Monday, December 8, 2014

Braddock's Pittsburgh Brasserie

A couple of weeks ago, we finally checked out Braddock's in the Renaissance Hotel. Our reservations were for 5 pm after we saw Newsies, which was a fantastic show. We were seated right away and were able to peek out at the windows area at the wedding in the lobby area.
I ordered a Braddock's Smash (Maker's Mark, fresh sours, seasonal berries, bitters) and SP had a Sazerac (Templeton Rye, simple syrup, bitters, absinthe). I don't care for Sazerac cocktails but SP really likes them. I really enjoyed my Smash. It had a nice berry flavor and a tiny hint of sour flavor.
Warm, crusty bread served with butter with salt on top. We must have been hungry because we quickly devoured the bread.
We shared the Beet & Goat Cheese Salad (fried goat cheese, pistachios, roasted beets, seasonal greens, sherry-shallot vinaigrette). Our server offered to split the salad onto two plates for us, which was nice & much appreciated. The fried goat cheese was yummy if a bit more crumbly than other fried goat cheese I have eaten. Crisp greens, just enough vinaigrette. I thought the roasted beet would be mixed in with the greens but it was actually thin slices of roasted beet under the greens. It was a bit too much beet for me, but then again, I'm not a huge roasted beet fan. SP likes them and enjoyed this presentation.
We also shared Braised Short Rib Pierogies (creamed leeks). The creamed leeks are under the 3 huge pierogie.
These were so darn delicious. Huge, homemade pierogie filled with tender shredded short rib. My favorite part of the meal.
SP ordered Roasted Tomato Bisque (bacon lardons, basil oil). This was a very tasty tomato soup and the bacon lardons added a nice, unusual flavor, in my opinion, since I do not think we've ever had a tomato soup with a bacon garnish.
Another shared dish: Bacon Wrapped Shrimp & Grits. OK, this might have been even more delicious than the pierogies. It's hard to choose! Three huge shrimp wrapped with bacon in a BBQ sauce with cheesy grits. I'm pretty sure the grits had a bit of bacon flavor, too - there was something in the grits that kept us eating and eating and eating and then we had a spoon war over the final scoops.
Our grits are in a separate jar because the chef said there was some garlic in them and they were being very, very careful of garlic after I asked about it in a couple of dishes. The grits passed my sight, smell, and taste tests, which means there wasn't enough to bother my stomach, just enough to add some flavor. I have had overly-garlicked grits in the past, which is why I asked.
For his entree, SP chose Seared Scallops (roasted red pepper polenta and sweet corn puree). Four large scallops, nicely seared, atop the polenta with corn puree on the side. His comment was 'yum' and he quickly ate it all.
For my entree, I chose a small portion of Lobster Gnocchi (peas, asparagus, parmesan cream sauce). The chef made it without garlic. Truthfully, by this point, I was not very hungry. The gnocchi were delicious. The cream sauce, my gosh, so rich and buttery and cheesy and decadent. The lobster was real lobster and there was a generous portion of it. It was good if a tad over cooked for my taste (I found it a wee bit chewy). I was only able to eat half of my half order. I took the rest home and while the leftovers were good, it didn't re-heat especially well (I removed the lobster and re-heated the sauce and gnocchi for about 10 minutes).

We did not have room for dessert. Plus, it was the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we had lots of pumpkin pie and apple pie at home.

Our server was terrific. He and the chef did an excellent job of checking on garlic and checking with me. We enjoyed all of our food, in particular the pierogies and shrimp & grits. I liked the atmosphere and the tables were nicely spaced. By the time we left, the restaurant had filled up but we didn't notice any increase in noise level from when we arrived nor did we have to squeeze between people to leave.

It's definitely a pricier place, but it was worth it. We'll definitely be back.

Braddock's American Brasserie on Urbanspoon

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