Pittsburgh Restaurant Week expands far and wide for summer edition
Turn off the oven, unplug the slow cooker and close the lid on the grill: It’s time to celebrate the Summer 2019 edition of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week.
Brian McCollum, director of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, has cooked up a lot of deals for what he calls the “most delicious time of the year,” when local produce is plentiful in August and restaurants traditionally experience one of the two slowest months of the year, along with January.
More than 75 restaurants are participating in Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Aug. 12-18, which includes eateries in and outside the city and some in neighboring counties as well.
During the special promotion, restaurants can choose to offer multi-course lunches or dinners for a set price from $20.19 to $35.19 during the week. Some dining establishments “are so excited for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week that they are allowing Early Access to their special menus three days early from Aug. 9-11,” McCollum says.
Some of the restaurants offer “bring your own bottle” and outdoor dining options. McCollum advises diners to make reservations in advance and mention Pittsburgh Restaurant Week upon arrival to ensure that special menu items and pricing are available.
New restaurant additions
Eight new additions for summer Restaurant Week include, in Westmoreland County, The Lamplighter Restaurant in Delmont, Cenacolo Restaurant in North Huntingdon and Lily’s at River Forest Country Club in Allegheny Township; and in Pittsburgh, Scratch Food and Beverage in Troy Hill, Garbarino’s in East Liberty, Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville, Crafted North downtown and Rock Bottom at the Waterfront in Homestead.
A few highlights:
Lily’s at River Forest
At Lily’s, diners can enjoy $20.19 specialty entrée options, either Sous Vide Pork Belly with honey Aleppo pepper and grilled fresh peaches over mixed greens with a white balsamic vinaigrette; Cream de Marsala chicken breast with wild mushrooms, marsala wine and angel hair pasta with soup or salad; or 12-ounce top sirloin with black bean and corn salsa, loaded baked potato and soup or salad.
There’s also a $20.19 Lily’s Wrap Meal for Two, featuring twin turkey wraps with chipotle aioli, red peppers, leafy greens, tomato, red onion, Swiss cheese and a shared appetizer from among zucchini strips, boneless wings, Brussels sprouts or steamed dumplings.
The Lamplighter Restaurant
Andrew Ferri, a manager at The Lamplighter, says the Delmont restaurant’s inaugural Restaurant Week menu will feature a three-course dinner for $29.19 with Fresh Caprese Salad with balsamic dressing or Lobster Ravioli with saffron cream sauce, first course; Stuffed Apricot Chicken with cream cheese, apricots, brie and portobello mushrooms, wrapped in puff pastry, or Stuffed Petite Filet Mignon with crabmeat, wrapped in bacon and finished with Hollandaise sauce (each with broccoli and cauliflower and twice-baked potato), second course, and white chocolate cheesecake with fresh berry coulis or warm chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert.
“We feature prix fixe monthly wine dinners with all sorts of creative themes and dishes,” Ferri says.
Owner Steve Salvi says his family-run Cenacolo Restaurant in North Huntingdon decided to participate in Pittsburgh Restaurant Week because “we wanted to offer new customers a chance to try us” by offering five of their top-selling menu entrees for $35.19, which includes an appetizer and dessert.
Among their entrée choices are Rigatoni with Hot Sausage, Hot Soppressata, Pancetta, Banana Peppers and Marinara; Ricotta Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragu, Porcini Mushrooms and Roma Tomatoes, or Four Cheese Ravioli with Italian Meat Sauce.
“We are a family run business that specializes in fresh pasta,” he says. “Everything is made in house. Dining at our place is more than eating, it’s an experience.”
Eighty Acres Kitchen and Bar
Eighty Acres Kitchen and Bar in Plum has been participating in Pittsburgh Restaurant Week for five years. Amy Schlonski, owner with her husband Don Winkie, who also serves as executive chef, says they enjoy welcoming customers during the promotion.
“We love Restaurant Week,” she says. “There are so many people that take advantage of restaurant field trips. It’s fun to see all the people.” She says her husband developed the special menu with an emphasis on summer flavors and vegetables from local farms, including heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn.
Their $35.19 three-course dinner includes an entree choice of Pan Fried Branzino with Lentils, Raita, Mango Puree and Arugula; Serenity Hill Pork Loin with Peach Barbeque, Grilled Corn, Potato Salad and Peach Agrodolce, or Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Arugula Pesto.
Coughlin’s Law Kitchen and Ale House
“Growing up in Pittsburgh, the restaurant scene wasn’t anywhere near what it is now,” says Tracy Molyneaux, manager at Coughlin’s Law Kitchen and Ale House on Mount Washington, where Restaurant Week features include Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice, Big Tex Sandwich or a Southwest Burger as part of a $30.19 dinner for two.
“Restaurant Week breaks you out of your comfort zone. It’s a great deal you can’t get all the time,” she says.
Story has been edited to reflect Lily’s at River Forest Country Club is in Westmoreland County.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.