Pittsburgh earns James Beard nods
Pittsburgh has secured two nominations among semifinalists for the 2014 James Beard restaurant and chef awards. Butcher and the Rye is a contender for Outstanding Bar Program among standouts such as The Broken Shaker in Miami, The Dead Rabbit in New York and The Violet Hour in Chicago.
Justin Severino of Cure in Lawrenceville has been nominated for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, among contenders such as Tarver King, chef of The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovetsville, Va., and Brad Spence of Amis in Philadelphia.
"I did not know I was nominated until I saw people tweeting congratulations at me," quipped Mr. Severino. "I find out everything important from Twitter."
Past semifinalists include Trevett Hooper of Legume last year and Kevin Sousa of Salt of the Earth for 2012 for the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category. Mr. Sousa left Salt recently to concentrate on his Braddock project, Superior Motors.
In 2011, Salt of the Earth was a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant and Sean Ehland of Kaya was nominated for Rising Star Chef. He's now a pastry chef at Sean Brock's McCrady's in Charleston, S.C.
Finalists will be announced March 19.
Breakfast, Beer and Bourbon
At 7 tonight, brewer Brandon McCarthy at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Homestead celebrates this year's release of the brew, which he describes as "a lightly smoked imperial stout brewed with oats, coffee and Pennsylvania maple syrup."
Everyone who is there for his toast gets a 10-ounce glass on the house.
"We'll also be serving free bacon because it complements the beer so dang well, and free ice cream because it's a great beer to make a float with," said Mr. McCarthy.
If you like bacon with your beer, you might also want to check out the dinner at The Supper Club in Greensburg next Thursday.
The Supper Club is at the gorgeous old Greensburg Train Station, where Amtrak's Pennsylvanian passenger train still stops on its run between New York City and Pittsburgh. Information: supperclubgreensburg.com.