If you managed to survive the rain of the last month and the heat wave of the past week, it appears that you'll finally be rewarded with sunshine, reasonable temperatures, and cloudless skies this weekend and early next week. That's what I like to call "prime sidewalk sitting weather," and not just because I'm financially motivated to encourage you to sit on our sidewalk. We've got a great weekend coming up for you, but first, a word about food, farms, and our Chef Monique
Monique's Churchview Farm Dinner
We could probably do a much better job trumpeting the fact that we source (especially in the summer) a great deal of our ingredients from local providers. One of our favorite of those providers is Churchview Farm, an organic, small "farmette" just outside of the city limits in Baldwin. Churchview and its owner, Tara, are just wonderful. Every Pittsburgher who care about where their food comes from needs to take a trip there to see them. The farm is an idyllic, rural-feeling oasis only a short trip away from the city. And Tara's fruits, vegetables, and hen eggs are featured in our dishes all growing-season long.
You do have a chance to make it out to the farm this fall when our beloved and talented chef, Monique Ruvolo, is honored to join the ranks (as she has the last several years) of many of Pittsburgh's other top chefs to cook at the summer/fall farm-dinner series. Monique's dinner is the last on the schedule this year, and falls on the evening of Sunday, October 4. It's an ideal time to work with Churchview's harvest, and, as she did last year, Mo' will hit it out of the park with a multi-course meal using the farm's bounty. Beyond just the food, the dinners at Churchview are phenomenal -- Tara sets a beautiful dinner right in the middle of the farm. And the ingredients are, of course, as fresh as it gets. Support hyper-local farming. Support Monique. Tickets and more information are available here
This Weekend's Food Specials:
Speaking of Monique, farms, and food, here are this weekend's specials:
Stuffed baby eggplant: black lentils, feta, auburn rice & spinach, finished over a cauliflower puree.
Curry-chicken phyllo: curry bechamel, beer-braised chicken, onion & kale.
Middle-Eastern grill: skirt steak with farm tabouli
Will Groves is back behind the bar on Saturday with a neat and clean set of his take on four classic cocktails, Tommy's Margarita, the Clover Club, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (a gussied-up daiquiri), and the vieux carre.
Shots are for animals. Shots of Jannamico Super Punch (a sweet and bitter amaro) are for intelligent (and generally Italian-speaking) animals. But shots of chilled and carbonated Super Punch, served on a draft, out of a faucet adorned with a bronzed boxing glove are for really, really good-looking animals who are fluent in five languages, shop only in Paris, can solve a partial differential equation without a computer (or even paper) and who bed a different partner of equivalent intellectual and linguistic aptitude, style-sense, and natural beauty every night. Are you that animal? We've got your drink on tap.
See you at the Independent!*
* Obligatory footnote.