412 Food Rescue and Brazen Kitchen’s Vegan Churchview Farm Dinner 2016

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The beautiful dinner table at Churchview Farm for the Summer and Fall 2016 Farm Dinners!

*NOTE*: Neither the Churchview Farm, Leah Lizarondo (Brazen Kitchen), nor 412 Food Rescue asked me to write this post. I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie and Yogini, whom enjoys sharing her foodie adventures with others. Photos were captured with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

The Day before Labor Day, my Mom and I attended Leah Lizarondo‘s (Co-Founder of 412 Food Rescue, Brazen Kitchen Food Blogger, and Editor at NEXTPittsburgh) Vegan Churchview Farm Dinner! One of the many cool things about this dinner: all of the ticket sales went to the 412 Food Rescue!

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Another lovely angle of the Farm Dinner table at the Churchview Farm!

The evening started with a welcome Raspberry Cocktail, and a stroll around the farm! I was pleasantly surprised to see two of my FAVORITE yoga teachers at the dinner! Thus, I introduced them both to my Mom, and spent time talking to my two teachers before the dinner began.

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First Course: Toast from Five Points Bakery, Vegan Cheese (four different kinds), and jam. This was also paired with a variety of Beers from Bierport in Lawrenceville!

The bread was INCREDIBLE, and I really loved the jam! I loved two of the cheeses, but in particular the cheddar cheese! It had this wonderful smokiness to it, and made me forget I ate Vegan Cheese. The 412 Food Rescue‘s Director of Operations did a FABULOUS job making these Vegan Cheeses!

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Second Course: Vegan Caprese, with tomatoes and basil from the farm!

I loved both the Tomatoes and Basil from the Farm, but honestly, I did not like this Vegan Caprese Cheese at all. Even so, I definitely appreciated all of the effort that Leah endured to make it, as I’m sure making your own Vegan Cheese is not an easy task!

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Third Course: Celery Root Soup, with cilantro lime chimichurri. This was also paired with beer from Spoonwood Brewing Company (which I loved)!

One of my favorite dishes! This was a light and healthy, almost creamy soup. Even Leah said it was one of her favorite dishes that she made for this dinner!

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Fourth Course: Fresh Spring Rolls (with leftover produce from Pittsburgh Juice Company)

Another one of my favorite dishes of the night! Anytime I order Spring Rolls at either the Cheesecake Factory, a Thai or Chinese restaurant, I particular liked the ones like these (with the clear wrapping filled with vegetables). Love Love LOVED this dish!

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A close up of this GORGEOUS dish!

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Fifth Course: Pasta Sampler from Onion Maiden, and charred shishito peppers from the farm! Paired with beer from Grist House Brewery, which was delicious!

Another favorite dish! Onion Maiden cooked the past to perfection (I am so excited for their restaurant to open next year), and the Churchview Farm produced THE best peppers I’ve tasted in my entire LIFE!

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Sixth Course: Vegan Bahn Mi! Paired with Beer from the East End Brewing Company!

I loved the bread, the vegetables and the creamy spread-y stuff taking the place of the Chicken Liver Mousse, but I did not like the Tempeh.

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Dessert Course: Vegan Ice Cream Sampler (with Ice Cream from Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company, and Coconut Lime Sorbet from Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream), Gluten Free Donuts (from the Gluten Free Goat Bakery), raspberries and husk cherries from the farm, and tea from Tupelo Honey!

Definitely my favorite course! I particularly loved the Coconut Ice Cream from Millie’s Homemade, the muffin from the Gluten Free Goat Bakery, and the raspberries and husk cherries from the farm! Heaven on a plate!

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A close up of this handsome dessert sampler!

Well there you go, folks! Whether you’ve never been to a Churchview Farm Dinner, or go every year, I HIGHTLY recommend that you go for at least one of next year’s dinners! I promise you, you won’t regret your decision!

 

Next blog post: dinner at Poros!

 

 

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Churchview Farm’s website

Churchview Farm’s Facebook page

Churchview Farm’s Twitter page

Churchview Farm’s Instagram page

412 Food Rescue’s website

412 Food Rescue’s Facebook page

412 Food Rescue’s Twitter page

412 Food Rescue’s Instagram page

Dinner at Smallman Galley

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Ginger Peach Toast Pie from Jacqueline Wardle’s Josephine’s Toast (one of the four restaurants of the Smallman Galley)! 😀

*NOTE*: Neither the Smallman Galley nor its chefs asked me to write this blog post. I am a friendly Pittsburgh foodie & yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Photos captured with an iPhone 5s, and edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

The Smallman Galley opened in November 2015, and has already received praise from Zagat and The New York Times. This restaurant incubator (located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, what I call the ‘burgh’s international food hub) was founded by two U.S. Navy Lieutenants. The name Smallman Galley references both the street where the restaurant sits, and also the kitchen on a ship (a nod to the two owners’ days at sea). Having dined at food halls all over the world, these two gentlemen aimed to bring the food hall experience to Pittsburgh.

These two Navy Lieutenants also wanted to provide chefs with the opportunity to start up their own restaurants over the course of 18 months. After those 18 months are over, the goal is for each chef to have acquired investors for either his or her restaurant concept, and to open a brick-and-mortar space in Pittsburgh. Then, a new crop of chefs with be introduced to the Smallman Galley.

I visited the Smallman Galley for the first time on the last Wednesday in March, after an event at Wigle Whiskey. I wanted to try the food at the Smallman Galley for MONTHS; thus, my golden opportunity had FINALLY arrived!

How do you order food at the Smallman Galley? Walk up to the restaurant of your choice, place you order at the cash register, pay (and don’t forget to place a tip in the tip jar), and return to your seat. You will receive a text from the restaurant, informing you of when your food will be ready. The restaurant will call you, instructing you to pick up your food at the designated restaurant counter when it’s ready.

Since I aspired to dine from more than one restaurant in one night, I started the night with dessert. 😉 My dessert (pictured above) was a Ginger Peach Toast Pie with mascarpone whipped cream from Josephine’s Toast. WOW; this was INCREDIBLE! I really liked that I mainly tasted the peach and ginger within the pie; I didn’t feel like I was eating layers and layers of bread. The flaky layers of toast emulated layers of crust in a pie- PERFECTION! Of course, mascarpone is always a wonderful taste. ❤

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I had to get a better shot of those BEAUTIFUL layers of peach and toast crust!

I’m excited to return to Jacqueline’s restaurant endeavor sometime soon (ESPECIALLY  for brunch)! I’m already debating whether I would order either the Brioche French Toast, Smashed Avocado Toast with Flax Seed, or the Almond Butter Toast with preserves. ❤

Of course, I also had to order dinner food for dinner! I was torn over so many delectable dishes, but I finally decided on the Squash Grilled Cheese from Jessica Lewis Carota Cafe.

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My HANDSOME dinner for the evening- Squash Grilled Cheese, which contained: roasted squash, manchego cheese, oregano pesto, seedy bread with carrot “ketchup” and pickles. There’s also a small root salad on the side.

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Closeup of the Squash Grilled Cheese sandwich! As Bourdain would say: “you know you want it”! 😉

I thought my Mom made the best grilled cheese in the world. Well, she has be demoted to second-best grilled cheese (love you, Mom), and Jessica’s Squash Grilled Cheese has earned the coveted #1 spot! The squash tasted a lot like butternut squash (I LOVE butternut squash soup); also, I love cheese (this was my first time trying manchego cheese. It was very good!). Even since I tried the Hyeholde’s pesto during childhood, I have been a pesto fan. Pair that with an artisanal bread and root vegetables, and I’m in heaven HONEY! This was one hell-of-a-good sandwich, and I REALLY liked the carrot ketchup!

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One more money shot of the Squash Grilled Cheese (with the carrot ketchup and root salad)!

I also want to return to Chef Lewis’ restaurant! I really like her theme of the vegetables being the start, and meat (if used in the dishes) is presented more like a side dish. I can tell that Jessica is continuing what she learned at The Commoner, by sourcing as many local ingredients and proteins as possible. Carota Cafe works with several local farms, including Clarion River Organics and Churchview Farm (to name a few).

My biggest goal (regarding the Smallman Galley) is to also dine from Rafael Vencio‘s Aubergine Bistro and Stephen Eldridge‘s Provision PGH! Watch out, gentlemen; I’ll be dining at your restaurants soon (probably for brunch)!

Well there you have it, folks! Whether you’re either a yinzer or a tourist, I HIGHLY suggest dining at the Smallman Galley for either breakfast, lunch or dinner!

 

Next up on the blog: Mom’s birthday dinner at Wild Rosemary!

 

Cheers to good food and mindful eating in the ‘burgh,

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

Smallman Galley’s website

Smallman Galley’s Facebook page

Smallman Galley’s Twitter page

Smallman Galley’s Instagram page

Josephine’s Toast Facebook page

Josephine’s Toast Twitter page

Jacqueline Wardle’s Twitter page

Josephine’s Toast Instagram page

Jacqueline Wardle’s Instagram page

Carota Cafe’s Facebook page

Carota Cafe’s Twitter page

Carota Cafe’s Instagram page

 

 

Kevin Sousa’s Farm Dinner at Churchview Farm

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The Churchview Farm table is set, and ready for Kevin Sousa to work his magic!

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Kevin Sousa, Superior Motors, nor Churchview Farm. I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing her foodie adventures! Photos captured on an iPhone 5s, and edited in Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended!

Sunday, September 6th was the Kevin Sousa (creator of the LEGENDARY Salt of the Earth! Original owner of Union Pig & Chicken, Harvard & Highland and Station Street Dogs. His next restaurant is called Superior Motors. Stay Tuned for its opening in Braddock, Pennsylvania!) Farm Dinner at the Churchview Farm (located in the Baldwin neighborhood of the South Hills of Pittsburgh).

I REALLY lucked out; a few months ago, Churchview Farms announced that a few tickets had opened up for his dinner (Kevin’s dinner was originally sold out), and I was fortunate enough to grab two tickets!

The Churchview Farm is truly a sanctuary of peace for animals! As far as I know, the goats are just used for milk and cheese, and the chickens are just used for their eggs. There’s a playful dog on the farm called Frannie (“Oh dear! Frannie’s going to chase the chickens again!”), and a cat that keeps the rodents on the farm under control.

Chicken Friend
Once I befriended the chicken, I knew right then & there, that it would be very hard for me to eat chicken in the future. This chicken is too cute to eat!

I’ve never had the chance to dine at one of Kevin’s restaurants; since Braddock is about an hour away from where I live, I jumped on this opportunity to taste his food at the Churchview Farm!

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My drinking glass of the evening, that was (later) full of tasty beer from The Brew Gentlemen! 😀

Before the meal started, Kevin served all of us a cocktail called “Wigle Genever”, also with Galliano, surnac tea, Queen Anne’s lace, and cara cara orange. This was DELICIOUS, and really packed a punch! So sad that I forgot to take a picture of the cocktail.

Chicken of the Woods Eggplant Pate
Chicken of the Woods- eggplant pate// matsutake koji// cucumber// radish, paired with Garden Party beer from The Brew Gentlemen (not picture)!

Course #1 was INCREDIBLE! I’m so glad that Kevin took the time to explain the dish to us. I was a little leery of trying this dish (normally, the only eggplant dish I like is eggplant parmesan), but this dish was REALLY good! Very Japanese-inspired (which kind of fits into Kevin’s zen-like personality).

Tomato Dish
Tomatoes// shisito peppers// shoyu molasses// parmesan// cultured cream// shiso// basil// paired with Sunshine Elixir from The Brew Gentlemen (not pictured)!

Course #2 one of my FAVORITE dinner courses of the night! I also really liked the Sunshine Elixir beer from The Brew Gentlemen! The tomatoes and peppers (both from the farm) were packed with flavor! Pair that with cream and basil, and you have a WINNING combination!

Pasta dish
Casarecce// egg// braised kale// orange// fennell// shaved raw beans// Rutherford Saison from The Brew Gentlemen (not pictured)!

Course #3 was my FAVORITE dinner dish of the night! Pasta + poached egg = HEAVEN! Plus, Kevin gave us this SCRUMPTIOUS sourdough bread, that I enjoyed dipping into the egg! 😀

Corn dish
Corn// nixtamal pudding// huitlacoche// fermented// dried// ash// Akamai from The Brew Gentlemen (not pictured)!

Course #4 was another favorite! A VERY original & cheeky take on a corn dish! Plus, I liked that Kevin ground up corn, and made it into “ash”. VERY tasty! Plus, I really liked the Akamai beer from The Brew Gentlemen!

Pound Cake
Pound cake// raspberries// honey// nuts// flowers// vanilla ice cream// anise hyssop// White Sky from The Brew Gentlemen (not pictured)! 😀

This was my FAVORITE dish of the night! Since the dinner was running a little late, Kevin was nice enough to pack up my Mom’s dessert and mine in “to go” containers, and we enjoyed this lovely dessert from the comfort of home!

All in all, this was an EXCELLENT farm dinner! I have added Kevin Sousa to the list of chefs in Pittsburgh that have totally BLOWN my mind, and have revolutionized my dining experience here in Pittsburgh.

He is truly a “thinks outside of the box” chef, and I love that! Also, I really appreciated that he incorporated his Buddhist belief into this dinner, by not including any animal meat in this dinner. I think it’s great to see a Chef saying true to himself; it’s so easy to just give customers what they want. Chef Sousa challenges the diners’ taste buds, and makes them think “trust me, you will want this, and like this”! 😀

I’m already anticipating my next trip to Churchview Farm for next year’s Summer Dinner Series!

Cheers to good food & health,

-Friendly Fitness Foodie

Kevin Sousa’s website

Kevin Sousa’s Twitter page

Kevin Sousa’s Instagram page

Churchview Farm’s website

Churchview Farm’s Facebook page

Churchview Farm’s Twitter page

Churchview Farm’s Instagram page