Up Late Dinner at Studio A.M. (featuring Guest Chef Jamilka Borges)

Studio A.M. Pittsburgh
The front window to Studio A.M., which leads to one of the happiest, most creative & intellectual places on Earth.
*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither Studio A.M., Baron Batch, Chef Steve, Jamilka Borges, Bobby Fry, server Dan, nor The Food Tasters. I am just a humble Pittsburgh Foodie & Yogini, who enjoys sharing her adventures around Pittsburgh & beyond!

One fateful Saturday night, I was invited to attend one of the limited-run “Up Late” Studio A.M. dinners, co-hosted by Baron Batch (Former Pittsburgh Steeler, now a popular Pittsburgh Artist, & the main brain behind Studio A.M.) & Bobby Fry (Former Owner & Manager of Bar Marco, Former Owner of The Livermore, Restauranteur, and Events Coordinator for Studio A.M), with TWO (count ’em, TWO) chefs: Studio A.M.’s in-house resident cook, Chef Steve, and the lovely & ever-so-talented guest chef, Jamilka Borges (Former Executive Chef of Bar Maro & Legume. She has recently accepted a fellowship with the James Beard Foundation).

My partner-in-crime for the event was Tasha of The Food Tasters, Eat Local and Shop Small! She is a local food blogger, event planner, and entrepreneur!

As soon as the two of us walked in, we were greeted by Jamilka (who I was DYING to meet! There have only been six Pittsburgh Chefs that have totally BLOWN MY MIND when it comes to their food, and she is one of them. One of the most talented chefs that I’ve met ANYWHERE)! The lovely Chef Borges led us to the downstairs cellar, where Bobby was eagerly waiting to make cocktails for us, and offer small bites of food that Jamilka made for the guests!

Shortly after the cocktails and nibbles of food, we met Baron Batch, our gracious master host of the evening! Both Bobby & Baron showed us their latest project: painting the SWING TRUCK (which was originally Jamilka/Bar Marco’s food truck, and is now in the hands of Chef Steve & the rest of the Studio A.M. crew).

Once cocktail hour ended, it was time head back upstairs, take our seats, and prepare for the first course!

I must apologize in advance: my phone was having a LOT of trouble with storage that night. Thus, I only was able to take pictures of two courses, but I’m hoping my writing expertise makes up for the lack of photos in this post. 😉

Course #1: Corn Custard & Tomato Salad, Ricotta, Basil and Arugula. This was absolutely PEFECT! Light and airy- perfect for that summer-to-fall transition! Everyone at the table (Baron, Tasha, and Baron’s Publicist) was RAVING about this dish!

Course #2: Shrimp, Green Goddess, Hackelback Potatoes, Picked Onions and Tostada. I loved this dish! I could tell Jamilka had some influence on this dish; green goddess was a staple on the Bar Marco menu.

Ceviche & Plantain
Watermelon, Bay Scallop, Jalapeno Ceviche, and Sweet Plantain
Course #3: Ceviche & Plantain! I love the contrast in this dish- spicy with sweet, and crisp with soft. The back story behind the Plantain: thanks to Jamilka, I have grown to LOVE Plantain! Growing up in Puerto Rico, she used to make this dish for herself all of the time. Thus, Plantain holds some childhood nostalgia for her.

Course #4: Chickpea, artichoke ravioli, black pepper, confit garlic. Artichoke & ravioli, together in one dish? I’m sol!

Course #5: Tomato Risotto, Roasted Beef, Tomato Hollandaise. This was the only dish that I didn’t like. The Risotto was thin & runny, and the roast beef was VERY rare (sopping in blood rare). Don’t get me wrong: I love a medium rare hamburger, but this was a little too rare for my liking.

Peach Bread Pudding
Peach Bread Budding, with a marshmallow fluff cloud!
Course #6 was my FAVORITE dish of the whole meal! I love a good bread pudding dish! Pair that with marshmallow fluff (which for me, was very nostalgic; reminded me of making S’mores with friends over a campfire), and you have a winning dessert combination! 😉

Our table’s server (Dan) did an INCREDIBLE job of bringing the dishes, explaining the courses, and clearing our plates from the table. I have officially dubbed him “Server Extraordinaire- DAN”!

Bobby Fry was the evening’s resident Sommelier and Mixologist, providing two glasses of wine for each person at each table, enlightening, intelligent, and fun conversation, AND he even made a special cocktail for everyone, to seal off the night!

It was REALLY fun to get to know Baron! He would comment on each dish, talk about his latest project, the next event he had to attend, and bantered quiet a bit with his publicist.

All in all, it was a truly SPECTACULAR night! Similar to the Salons of Paris (that I learned about in my Art History classes), I felt I was in a place with creatives, philosophers, and entrepreneurs, discussing ideas, observations, and life in general!

Once the courses ended, I chatted up Jamilka quiet a bit, and learned about her history as a Pittsburgh Chef, the story behind the Plantain dish, and what’s possibly in store for her in the future.

Studio A.M. Crew Pittsburgh
The Studio A.M. Crew! Clockwise: Bobby Fry (Events Coordinator), Jamilka Borges (Guest Chef), me, Baron Batch (Artist & Master Brain of Studio A.M.), Chef Steve (Executive Chef), and Dan (Server Extraordinaire)! 😀
I am eternally grateful for this night of fun! Thank you Tasha, for inviting to be your guest! Thank you to Baron Batch, for being such a generous host! Thank you Chef Steve & Jamilka, for cooking your butts off for all of the hungry dinner guests (including me); thank you to Bobby for creating a “dining experience”! The wine, the custom cocktails, and conversation were all additional layers to the night that brought an extra set of charm! Of course, I can’t forget Dan, our fearless master server!

Three cheers to good food, local entrepreneurs, chefs, and food bloggers!

-Friendly Fitness Foodie

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