Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
D&T head to Meat & Potatoes with an old friend.
When we heard our friend Sherri was visiting from Charlotte we immediately made plans to take her out to dinner. Before Sherri and her fiancé Brad moved to NC for work they were our “Restaurant Buddies”, sadly they left town before a lot of great restaurants moved in to town. We knew we wanted to take her to one of our favorite spots, but which one? We decided to head downtown to Meat & Potatoes, needless to say we all were extremely happy with the choice.
Located on Penn Ave. right in the heart of the Cultural District M&P is the creation of Chef Richard Deshantz (who also owns/operates Nine On Nine restaurant). M&P is the ‘burgh’s first “Gastropub” which basically means a public house that serves classic and innovative libations along with stellar homemade food, the key is, that they compliment each other. Every thing here is made in house whether it’s the bread, dessert, drink mixers, or sausages. They do every thing pretty damn well here! The décor of the restaurant is a combo of vintage, eclectic and modern, with plush chairs, vintage lighting, chalkboard wall, specials written on a framed mirror and some random animal heads on the wall. The menu here (both food and drink) change often but their website gives you and idea of what to expect. M&P is open 7days a week for dinner, brunch on Saturday and Sundays and lunch is served Wednesday through Friday. This is the ideal place to go if you are seeing a show in the cultural district, but even if you aren’t heading to a show M&P is worth a visit.
The menu here is pretty good size, 10 or so apps, 8-10 entrees and daily specials. They also always offer mussels prepared in a few different styles and sauces, along with daily app and dinner specials. This is a place where you really can’t go wrong with any thing that you order. The bartenders here really know their stuff as well, so if you are over 21 be sure to order some sort of adult beverage; they have a few draft beers here, but mostly cans (local brews, microbrews, and all styles of beer in between) the mixed drinks are broken in to 2 categories- Prohibition (classic) or Repeal (new drinks or variations of a classic). They also have an excellent, if it’s your thing, Barrel-Aged Manhattan, a classic drink with a twist.
As we sipped on our cocktails D and Sherri suggested that we should just share a bunch of apps, which after thinking about it for a minute I was totally ok with. If there is one app that you must order it would have to be the Roasted Bone Marrow, I’m sure most of you just made a gagging noise of some kind, but that’s only because you have never had bone marrow before. Sherri had never had marrow before and was nervous to say the least, but I told her to just try it first, then decide if it’s “gross” or not. Well, she loved it. I like to describe bone marrow to people as “steak butter” it tastes like intense beef, the only weird thing about it is the texture, almost like a warm jelly. Here it is served with grilled bread, coarse sea salt, pickled red onion, and gremolata. If you have never had bone marrow before, D and I strongly urge you to give it a try, I bet you will be as hooked as we are.
Enough about the bone marrow, the other apps were equally delicious. The Mac ‘n Cheese with chorizo and pulled pork was creamy, cheesy, and salty goodness. The fried Taters and Brussels Sprouts served with an herb aioli were also outstanding the taters were crisp on the outside and seasoned just right, the Brussels were tender with the loose outer leaves super crispy sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The mushroom risotto was the way risotto should be, creamy but not soupy with the rice still firm with chunks of mushrooms and a drizzle of truffle oil. Last but not least is the Short Rib Flatbread, home made crust with juicy shredded meat with cheese and fresh arugula, D and I are huge fans of putting arugula on pizza/flatbread, it adds a crisp fresh peppery flavor that cuts through the meats and cheeses usually put on pizzas.
Now after all that food you may think there was no room for dessert, but if you are eating at M&P you DO NOT skip dessert. We each ordered what we thought would be the “best one”. Sherri ordered the baked Chocolate Mousse with homemade whipped cream; the mousse was awesome, light and fluffy but intensely sweet. D went with the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, served in a mason jar; it was dense, not overly sweet with a healthy dose of vanilla beans, with a thick graham cracker crust, A+. I am a huge fan of Tiramisu so when the server said they had a Maple/Kahlua Tiramisu I didn’t hesitate, it was as good as any Tiramisu I have ever had, with just a small hint of maple syrup on the back of your tongue, SUPERB! We could not decide which dessert was best, we just agreed that all desserts were top notch and we were glad that none of us had a problem sharing food.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our blog. We have recently created a Facebook page and Twitter account so it is easier for people to find us; please don’t hesitate to give us your feedback (try and be nice, we are just doing this for fun). For the next blog we will be posting our TOP 20 restaurant list. Thanks for reading and be sure to get out there and try some of the awesome new restaurants Pittsburgh has to offer!
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