A summertime Friday in the office always drags…add in today’s somewhat dreary weather and a quick escape for lunch becomes all the more appealing…
The Boy (back in town, yay!) picked me up from work and whisked me off to the Southside. Our destination was Cafe du Jour (1107 E Carson Street – Southside – cannot find a website!).
The Boy and I have been here several times before, both for lunch and dinner. Cafe du Jour is BYOB with a per stem corking fee ($2-3 dollars?). The place is tiny and does take reservations – call in advance though, they fill up quick, particularly on the weekends. I believe they serve lunch Monday-Saturday, 11:30 to 3ish.
Our dinners (and lunches) there have always been enjoyable. Yes, sometimes the place gets a little smoky from the open kitchen. Yes, sometimes the entrees take a little while to arrive at your table. But you can tell the food is made with care and is taken a step beyond the normal Pittsburgh fare. This is a great little Euro bistro style place. The lunch menu is salads and sandwiches, everything priced under or near $10. The dinner menu is small but balanced, with entrees moving into the $15-$20 range.
Today, I chose the spinach salad with roasted potatoes and wild mushrooms. I have really been on a salad with warm toppings kick recently, and this did not disappoint. While the potatoes and mushrooms were more sautéed (and in a little more oil than I would have liked) than roasted, I still enjoyed the dish. I am not sure exactly what type of mushrooms were included – they tasted earthy and were huge, almost meaty. The warm components of the salad were well balanced by the fresh spinach, caramelized onions, and pecans. The salad also contained pieces of Brie – I am not a huge fan of Brie so I somewhat pushed these to the side. This was a solid salad – made with quality ingredients, plated and dressed with care, and served in a lovely setting. I think it was priced at $7. I would have paid that for some ‘make your own’ salad at Au Bon Pain. This blew that out of the water!
The Boy had a flat-bread pork sandwich, served with a tomato and cuke side salad. The sandwich was stuffed with juicy pork, tomato, and a spicy slaw. The Boy happily nibbled away and barely finished his sandwich. It was a generous size.
The Boy and I really enjoy this place and wish Pittsburgh had more spots like it. Casual, laid back, but with thoughtful and well prepared food. Cafe du Jour also has a very cute looking back patio – I have yet to dine out there because every time we go its either freezing or raining! Come on Pittsburgh, sunshine please? For the weekend?