Kevin Sousa’s Farm Dinner at Churchview Farm

Churchview Farm Kevin Sousa Dinner
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!

Drinking glass
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

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Churchview Farm’s website

Churchview Farm’s Facebook page

Churchview Farm’s Twitter page

Churchview Farm’s Instagram page

Birthday Dinner #1 at Cure

Butternut Squash soup
Butternut Squash soup from Cure

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Justin Severino nor Cure. I am just a Pittsburgh foodie, who enjoys sharing her culinary adventures. Photos were captured with an iPhone5s, and were edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

*Website and social media links below this post!*

Cure is owned by Justin Severino (who is also executive chef of the restaurant). Originally from Ohio, Justin Severino later relocated to Western Pennsylvania and also lived and worked in Santa Cruz, California from 2004- 2007 (Valentina, 2012). An element of the west coast that Justin has brought to Pittsburgh: using local and national ingredients and knowing where your food comes from (how was it grown, raised and prepared?).

I’ve heard all sorts of things about Justin Severino from Pittsburgh chefs, magazines and food bloggers. When food blogger & married couple D&T in the Burgh mentioned Cure, I knew I had to visit this establishment for dinner.

The opportunity finally arrived to me on my birthday (November 5th). My birthday happened to fall on a Wednesday (one of my days off from work). I had been eyeing up the menu at Cure for weeks, debating if I should take a chance a request a reservation. Three weeks beforehand, I decided to take a chance and request a reservation through Cure’s website. A few days later, I received a response, and my reservation was confirmed.

I loved the atmosphere from Cure from I moment I walked in the door. Lots of wood panels on the walls; boars’ heads on the one dining room wall, shrubs on the other dining room wall, and little pig statues all over the place. Also, good lighting and good music.

The dish picture above was my Mom’s first course: butternut squash soup. The butter squash soup contained: butternut squash (of course), morcilla sausage, fried egg, smoked avocado, peanut and basil. I did sample a spoonful of my Mom’s first dish- best butternut squash soup I’ve EVER had!

Salumi plate
Small salumi plate from Cure

Here’s my dish #1- small salumi plate: ciccioli (rustic country pate made from pork that cannot be used for neither sausage nor salami), soppresatta,  lardo (cured pig back fat, bottom left-hand corner), duck speck and nduja (spreadable pork- orange, in the bottom right corner), grain mustard, black mustard and cornichons (Valentina, 2012). Let me tell you- best cured meats I’ve had in my entire LIFE and the best dinner dish of the night! I was a little disappointed in myself for not ordering the BIG salumi plate (lol). X) Everything was great, but my Mom and I particularly liked the nduja (especially spread on the bread slices with some mustard).

Strawberry Scrub with Pittsburgh Seltzer Works
Strawberry Scrub with Pittsburgh Seltzer Works from Cure

Who says you have to consume alcohol to have fun? I really loved this strawberry scrub drink with Pittsburgh Seltzer Works. Honestly, one of the best beverages I’ve had in my entire LIFE (it was so good, I had two). Also, very pretty! ❤

Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara from Cure

Here’s my Mom’s main course- spaghetti carbonara: salty pork bits, peas, egg, roasted garlic, soffritto and pecorino romano. As you can tell by the words and the image, not your typical spaghetti carbonara (so much better!). The smell of this dish was ethereally bacon-y! When my Mom couldn’t finish consuming this dish, I was all too happy to finish it. Soooooo task- I was sorry I didn’t order it! X)

Copper River Salmon
Copper River Salmon from Cure

Here’s my main dish- Copper River Salmon– hibiscus cured, ginger yogurt, rosehip honey, roasted cucumber, marcona almonds, orange, fernet, cilantro. The salmon was INCREDIBLE; I’ve had smoked salmon, grilled salmon, but never hibiscus cured salmon. All of the flavor combinations gave this dish a very exotic taste. I definitely sense a hint of asian influence.  I loved cutting up the salmon, forking a slice of cucumber on top, and dipping it all in the ginger yogurt and orange marmalade. Once in a while, I was lucky enough to include a marcona almond in a bite.

Salmon
Close-up of the salmon
Dark Souffle cake with pistachio butter from Cure
Dark Souffle cake with pistachio butter from Cure

Eventually, it was time for dessert; my Mom and I chose the same thing for dessert. Dessert was…(*drum roll*): dark chocolate soufflé cake with pistachio butter, sea salt, vin cotto and xxvo. The sweetness of the dark chocolate with the salty-ness and savory-ness of the pistachio were the perfect team. The dark chocolate soufflé was light, yet almost fudge-y (like a molten lava cake). It was, in every sense of the word, a perfect chocolate dessert dish. 🙂

Dark Chocolate Souffle cake
Close up of the dark chocolate soufflé cake

Friends, if you ever have the chance to dine at Cure in Lawrenceville, you must go! You will not regret it, and you will be wowed at every second.

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

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Valentina. (2012, June 24). Review: Cure. Retrieved from: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/July-2012/Review-Cure/

Cure’s website

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Cure’s Twitter page

Justin Severino’s Twitter page

D&T in the Burgh’s blog

D&T in the Burgh’s Twitter page