*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Bistro 19 nor Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina. I am just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures with others. These pictures were captured on my iPhone 4S and I used the Instagram app!
*Website & social media links can be found below this post*
August 11th- 17th was Pittsburgh Restaurant Week! This bi-annual event is a time where Pittsburgh Foodies can visit restaurants in the ‘burgh and enjoy “Pre-Fixe” meals and prices, as well as new dishes for the restaurants. This year, I chose to dine at both Bistro 19 (located in the suburb of Mt. Lebanon) and Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina (in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh).
My Mom and I made reservations for dinner at Bistro 19 on Wednesday, August 13th at 5:00pm. We were the first ones at the restaurants. Bistro 19 has a very sophisticated, yet modern vibe. It’s a neighborhood favorite for sure!
I decided to stick with the full restaurant week menu at Bistro 19. The first dish was: bacon jam flat bread with goat cheese and banana peppers. Let me tell you- best dish of the NIGHT! 😀 Also, this was one of the best dishes I’ve EVER had from Bistro 19! Please PLEASE add this to your dinner menu, Bistro 19! Bacon + goat cheese + banana peppers = one happy Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie! 😀
Dish #2: Oven-Roasted Chicken on top of basmati rice with roasted corn. The chicken was great, but the basmati rice and the roasted corn REALLY made this dish! I wish I could’ve just had the rice & corn, and not the chicken (honestly).
The third course was a seasonal sorbet (either peach or melon I believe?). Either way, I did not like the sorbet, but my Mom did (she ended up consuming the dessert). I had already had a dessert earlier in the day. Thus, I figured sorbet would be a good choice. I LOVE raspberry sorbet, chocolate sorbet, but I am not a big fan of peaches and I do not care for neither watermelon nor melon, nor peaches. I’m sure if you like melon, you would enjoy the sorbet! I just didn’t care for it.
Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed in Bistro 19. The bacon jam flatbread was GREAT, but the other two dishes were not that impressive. The service (well, at least our waitress) was okay, but I’ve experience better service at other restaurants. I don’t know what it was, but I enjoyed my previous two trips to Bistro 19 more than I did this time.
Anywho…onwards to Verde!
Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina is located in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, right across the street from the Pittsburgh Glass Center and up the street from Salt of the Earth (which I still have to try sometime!). Garfield is close to Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, East Liberty and Friendship. My Mom and I made brunch reservations for the very last day of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week (Sunday, August 17th at 11:00am). We both enjoyed “people-watching” while we waited for the restaurant to open. I could tell this was a “hip” restaurants- lots of hipster-types waiting outside of the restaurant door (kids and dogs in toe).
Verde had a $5 Bloody Maria/Mary special for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. Especially since I’ve never tried one before, I decided to partake in this offer. WOW! This drink was INCREDIBLE! I remembered that at the Dirty Ball, one of the mixologist from Verde made both of my cocktails, and those were the two best cocktails I’ve EVER had! I knew this Bloody Maria would be good! I highly recommend it for brunch!
The bar area is absolutely SPECTACULAR! Very colorful and well-lit! seriously, I could see Esquire Magazine snapping photos of that bar; the photos would look so good in the magazine!
This was my Mom’s brunch (which I ended up eating half of lol): buttermilk pancakes with cumin maple syrup and fruit compote. Let me tell you: best. Pancakes. EVER! Seriously- I thought I died and went to heaven (b.t.w.- there better be pancakes in heaven lol). Sooooo good! So fluffy! The cumin maple syrup really complemented the buttermilk pancakes well! I appreciated the fruit compote on top, too.
My Mom’s side: bacon with pico de gallo! I tried a small corner of the bacon; also very good! 😀
My side: sweet potato hash! What can I say; I have a love for sweet potatoes! I liked the peppers in there as well! The warmth of the peppers balanced out the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Good presentation, too!
My main course for brunch: Burrito Desayuno (Breakfast Burrito) with chorizo! Also inside: scrambled eggs, black beans, spanish rice, pico de gallo and onions. Oh yeah baby; the good stuff! Even better- I ate half at the restaurant, and had the other half at lunch the next day. Let me tell you: even better on the second day! If you ever have to take home leftovers from Verde, you’re in for a treat the next day! 😀
Well folks, that’s my review for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week 2014!
Three cheers to good food, fabulous art and cultural events!
-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie