My 19 year old son has a job (yay) and disposable income and he wants to spend it on food.
How is this in my self interest? His friends don’t like food, or at least not enough to want to spend a lot of money on it. So when he wants to go indulge, he has started to TAKE ME OUT TO DINNER.
Yes, you read that right.
My son has taken me to Eleven AND Spoon in the last week.
I’ll give you a minute to recover…
Here is my review of Spoon from last night. I didn’t manage pics from Eleven and the menu has changed, so I’ll leave that for another time. (It remains a favorite though.)
Spoon, in East Liberty is the swankier half of the restaurant Brgr…or Brgr is the casual side of Spoon. Either way, either one is worth your time and your money, and probably your undying love and devotion.
We got to Spoon around 6 and it was relatively empty so we had our server pretty much to ourselves. I’ve found that sometimes this means terrible service as it’s hard to stay motivated for one table. Not the case at Spoon. Our waitress was friendly and attentive, and her service was impecable, all of which she managed without feeling stuffy or pretentious. The highlight came in the first course. We ordered one salad and two aps and she asked if we were sharing the salad. We informed her that we were actually sharing one of the aps.
She brought us the “bacon and eggs” already split onto two plates, so that the presentation for each of us was intact and perfect. They even added an extra egg so we each had our own.
THAT? That’s good service. Splitting a dish with a runny egg is not easy and we didn’t have to.
Bacon and Eggs
Cunning farms crispy pork belly, 5 minute poached egg, sauteed baby spinach, hollandaise
This dish was out of this world. Home Run. Orgasmic….we liked it. I again forgot to take a picture until I had already launched into it so you get a pic of half the dish, but it was so good it is lucky you get that. The pork belly alone delivered a knock out punch of flavor. Tangy, lightly smokey, salty and rich it was only improved with the velvety egg yolk and the luscious hollandaise sauce. The spinach added a light and fresh element to bring it all together.
Lemon and Goat Cheese souffle
Baby artichokes, asparagus, roasted red pepper, poached egg, applewood smoked bacon, baby arugula honey and balsamic vinaigrette
Our 2nd appetizer course included a ceaser salad, which my son orders almost everywhere he goes. This was a very good version of a ceaser with a neat presentation; whole dressed leaves stacked atop each other and balanced on croutons. He declared it delicious.
This Lemon and Goat Cheese Souffle was the number one thing I wanted to try when I was perusing menus before we chose spoon. I have to say, it was very good, but the vegetables were the star of the show. Flavor packed the artichockes and the roasted red peppers. The poached egg added a nice gooey richness to everything on that side of the plate. And as you can see, its lovely.
Chicken and Dumplings
Kennedy Farm’s Chicken Breast, ricotta gnocchi
spring onions, fava beans, morel mushrooms
lemon and tarragon essence
I cannot give you a review of this because I don’t eat Chicken. Tyler said “nom nom nom” and some more words that were hard to understand has he shoveled this into his face. Later he did say the chicken was cooked perfectly and it was “delicious” but I’m afraid that’s all I have.
Fresh made papparedelle pasta
duck confit, spring peas oven roasted tomatoes
pickled pear onions, pea shoots, natural jus
Natural Jus? That was simply “Natural Jus” in the bottom of the bowl??? Wow. It was some really good jus. My comment was “I want to roll around in this.” ZOMG this was good. I hate pearl onions and yet somehow these were delightful. The pillowy papparadelle which might have been expected to be too heavy for something like “natural jus” was actually a wonderful vehicle for all the other flavors. The sauce (Jus?? really? that’s it?) was rich and delicious, the duck confit was moist and tasty, and I don’t know where they got fresh English Peas, but I love some fresh English Peas. I would order this meal over and over and over and over again.
Chocolate Ganache Cake for two
They have their own pastry chef! This was delicious–though I have to say the chocolate marshmallows were not as good as the ones made by the Pittsburgh Marshmallow Factory. Mind you I’m not a sweets person, so I rarely get dessert but the kid insisted. The highlight of this dish actually was the root beer whipped cream. Not too sweet and very tasty it not only cut the richness of the chocolate cake and ganache but it had really unique way of doing so.
All in all I’d say GO TO SPOON. Hells to the yeahs. It wasn’t a cheap meal, over $100 for the two of us, but if you want a really good, really creative meal and tremendous service Spoon is a must. (Brgr by the way is an opportunity to get the same level of taste at a bargain price. Their french fries with the truffle cheeze wiz are sublime!)