Little Bites: Whisky Dinner Series at Bar Marco; Brunch at Mansions on Fifth

Whisky Dinner Series at Bar Marco

• Sunday at 6 p.m., chief distiller for Tasmania Distillery Patrick Maguire will steer a five-course single malt whisky pairing at Bar Marco in the Strip.

"It's great to have access to a master distiller for a night," said Bar Marco co-owner Robert Fry, "especially one who produces such a delicious product." Established in 1994, the distillery has earned several awards at the Winner of the World Whiskies in 2011 and 2008.

Five courses include a seafood assortment; smoked duck breast; braised shortribs with Penfolds reduction; and a lamington with whisky ice cream. Tickets are $100 per person. Information: 412-471-1900 or email for reservations.

Brunch at Mansions on Fifth

• Once a month at The Mansions on Fifth in Shadyside, the boutique hotel will host a music brunch. Launched this fall by the hotel's music director, vocalist Tania Grubbs, the Sunday meal will feature regional musicians and brunch classics: French toast, pancakes, omelets and meat carved to order.

Next in the fall series is on Sunday, featuring Max Leake on piano. Nov. 4 features Eric Susoeff on solo guitar and Dec. 2 is Jeff Lashway on piano. Brunch is $38 per person, $15 per child. Reservations required. Information: 412-381-5105 or

Alchemy N'Ale closes

• The upper Lawrenceville gastropub Alchemy N'Ale has shuttered. The restaurant had opened to controversy last May, when Lawrenceville United and Pittsburgh Councilman Patrick Dowd expressed concern it would have a negative impact on the neighborhood.

Patrick MacFarlane was the opening executive chef, an alumnus of Tribeca Grill in New York and Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar Downtown. It had earned mixed reviews for a menu of British-inspired fare, uneven service and craft cocktails.

Butterjoint to open

• A casual concept called The Butterjoint will debut in the next couple of weeks at 214 N. Craig St., Oakland, where Legume's bar is currently located. The restaurant will focus on beer and cocktails and serve traditional bar food such as pierogies and sausages.

Acacia plans Monday opening

If things go as planned with licensing, Acacia will open on Monday. The ground-floor pop-up is at 2108 E. Carson St., South Side. With 20 beers and four cocktails on tap, the casual sibling will offer a sneak preview of the new Embury, which will open upstairs in December.

The shelf life for the pop-up isn't set, though a spokesperson said it would remain for about a year.

Designed by Pittsburgh-born, New York-based Justin Giunta, Embury will be a departure from the flagship in the Strip District that shuttered more than a year ago. Expect Indian and Persian accents for decor rather than a clubby speakeasy.

Lynn Salk and partners will remain true to the creative spirit of the original with drinks as classic as an aviation or as novel as a Jell-O shot from an 1800s cocktail recipe.


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