Sorry this post is a bit delayed…better late than never…
I can’t believe it is almost July. It seems the summer is flying by. The warm weather and laid back attitude the season brings seems so limited! All the more reason to soak it up with grilling, relaxing, and spending time with family and friends.
The Boy and I started off our ‘weekend’ last Thursday night by having a quick dinner at Kassab’s (1207 E Carson – Southside – see prior reviews here and here). This is our default dinner spot because 1) we can walk there in 5 minutes 2) its pretty good 3) its pretty cheap and 4) no corking fee. I had the falafel platter and the boy had the baked kibbee. The baked kibbee was a meatloaf like concoction that also included wheat berries. It was different – tasty, but a little dry and plain. However, we go here so often and its so cheap, we don’t have a problem taking some chances with our ordering. The falafel platter was 4 or 5 roundish patties and some lettuce, tomato, and pickles. I thought the pickles were odd but ended up liking them with the falafel. Who knew? I still recommend the hummus, the falafel, and the grilled lamb sandwich here. We also like the grape leaves.
The Boy and I both ended up with somewhat relaxed work schedules on Friday. This allowed us time to prep a nice dinner.
Um, yes, that was cooked for two people. But no, we did not eat all that! We put a nice dent in it though. We marinated the shrimp in a store-bought ginger marinade and the steak in a mixture of Worcestershire, fresh garlic, red pepper flake, parsley, and balsamic vinegar. The Boy kind of made up the steak marinade on the fly – it was yummy. We threaded the shrimp and beef on to skewers with pineapple, red pepper, onion, and cherry tomatoes. We also had grilled corn on the side. Tasted like summer..
After dinner we started ripping shots. We decided we wanted to dance, so we made our way to….um, yeah right. We actually fell asleep on the couch at about 9PM. Oh well.
Saturday morning we got up nice and early and opted for pancakes, al fresco. These were made with blueberries. Turkey bacon was served on the side.
I spent Saturday afternoon lounging at my parents’ pool. They always supply me with plenty of drinks and snacks while I am there. My dad whirred up his signature frozen mojitos and I enjoyed one poolside.
Saturday evening The Boy and I headed out on a dinner date. Pittsburgh is full of different neighborhoods – Shadyside, Southside, Squirrel Hill, Troy Hill, Northside, etc etc – however, many native Pittsburghers might go their whole life without visiting the neighborhood a few streets over! I felt Lawrenceville (another neighborhood) and I were borderline having this relationship. So much had been happening in Lawrenceville in the last few years – the new Children’s Hospital is creating tons of jobs there and lots of new businesses have moved in. I literally live 5 minutes from Larry-ville and had never been there. Crazy! Saturday was time to change that.
The Boy actually picked our dinner spot – Piccolo Forno (3801 Butler Street). This is a small BYOB ($5 corking fee) that does not generally take reservations (website says limited reservations are available for parties over 5). We arrived around 6:30PM. Told there was a short wait, we gave our name and wandered down the street. Of course I bee-lined to Dozen (3511 Butler Street).
I (well, actually, The Boy – thanks!) purchased a red velvet cupcake. I got it to go – a pre-planned after dinner treat.
We eventually were seated at Piccolo Forno and had an AMAZING meal. Really really good. We both kept saying how we felt like we were back in Tuscany. I will do a full review of the meal later – but if you like homemade pasta, you need to get here, quick. The place is romantic but casual at the same time – I really liked the vibe.
After dinner, we headed back to Shadyside. The Jam on Walnut was happening – this is a nice outdoor event where they shut down Walnut Street in Shadyside near all the bars and stores and have live music and beer (and to be very honest, I had no idea it was actually to benefit cystic fibrosis – they could advertise that better!). There is a July ‘Jam’ and an August ‘Jam’, so check the schedule. The Boy and I had a quick nibble of the red velvet before walking to the event. It was good – the red velvet was moist, with a hint of cocoa. The icing seemed to be a buttercream. The icing was a little sweet but I thought the quality of the cake was high. Yum.
‘Jam’ was fun. I had a (few) Miller Chill(s). I am always a sucker for the lime flavored beers they roll out every summer. We eventually ended up at Shady Grove (5500 Walnut Street – Shadyside). The night may or may not have been capped off with Village Pizza (810 Ivy Street – Shadyside – open late!). I tried to be good but I definitely ended up downing a few bites of The Boy’s!
This morning the boy and I woke up somewhat rested and headed to a new favorite ‘brunch’ spot – Whole Foods! At 9AM, the whole salad bar is open, there is an omelet station, and the hot food bar has breakfast items on it. There is also all the regular stuff available (other prepared foods, bagels, pastries, fruit, etc). A few weeks ago, we had a delicious egg white omelet – it was huge! Today, we both opted for bagels and split a container of watermelon. The Boy got a coffee and the whole breakfast was about $7. Not bad!
The Boy and I parted ways (him=golf, her=yoga). However, we reunited at his grandparents’ house for Sunday dinner. The Boy is very Italian and you always know dinner at the g-rents will be amazing.
Sunday dinner was homemade pici (a chewy, dense hand rolled rustic type of pasta we were introduced to in Tuscany) with meat sauce( meatballs, pork, sausage, etc), stuffed veal breast (stuffed with a mixture of egg, cheese, and peppers), and a salad comprised of home grown lettuce and arugula. Sigh. So so so so good. His grandmother’s cooking is outstanding. For dessert, we had homemade blueberry pie and a second dessert I did not catch the name of – a delicious pound cake like concoction, but much heavier on the egg, and with a crust. Heavenly. Perhaps it had ricotta in it as well?
Sunday night, The Boy and I watched Next Food Network Star. This is the only ‘reality’ TV show I can get him to watch.
I hope you had a great weekend too!