December 13, 2011


          This past Saturday my wife and I met up with a group of friends for dinner at Spoon.  I have been wanting to go here for awhile and decided to go for my birthday. 
          When you walk into spoon it says classy but down to earth.  We got there early and the maitre d' asked if we wanted to wait for the others in the lounge or at the bar, we picked the lounge.  It was beautiful, they have a gas fireplace, two huge comfy chairs and a couch there to wait.  The bar and lounge have been decorated for Christmas and was classy and festive.  The bartender came over and took our drink orders while we waited.
          When the rest of our party arrived we were seated and our waitress took the rest of the drink orders.  After awhile of catching up and BS'ing the waitress came back to take our orders.  My wife got the classic caesar salad and I got the hot and cold salmon.  No one else ordered apps which made me just feel like a fatty but hey I wanted to taste as much as I could while I was there.  The waitress also took our entree orders at that point, I got the duck two ways, my wife got the miso glazed butterfish, our one friend got the duo of pork and the three others got the chicken pasta.
          After our orders were taken our waitress brought out a basket of bread, this was the best bread basket I have ever had.  There were cream cheese and chive biscuit, cheddar cornbread and sliced french bread.  The biscuits were excellent, soft and moist with the chive flavor really standing out.  Next, the cornbread, it was dense and the sharpness of the cheese paired with the sweetness of the bread.  Finally, the french bread, it was nice and crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside.
          After about 20 minutes our apps came out, my wives salad was full romaine heart leaves coated with cesar dressing and homemade croutons.  The lettuce was bright green and crisp and the croutons were crunchy and seasoned well.  The salmon was excellent the "hot" was a smoked salmon on a bed of fennel puree and onions cooked to a perfect medium.  This was fall apart tender and had a nice hint of hickory smokiness to it.  The "cold" was salmon in a green onion crepe with a dill creme fraiche along with a horseradish and beet vinaigrette.  The crepe was paper thin and the vinaigrette gave it a nice spicy sour kick while the creme fraiche cooled it all down.
          I have to admit when I saw pictures of the food online I thought we would leave hungry, you won't.  Our entrees came out and the portions were way bigger than I expected.  My wives butterfish was good but a little too sweet for me.  However she said if you ate the fish with the rice and broccolini it really cut back on the sweetness.  Her dish also came with a crab spring roll which had a chili glaze on it, it was fantastic a little spicy but nothing over the top hot.  My duck two ways was excellent, it was duck breast over a confit of duck leg and potato hash with a pomegranate reduction and baby turnips and carrots.  The duck breast was cooked to medium and was so moist with a thin layer of fat on top.  The roasted potatoes went well with the duck leg meat and pomegranate reduction.  The star of the dish to me was surprisingly the duck leg confit, it collected all of the juices fro the breast and mixed with the sauce and had so much flavor.  The only negative to this dish was the turnips they were so sweet they almost killed the dish, it just didn't flow with how perfect the rest of the dish is. Our friends dishes looked really good too, the chicken pasta was roasted chicken breasts over homemade cavatelli pasta topped with ricotta, walnuts and parma coteghino, everyone loved it.  I would have to say our picky friend got what looked to be the best dish of the night, the duo of pork, it just looked so good.  Roasted pork tenderloin over a bed of braised cabbage and sweet potato pierogies with homemade sausage along with a cider mustard sauce.  I have to get that next time I go there. 
          After all that our waitress asked if we wanted dessert and it was my birthday so we said sure.  We got the apple dessert as did one couple we were wither, the other couple got the homemade ice creams, they got the vanilla cardamom and the chocolate brownie.  The apple dessert was so good.  It was a cinnamon coffee cake topped with a confit of apples and bourbon ice cream along with a raisin puree.  The cake was moist and started to absorb the melting ice cream and the glaze from the apples.  To tell you the truth I thought the raisin puree was apple butter everything just flowed so well together.  Now for the ice creams, the vanilla was great you got just a hint of the cardamom which tastes like a mix of ginger and cinnamon and was the perfect ending to the meal.  The chocolate brownie must have had a coffee or espresso in the title and we all missed it because it was like eating frozen coffee.  I am not a coffee drinker so I thought it was disgusting but if you like coffee this is the one for you.
          Up until this point I would say Salt of the Earth or Piccolo Forno were my favorites but now I would say Spoon has earned a spot right beside Salt.  I will go back her and make sure I tell anyone who listens about it.  It was a great time with good friends and great food.

Overall 9.5 of 10
Food 9.5 of 10
Price 9 of 10
Service 9 of 10

134 South Highland Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

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1 comment:

  1. My feelings as well - whenever I visit Salt and Spoon will be fighting for top spots..if notion has reopened by then that will be 3 and likely my entire itinerary.