies.
"We will have some fun with this throughout the season, changing up some of the options," Holt said. "Opening Day had to include the Pittsburgh favorites of kielbasa and pierogies."
Baseball Club Level
The Pittsburgh Baseball Club Level will feature:
• Connoisseur burger, Levy's version of a steakhouse experience, on a toasted brioche bun with banana peppers and crispy pepperoni
• Basil brined grilled chicken sandwich (above)
• Chopped brisket sliders.
There will be 30 different local craft beers, including selections from Fatheads, Full Pint, East End Brewing and Great Lakes.
Pittsburgh Brewing introduced four Iron City beer can designs, including one showcasing the evolution of the Jolly Roger.
Jim Beam Left Field Lounge
The Jim Beam Left Field Lounge has been rebranded for 2018 as a unique area open to all ticket holders. Jim Beam whiskey will be incorporated into menu items.
"This lounge is a terrific space," Coonelly said. "A lot of fans think they need a special ticket for this lounge, but they don't. They can enjoy this space before, during and after games — waiting for the traffic to subside."
Some of the new food options include
• Vegan greens and grains
• Grilled Hawaiian chicken
• Vegan meatballs marina
• Pulled pork dinner
• Cookie-dough sundae
• Campfire nachos — graham crackers, topped with chocolate chips and marshmallows, and baked until golden brown.
The lounge will have specials throughout the week, such as boneless wing Thursday, Miller Lite pitcher night on Fridays and build your own Bloody Mary bar for $20 on Sundays.
"I am so excited about the new menu options," said George Drakulich, executive chef for Aramark. "Adding Jim Beam to some of the offerings will give them an added flavor."
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.