The Brew Gentlemen debut Braddock space
Asa Foster and Matt Katase, also known as The Brew Gentlemen, held an open house for their warehouse yesterday at 512 Braddock Ave. in Braddock in what had been an electrical supply store. The Carnegie Mellon grads hope to have the space open for business by the close of 2013.
Mr. Foster and Mr. Katase had been jockeying for space at 8th and Braddock, in what had been Cuda's Italian Market. The building will feature Magarac, an ambitious restaurant from Kevin Sousa of Salt of the Earth, Station Street, Harvard & Highland and Union Pig & Chicken.
The change of plans will give them room to grow. "This space gives us higher ceilings, more room to build out and the potential for a tap room," said Mr. Foster. "It's a big deal for us."
Harvard & Highland to host vegetarian tasting
Chef Kevin Sousa is spending much of his time at Union Pig & Chicken and the upstairs Harvard & Highland lately. Here, he's overseeing the kitchen, which includes its menu of fried chicken, brisket and sides as well as delicious and novel "this and that" menu of chicken livers, hearts, cockscombs and tendon tacos, among other things.
There's more on his plate. Mr. Sousa is building out the back space of Harvard & Highland, where he'll soon offer a table that seats 10. Beginning March 18, the restaurant will host a five-course tasting menu with wine pairings for $65 with seatings at 6 and 9 p.m.
Though vegetarian dinners will start as a monthly event, he hopes it becomes a weekly thing.
"Chad and I have come up with vegetarian dishes at Salt that have done really well," he said, referencing sous chef Chad Townsend at Salt of the Earth. "This speaks to a market that isn't being filled."
Legume's Hooper a James Beard semifinalist
Executive chef Trevett Hooper of Legume has been named a semifinalist in the "Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic" category for the James Beard Foundation awards. The organization also names rising star chefs, outstanding restaurants, restaurateurs and service programs in addition to star chefs in every region of the country.
Nominees will be announced March 18. The ceremony to acknowledge winners in each category is held in New York May 6.
Mr. Hooper is competing against seven chefs from the Washington, D.C., area and six chefs from Philadelphia as well as a handful from Richmond and Charlottesville, Va., and Baltimore.
Food truck rally in Ross Saturday
PGH Taco Truck will join its food truck brethren at Coffee Buddha, 964 Perry Highway, Ross, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The truck, which sells a menu stuffed with humble or exotic meats, lively salsas and crisp veggies will serve lunch across from grilled cheese sandwich truck, Oh My Grill. PGH Pierogi Truck will offer a range of Polish platters, haluski, cheese or potato pierogies as well as frozen varieties to go. BRGR, the mobile version of the East Liberty restaurant, will sell burgers, sides and shakes.
Oscars at Walnut Grill
The Denis Theatre Foundation will host an Academy Awards party Sunday at Walnut Grill in Mt. Lebanon from 7 p.m. until the show is over. For $35 the evening includes appetizers and desserts with a cash bar. For more information, contact denistheatre.org/oscars or reserve seats via 412-668-0737.
Acacia to install cocktail taps
Beers aren't the only thing on tap at bars. Cocktail taps are making their way to bars around the country where they can be outfitted to pour a single liquor, aged cocktails or especially popular drinks such as a Negroni. Acacia on the South Side will be among the first wave in Pittsburgh to install cocktail taps, which will debut in the next couple of weeks.
Bars in other cities such as San Francisco and D.C., where cocktail taps are making an appearance, cite an increase in sales for featured drinks. It often translates to a less expensive cocktail and will likely cut the wait time during a rush.
Yet when it comes to mixed drinks, might taps dilute consumers' experience? For a fussy cocktail, stick with the bartender, especially if the banter is as much a part of the experience as the booze.