Churchview Farm Dinner with Csilla Thackray & Joey Hilty of The Vandal

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Welcome Snack from Csilla: Rye cracker with liptauer spread, fennel & beet (paired with a Maggie’s Farm Pineapple Punch by Joey Hilty)! The snack was so decadent and enjoyable; the punch was light & sweet (perfect for summer)!

*NOTE*: Neither Churchview Farm, Csilla Thackray, Joey Hilty, nor The Vandal asked me to write this post. I am just a Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie & Yogini, who enjoys sharing her foodie and yoga adventures with others. Photos captured with an iPhone 7s, and were edited with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended and Instagram.

Back on Sunday, July 2nd, my Mom and I enjoyed a “Farm Dinner” at the Churchview Farm (located in the Brentwood neighborhood of the South Hills of Pittsburgh), featuring Csilla Thackray (Executive Chef) and Joey Hilty (Restaurant Owner), both of The Vandal. When it was time to pick the Churchview Farm dinner I attend, I made sure to choose The Vandal’s dinner. The Vandal is one of my favorite Pittsburgh restaurants (and, in my opinion, one of the best). Csilla’s cooking is INCREDIBLE, and Joey does a fantastic job of always ensuring that his guests are welcomed.

After the welcome snack, cocktail, and farm tour, all of us were seated for dinner. A special shout-out to the couple (and their two friends) who sat next to my Mom and me! They must’ve been the most fun people I’ve EVER dined with at the Churchview Farm!

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First Course: Chilled sorrel soup with poached lobster & chips (paired with Royal Provance Rivarose wine)! Churchview Farm & The Vandal were both kind enough to make any dishes that originally had dairy in them dairy-free for me (and this was one of them)! ❤

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A close up of this lovely soup! I always love the bowls and plates that the Churchview Farm uses!

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Second Course: Radish, frisee, buckwheat, & service berry vinaigrette. This salad was nice and light before the new few decadent courses! This course was served “family style” (meaning the four parts of the dining room table each received platters of the salad, shared amongst four-to-six people).

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Third Course: Mussels, baby vegetable ragout, bronze fennel, sunflower shoot oil & baguette (paired with Draii Laag Tafalbier). I LOVED the mussels, and the beer made me feel like I was in Belgium! This dish was also served family-style.

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Fourth Course: Kohlrabi tortelloni,crispy greens, besurre monte & braised onion (*I had the dairy-free version). This was one of my FAVORITE dishes of the night! The pasta was INCREDIBLE!

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Fifth Course: Quail, gooseberry chutney, tokyo bekana kraut & mashed fingerlings. I LOVED the quail; it was so smart to pair it with the gooseberry chutney. Of course, I always enjoy fingerling potatoes. Also served family-style!

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Dessert Course: Paw Paw sorbet,cardamom meringue, sassafras shortbread and cherries. My favorite course of the night! I loved every single ingredient!

Well there you have it, folks! If you ever get to chance to both dine at The Vandal and attend a Churchview Farm dinner, I highly recommend both!

Next Post: either Summer Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Dinner at Hyde Park Steakhouse or Foodie Adventures of 2017!

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

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Brunch at The Vandal

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Mom and I enjoyed this GLORIOUS brunch spread on one fateful Sunday in August (after I experienced some #MysoreMagic at The Shala of Pittsburgh Ashtanga Yoga)! The dish in the middle was a special side dish that is normally only on the breakfast menu: Frangipane with griddled sourdough bread and fruit preserves!

*NOTE*: Neither Joey Hilty, Csilla Thackray, nor The Vandal 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 and Instagram!

One fateful Sunday in August, I actually had “a Sunday off” (meaning I didn’t have to teach yoga). Thus, I decided to treat myself to my first EVER Beginner’s Mysore class at The Shala of Pittsburgh Ashtanga (in Lawrenceville), and brunch at The Vandal (which is conveniently right across the street from The Shala)!

Thanks to articles in Zagat, the New York Times, and even local publications such as NextPittsburgh and the City Paper, The Vandal has certainly become a “foodie” destination in Pittsburgh! Thus, the first time we stopped by for brunch this day, there was a 30-45 minute wait. Not a problem! I had been wanting to visit the Butterwood Bake Consortium for months! Thus, my Mom and I drove down and treated ourselves to dessert first!

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I enjoyed the Vegan Chocolate Pudding with almonds! So good that if I didn’t already know this was Vegan, I wouldn’t have know the difference! I love the vibe at Butterwood- I felt like I was attending a fancy Victorian Tea (which harkens back to the days of when I loved the American Girl dolls! Samantha was my favorite)!

Once Mom and I had finished dessert, 30 minutes had passed and the co-owner Joey (Hilty) had acquired seats for us! While we waited I enjoyed DELICIOUS coffee (The Vandal gets it coffee from Parlor Coffee, based in Brooklyn) out of a quirky coffee mug! Soon afterwards, it was time for BRUNCH!

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Course #1: Csilla’s Granola! Naturi Yogurt, nuts (almonds, pecans and cashews) in honey, and rhubarb (the summer flavor). INCREDIBLE! Just like last time, the Yogurt and Granola dish at The Vandal is my FAVORITE brunch dish! Every bite was enjoyable- from the savoriness of the nuts an rhubarb, to the sweetness of the honey and yogurt. Nice job, Csilla and kitchen crew!

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Mom’s brunch course: Beignets with Blueberry Compote (the summer compote)! These were VERY good! Even though I haven’t been to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans yet, this is what I would image the Beignets would taste like there!

There you have it, folks!

If you’re looking for locally-sourced, highly quality ingredients, good food, coffee, and conversation (I must admit, Joey does a good job being the host of The Vandal), The Vandal is your weekend brunch spot!

 

Next on the blog: Mom’s first dinner at Bar Marco!

 

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

 

The Butterwood Bake Consortium’s website

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