Caterers change each week during the run of 'Tamara'



As two ladies talk, one confides in the other.

“I’m having an affair,” she whispers.

“Really? Who’s catering it?” asks her friend.

That’s the question some theatergoers may wish to answer before deciding which week to attend Quantum Theatre’s production of “Tamara,” which opens Thursday and runs through the second week of September.

Farm fresh produce will play a role in all of the menus chosen by six caterers, each of whom will supply meals during intermission for one week of the production’s six-week run.

“The dinner couldn’t happen at a better time,” said Kate Romane, owner of the Highland Park restaurant E2.

The menu is not yet finalized, but she will include heirloom tomatoes from Churchview Farm, which has 150 varieties. Last year, she grew fond of a variety called “the white sausage,” an elongated, pale yellow plum tomato.

Ms. Romane will cater dinners during the first week, which starts Thursday and runs through Tuesday.

“Our food is more European. We’re not exclusively Italian. We use olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs and farm fresh produce, especially this time of year,” she said.

Above & Beyond Catering in Baldwin Borough serves dinner during week two, beginning Aug. 12. The business was opened in 2002 by two friends, Nicole Payne and chef Monique Ruvolo, who met while attending West Virginia University in Morgantown. Ms. Payne is from Pittsburgh while Ms. Ruvolo hails from New Jersey.

“We do a roasted pepper chicken with a signature sauce, olive tapenade and homemade grape leaves,” Ms. Payne said, adding that the menu they provide will be Italian in nature.

Dave DeSimone, owner of Open Bottle Bistro in Shadyside, will cater with executive chef Jeremy Hickey during week three, starting Aug. 19. The appetizer will be the Spanish bar snack called pinchos, a kind of tapas on a skewer. The main course will be Amish chicken Basquaise, which has a red sauce with a tiny bit of spice. Dessert will be some type of Italian cookie, and the red wine will be Nero d’Avola from Sicily.

For week four, the caterer is Bob Sendall of All in Good Taste Productions on the North Side, beginning Aug. 26. To start, there will be roasted tomato garlic and basil orzo salad with grilled summer vegetables. The next course will be a seasonal summer salad with fresh fruit. The entree is lamb and beef roulade braised with porcini mushrooms, tomatoes and red wine. There will be bread, cheese and his signature dessert, Toffee Taboo, which he has made for 24 years. Fans of the toffee call it “chocolate crack,” Mr. Sendall said, because they can’t stop eating it.

Week five begins on Sept. 2, and executive Chef Eli Wahl of Casbah in Shadyside will supply dinner. The menu, Big Burrito corporate chef Bill Fuller said, will include heirloom tomatoes, possibly a slow-cooked pasta dish and biscotti for dessert. Casbah is a Mediterranean kitchen and wine bar.

“The play is Italian, so the food will be, too,” Mr. Fuller said.

During the final week, which starts Sept. 9, chef Stephen Felder, who founded Stagioni with co-owner Cara DelSignore, will prepare the meal. Ms. DelSignore said food at the South Side Italian bistro changes seasonally but includes traditional Italian fare inspired by the provinces of Sicily and Abruzzo, just to name two.

“We don’t have the final menu prepared yet,” she said, adding that Stagioni emphasizes simple recipes with fresh ingredients such as heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella. 


Marylynne Pitz: mpitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1648. First Published August 6, 2014 12:00 AM

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