Birthday Dinner #1 at Morcilla

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A beautiful shot of the Morcilla sign that I captured around 7:30am on a Wednesday morning (after yoga practice in Lawrenceville)!

*DISCLAIMER*: Neither Justin Severino nor the management and staff of Morcilla asked me to write this post. i am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie and Yogini, whom enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others! Photos captured on an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

Towards the beginning of November of last year, I celebrated my “30 & fabulous” birthday! Even though I have been DYING to dine at Morcilla (located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh), I knew I wanted to “save” dinner at Morcilla for my 30th & fabulous bday dinner #1!

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While my Mom and I waited for the food, I enjoyed this Tonic, with: chinchilla, lavender and cardamom. Sooooo good!

Since Morcilla is a Tapas bar, my Mom and I ordered a few “small plates” and shared them throughout the night:

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Picked Cauliflower Catalan– golden raisins, capers, garlic and sherry vinegar. I am a sucker for a good cauliflower dish, and I must say this was one of THE best ones I’ve EVER had!

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Jamon Iberico De Bellota– marcona almonds, four year aged Pata Negra, Castilla Leon, Spain. PEOPLE! I had Jamon (which my hero Anthony Bourdain says is THE best ham in the WORLD). Even though I prefer the taste of Prosciutto, I must say this ham was DAMN good! I really enjoyed wrapping up each slice around one of the Marcona Almonds. Take my word for it, splurge on the $25 appetizer and share it amongst your group!

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Morcilla (blood sausage)- although it’s currently not on the menu (hopefully, Morcilla will bring back its namesake dish), I just HAD to order some Morcilla! I’ve only had blood sausage once before at an Argentinian restaurant in Pittsburgh, and I must say this Morcilla (imported from Spain) was WAY better! I’m very glad that I ordered this dish!

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Who Cooks For You Farm “Rocky Balboa” Salad– also not currently on the menu. Even so, this was my FAVORITE dish of the night! Literally THE best salad I’ve had in my enter LIFE!

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Spring Creek Oysters (Barnstable, MA) half dozen– oh. My. GOSH! Theses were so good! I’ve never tried oysters before, and since Bourdain loves them, I decided to be bold and try them! They were so fresh, I swear you could taste the ocean water!

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As Rebel Wilson would say: “crushed it”! 

Since the staff learned it was my birthday, they brought out a complimentary Crema Catalana (the Catalan version of Creme Brûlée)! I also ordered a Cafe Americano from Commonplace Coffee (love them)!

Thank you to Justin Severino, Hilary Prescott Severino, Nate Hobart and staff for a WONDERFUL first dinner (and birthday) experience at Morcilla! I shall return!

Next up: birthday dinner #3 at Spoon!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

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Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event

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Today’s post comes from Lou of Pittsburgh Happy Hour, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Small Town Dad, where I review Bend, Brew & Brunch II at Spoonwood Brewing Company. I must thank Alex from Everybody Loves Alex, for coordinating this SUPERB blogger event!

In the last few months, Pittsburgh’s Justin Servino of Cure opened his second restaurant in Lawrenceville called Morcilla.

If you have not visited Cure, it is basically a rite of passage for all Pittsburgh foodies. Not only do they offer different private dining events throughout the year with a focus on butchering and food preparation, they offer some of the most high quality cuisine in all of Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed some truly memorable meals at Cure throughout the years.

Morcilla has a different vibe than Cure. Although the restaurant is new, the menu does not seem as neither carefully crafted nor well balanced. There are so many different dishes to try, that it is nearly impossible to sample everything. That didn’t stop me from giving it hell! I have listed each dish I tried for you, as well as my thoughts and an approximate calorie count below.

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Mojama: dried tuna, chilli oil and pine nuts.

~300 calories. This was probably one of my least favorite dishes from Morcilla. Due to being a leaner meat, dried tuna is not always a crowd pleaser. We also wish the slices were thicker, so that we could have experienced more of the tuna flavor.

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Surryano ham: (Edwards of Surry, VA) pecans and pecan oil. 

~370 calories. It is worth noting that this is the cheaper ham on Morcilla’s menu. (We still loved it.) For only $18 more you can try the Iberico ham – supposedly the finest in the world!

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Cecina: cured dried beef, radicchio, cara cara orange and tarragon.

 ~270 calories. The dried beef was quite good, the other items were a little bitter through.

Chorizo: dates, Cabrales cheese, vanilla. ~450 calories. This dish was quite tasty, and we fought over it. It was odd to see vanilla paired with chorizo, but it worked very well.

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Crab butter and Tarragon Churro: la fondue de idiazabal.

 ~600 calories. This was among our favorite dishes from the evening. Perhaps it was the novelty of a savory churro, or the warm embrace of crab flavored butter – but this is a must try.

Sobrasada: smoked spreadable salami, dehydrated apple, hazelnut. ~280 calories. I’ve heard of sopressata, but never sobrasada. It is a raw cured sausage made with pork, and it was fantastic.

Foie Gras:  membrillo and black pepper. ~400 calories. This was the only dish we had to order twice- it was a knockout. The mebrillo added a nice texture, and did a great job of balancing the wonderful flavor of the foie gras. This dish must be ordered at Morcilla at all costs, including offending any potential friends who may think foie gras is a faux pas.

Ox tail:  caramelized onion and Mahón cheese. ~250 calories. This dish was recommended by our good friend Sean from Allegheny Wine Mixer. Surprisingly, it was served warm, unlike many of the other small plates we tried. Also a must try.

Queso de Cabra: smoked goat cheese croquettes and spiced membrillo~300 calories. One of the more pedestrian dishes of the evening. I believe this one could be skipped. It just didn’t provide much in the way of excitement.

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Sopa Blanca: leek and potato soup, smoked chorizo and fried egg.~650 calories. Also not to be missed, easily one of our favorite dishes of the night. Served in a flavorful broth and perfectly balanced by the fresh ingredients.

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Pulpo Escabecheoctopus, new potato, potato espuma, pimenton, extra virgin olive oil. ~600 calories. My dinner guest said that on his previous visit this dish was probably about twice as big. It was still quite flavorful and delicious and should be ordered by all octopus fans.

Total calorie count:  approximately 4470 / 2 = 2235. Add in adjustments for wine consumed, my total calorie count for the evening came to about 2,585 calories. According to the My Fitness Pal calculator, I only need to walk about 35 miles in order to burn off my dinner! I have no regrets.

 

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