You know those restaurant visits, when a single dish stands out from the rest: It’s the one your tablemates wish they’d ordered because it’s super flavorful, Instagram-worthy or a nostalgia dish that rivals a favorite home-cooked version. From Brookline to Bloomfield, Shadyside to the Strip District, here are the week’s scene-stealing dishes and drinks.
Elysian Fields lamb loin at Eleven in the Strip District
My better half and I celebrated our first anniversary on Saturday — 11/11 — so the obvious choice to mark the milestone was at Eleven in the Strip District, which was also the site of our first “real” date some years ago. Everything, and I do mean everything, from the drinks to the dinner to dessert and the service was dead-on perfect. But to single out a dish from the night — the Elysian Fields Farm lamb loin for $39 — smoked lamb belly, celery root puree, roasted beets, Brussels sprouts, Anson Mills oats, whole-grain mustard jus — it was so clean and fresh and simple yet elegantly composed. Since it opened in the early aughts, new “hot” restaurants have come and gone but Eleven remains among the pinnacle of dining experiences in Pittsburgh. 1150 Smallman St., Strip District — Dan Gigler
The two-drink minimum at Bar Frenchman in East Liberty
Lead bartender Greta Harmon has created a fun drink-in-a-drink with the two-drink minimum that starts as one classic cocktail and melts into another: Manhattan to a Vieux Carre. It’s rye, sweet vermouth and cognac, with an ice ball that’s Benedictine, Peychaud’s bitters and Angostura bitters for $14. Head over soon before the two-drink minimum switches up into a more wintry duo. 5925 Baum Blvd., East Liberty — Melissa McCart
A breakfast burrito at O’Leary’s on the Southside
After a long run in the rain and cold, I was on the South Side and I needed something that would hit the spot fast: it turns out that a super good (and big) breakfast burrito at O’Leary's was the answer: a concoction of two eggs, a choice of meat, home fries, peppers and onions with cheddar, salsa and sour cream for $8.50. 1412 E. Carson St., South Side — Gretchen McKay
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