Brunch at Sonoma Grille & Chris Botti Concert

bloodymarysonoma3

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Sonoma Grille nor Chris Botti nor his band. I am just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her culinary and cultural adventures!

Two Sundays ago, I brunched at Sonoma Grille in downtown Pittsburgh and attended the Chris Botti concert at Heinz Hall. I haven’t been to Sonoma Grille in over a year. Thus, I was VERY excited to brunch at Sonoma Grille.

Bloody Mary
Another shot of my lovely Bloody Mary

Here’s another shot of my DELICIOUS brunch Bloody Mary! The tomato and pepper flavors were prevalent; I could not taste the vodka (which could be a good thing, or dangerous if you order more than one lol).

Bloody Mary
Work- cover girl!

This drink looks so beautiful- I had to snap more than one shot!

Sonoma Salad
Sonoma Salad from Sonoma Grille

My starter: this SCRUMPTIOUS Sonoma Salad! Point Reyes bleu cheese, crisp bacon, julienne pear, tomato and vinaigrette. So tasty & healthy!

Market Fish from Sonoma Grille
Market Fish

My main course- Market Fish: Grilled (or Bake) Salmon, salmon crepes, kale and red cabbage. I LOVED the savory salmon crepe (tasted like there was bleu cheese in there, too. So good! Also, green onions) and the kale! The grilled or baked salmon was okay and I have never have been a big red cabbage fan (but my Mom loved it!).

Market Fish
Wide shot of the Market Fish

Another shot of the market fish! Such a beautiful (and healthy) dish!

Dark Chocolate Creme Brûlée
Dark Chocolate Creme Brûlée- oh yeah, baby!

And now, the pièce de résistance: Dark Chocolate Creme Brûlée! 99% dark chocolate, toffee, chocolate malt ice cream. OMG- THE best creme brûlée I’ve EVER had! I was in chocolate heaven! Plus, the chocolate malt ice cream paired perfectly with the creme brûlée! I was not a big fan of the toffee brittle, but my Mom loved it! This was the highlight of brunch!

Word to the wise: if Chris Botti and his band come to your city, go and see them! Chris Botti and his band were INCREDIBLE! They covered every genre of music: from classical to pop to contemporary. I really appreciated that he featured each of his band mates (each one had a solo in the concert) and I loved his banter in between songs. I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend his concert at Heinz Hall! Also, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is always WONDERFUL! They performed along with Chris Botti & his band.

Three cheers to good food, fabulous art & cultural events,

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Sonoma Grille’s website

Sonoma Grille’s Facebook page

Sonoma Grille’s Twitter page

Chris Botti’s website

Chris Botti’s Facebook page

Chris Botti’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Winter 2015

View of Downtown Pittsburgh
The INCREDIBLE view of Market Square from the dining table!

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Pittsburgh Restaurant Week nor Habitat. I am just a Pittsburgh foodie, who enjoys sharing her food adventures with others. Photos were captured with an iPhone 5s and were edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop Extended CS4.

Three weeks ago, my Mom and I FINALLY dined at Habitat (located inside the GORGEOUS Fairmont Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh). I’ve heard nothing but good things about Habitat from former co-workers, friends and of course, the eatPGH ladies. I’ve been wanting to dine at this restaurant for a long time; thus, I decided that testing out the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Winter 2015 dinner menu at Habitat would be the perfect option! 😀

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Soup
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Soup from Habitat

Dish #1: Salted Caramel Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Cream. Let me tell you- my picture does NOT do this dish justice (I tried my best for the photo)! This dish was the best dish of the night! Best soup dish I’ve ever had in my entire LIFE! What a clever concept to pair the savory taste of the pumpkin with the sweetness of the caramel. This was the PERFECT fall dish!

Beef Short Rib dish from Habitat
Beef Short Rib dish from Habitat

Dish #2: Beef Short Rib with Butternut Squash Puree, Blackberry Polvrade and Roasted Brusssel Sprouts! The beef short rib was so tender (and it looked beautiful on the plate)! The butternut squash puree was so tasty! The creaminess of the puree matched well with the crunchiness of the brussel sprouts (which were FANTASTIC).

Habitat's version of Sticky Toffee Pudding
Habitat’s version of Sticky Toffee Pudding

Dish #3: Winter Solsticesticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce, manchego cheese streusel and fig brandy ice cream. I can’t even compare this to the Sticky Toffee Pudding that I had at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill. This sticky toffee pudding was a SOPHISTICATED (and delectable) sticky toffee pudding!  It was not overly sweet (which I appreciated)! The streusel was nice and light, while the ice cream had a more decadent taste. The sticky toffee pudding was moist, and the toffee sauce was sooooooo good!

 

Needless to say, my first dinner at Habitat was a success! I will definitely return!

 

Three cheers to good food, fabulous art & cultural events,

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Habitat’s website

Habitat’s Facebook page

Habitat’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s website

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Twitter page

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s Instagram page

 

Downtown Pittsburgh Living’s Guest Post: Butcher & The Rye and The Gallery Crawl

*My friend Michael Pellas, the blogger behind the Downtown Pittsburgh Living blog, wrote this lovely guest post for the Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie blog. Enjoy!*

This year, I wanted to do something a little different for Jess’ birthday; so I made reservations for January 23rd at Butcher and the Rye (here is their website). I was excited due to all the accolades the establishment had already received…and I like whiskey.

It did not disappoint.

I was intent on documenting our experience...Jess was intent on getting inside :)
I was intent on documenting our experience…Jess was intent on getting inside 🙂

We got right in and immediately enjoyed the interior. The table created an intimate experience…we even started a conversation with our neighbors and got some recommendations. The interior design was awesome:

He closely watched over our second floor table
He closely watched over our second floor table

The food and drinks lived up to their reputation as one of the best new bars in the country:

We LOVED the varied Charcuterie appetizer
We LOVED the Homemade Charcuterie small plate appetizer like dish!
Flying Irishman drink Pittsburgh Butcher and the Rye
Jess had the Hazel-Rah Drink…and LOVED it!
I had the Flying Irishman. Check out the cool design on the table!
I had the Flying Irishman. Check out the cool design on the table!
Jess having some fun posing for me. Behind her was a wall of old books...a really cool design for the restaurant.
Jess having some fun posing for me. Behind her was a wall of old books…a really cool design for the restaurant.
This was AMAZING! A pork chop, shrimp, sweet sausage and an egg
This was AMAZING! A pork chop, shrimp, sweet sausage and an egg.
Jess had the Seared Scallops.
Jess had the Seared Scallops.
This explains itself. :) I love the look on her face.
This explains itself. 🙂 I love the look on her face.
The decor, food, drinks and overall experience was AMAZING! Thank you Butcher and the Rye!
The decor, food, drinks and overall experience was AMAZING! Thank you Butcher and the Rye!

We then enjoyed the Gallery Crawl festivities thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. I bought a household membership at the Cultural Trust’s Liberty Ave building so we could see the festivities that were scheduled for the Pippin cast party. We had a blast!

These pictures were of the readings Jess had done and other events thanks to the Miracle Elixir Side Show (here is their website). The other is of the actual after party that had aerialists and face painting!

Jess stone reading miracle elixer side showJess and professor Styles PittsburghMiracle Elixer performance bed of nails PittsburghPittsburgh Fire Girl

Miracle Elixer Side Show Rune reading Pittsburgh

Here is a picture of the after party:

after party cultural trust pittsburgh

I want posts like this to show how many entertainment options there are in downtown Pittsburgh. There are still a lot of people out there that are skeptical about how family centered downtown can be. Everything we saw this Gallery Crawl – short of the cold weather – was totally family friendly and a blast!

 

Michael Pellas’ Downtown Pittsburgh Living blog

Michael Pellas’ Twitter page

Butcher & The Rye’s website

Bucher & The Rye’s Facebook page

Butcher & The Rye’s Twitter page

Butcher & The Rye’s Instagram page

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s website

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Twitter page